Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lessons in Painting

We have a family friend that likes to say, "First time I sat down all day", at times when clearly, it is not the first time he's sat down that day.  I kind of want to say that right now, but rather "First time I sat down all week."  Obviously this is another lie, but it is currently 10pm on a Thursday night and I am finally getting to some Reenie Rose's Thursday for heavens sake!  Well, I have good reasoning.  After spending a lovely long weekend up at my cottage, I returned home to a painting marathon.  Maybe it should be called a "sprint" considering it only took me 2 1/4 days to complete it.

2 days is definitely not the Reenie Rose norm for a painting, and well, this was not a normal painting for me.  As an artist, I usually state that I am willing to paint anything someone is willing to pay me for...within reason of course.  This is how I've gotten to do so many other cool projects outside of the flower world.  So, when my friend Shelley came to me about creating a 40th anniversary painting for the non-profit company Aunt Martha's that she works for, I was totally game.  Ok, I was slightly concerned.

I had not painted in a month or so and the subject matter of this piece was going to be way outside my box...people were present in this one, eek!  A bit of Photoshoping was involved too which always makes me nervous because sometimes it can lead to cheesiness.  All apprehensions aside, I put together a composition that featured the first location of Aunt Martha's from the 1970s and a window that showed the future location rendering.  It's pretty neat to see how an amazing organization like Aunt Martha's can come so far and do so much good.  I encourage you to check them out and tap into your philanthropic feelings.

I received the "ok" on the composition over the weekend, returned home on Monday to begin the painting and made plans to complete it for the anniversary event  tonight (Thursday).  Needless to say, I setup an "Auto Reply" for my emails, only stopped painting to do necessary human habits (eat, sleep and use the bathroom), and contracted a cold in the process.  I worked feverishly (literally) through these couple of days to have a painting completed for delivery today (albeit a wet painting).

Finished in time and with some wiggle room to spare, I had to pat myself on the back.
This whole process really put things into prospective me, both in my business and personally:
Business Lesson #1:  If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.  I never doubted my abilities to complete this painting in 2 days because I knew that if I focused (and eliminated a few hours of sleep), there would be no way I'd let my friend down.
Personal Lesson #1:  As unconfident as I was about this painting initially, I realized that yes, I am a talented painter and should trust in my abilities (and blurry people are not too scary to paint).

Business Lesson #2:  There are definite priorities that need to be set in a business.  Painting was a top priority this week without a question.  Facebook and Twitter could be put on hold, the blogs in my reader could go unread and the world would not end.
Personal Lesson #2:  Taking care of yourself should be a priority...obviously.  If you eliminate crucial hours of sleep, there are consequences- severe runny nose and lots of kleenex.

Business Lesson #3:  Customer service is king.  By putting up an auto reply to my email, I was letting everyone that tried to contact me know that  their message was important to me and I was not being Miss Rudeness by not getting back to them instantly, but rather was occupied by a priority, time-sensitive project.
Personal Lesson #3:  At first it took everything not to answer my emails, but then I relaxed after awhile.  I was covered and my emails were being answered by a substitute me.  Having the auto reply put both myself and my contacts at ease.  Best decision ever.

Most Important Lesson:  If you printed all these images and put them together you'd have a pretty sweet flipbook.

I'll be working through the weekend and continuing to take care of myself.  I hope you will do the same...take care of yourself that is.  Any super lessons you've learned recently that you'd like to share?

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