Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Do you buy art or crafts?


Do you buy art or crafts? What were your reasons for choosing those certain pieces? If you never buy art, what is up on the walls of your house? Are there family pictures or posters? Perhaps inherited art?

I am so curious to hear your responses. You, yes you. You in particular.  People have been putting art up on walls since our relatives, the cave man starting painting on cave walls over 32,000 years ago. What's your art story?

Free hand-painted bookmark to all who respond and send me their email address (and mailing address so I can send you your gift! I'm looking forward to reading your ideas and I would like to add your email address to my mailing list)

About this painting; it's still wet- just finished it this afternoon. I painted this scene of the mountains in the Methow Valley, Washington State, from the porch at Dave's lovely home. When I was there visiting last summer, there were fires over in Eastern Washington that saturated the air with a smoky haze. The colors were all muted and the distant mountains were hardly visible. The painting I did while there looked awful, of course, muted and hazy~! Today, I took artistic liberty and painted over that haze with rich, intense colors. WEBSITE FACE BOOK

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Do Well and Repeat

The story of Monet painting the lilypads on his pond a zillion times is a great big, fabulous example of why we should all repeat doing things over and over. Usually by about the eight millionth repeat, we finally get it. Athletes talk about their muscles having “ memory”. If they repeat a motion enough times, the muscles will automatically remember how to do something, usually pretty darn well too. If I’m so smart that I know I should repeat things over and over to move towards getting them right, then why am I always looking for new subjects for my paintings? Shouldn’t I be re-painting the same subjects another hundred times? By 99, I’ll be pretty good at it, won’t I? The problem is, it’s boring to re-do stuff over and over. People seem to like and need change. We choose new routes to drive to the same old places just to keep ourselves amused, alive and alert. Not even a dog must like getting the same dang dinner every night. We like variety.

This is the second time I’ve painted this subject. It’s standing at the top of Dave’s driveway looking across the valley at the hills above Winthrop, Washington. It’s so incredibly pretty there. It was not boring to paint this a second time and I actually think it’s better than the first piece. So tell me, why don’t I do this every time?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

5 Reasons Why You Should Always Have Your Customer's Back

Much has been written on the subject of backs. There is back-stabbing, backward thinking folks and back-by-demand shows. Backs can be strong or weak, slouching, upright, and sometimes stiff. The phrase, “I’ve got your back” is new to this decade and refers to standing by someone through thick and thin. They will be there for you no matter what. “Hey bro, I’ve got your back” means you can count on me.
Well, customers need to know that too. We all have customers, of course, even if you don’t work. The appliance store treats me as a customer. The machinist must treat his boss as a customer. Just about everyone is a customer or serves customers. It means customizing yourself to make sure someone else’s needs are going to be met. Why bother to adjust yourself? Why should you make any effort at all to adapt to someone else? Here are five reasons why you should consider this approach in dealing with all the customers and people in your life;

1. Adjusting yourself to someone else means you’re watching and listening to them carefully. That’s the way to really begin to hear their needs. Everyone talks and so few listen. Be the person who listens better. Be the person who leaves a gap in the conversation and lets someone else fill it in.

2. When you’re in a good listening and hearing mode, that’s when you let your compassion come forward. Usually it likes to hide a few layers back. Let your compassion come forward and be the first part of you that your customers and friends meet.

3. Adjusting yourself to fit to someone else means you’re the one who is more flexible now. You’ve in adjust-mode already. You’re able to shape yourself to fit your customer thus catch their nuances better than the next guy who wants to also sell them something.

4. When your compassion is the first part of you someone meets, when you’ve truly heard the other person’s needs, when you’ve softened yourself into a shape that fits theirs, then it’s time to follow through on their needs.

5. Write everything down so both parties have a copy. Then do more than is expected of you.

Customers and friends will then say, “That painter/realtor/friend/teacher/whatever you are—that guy really has my back”!

“Karen’s Back”, oil painting on panel by Joanne Shellan, by commission, copyright 2010 WEBSITE FACEBOOK