This week I got an email from a client informing me that a painting I had shipped out to her had arrived…. damaged. Crap. A week before Christmas, and it had been purchased for a gift. It was obvious to me that I had screwed up… I didn’t pack it well enough to survive the trip from Ontario to BC. I could make a bunch of excuses. I’ve been busy, preoccupied with the chaos at work, getting ready for Christmas, dealing with issues at work and home. Beside the point. I knew this wouldn’t have happened if I had just been more careful. What an awful feeling.
Carelessness isn’t in my DNA. I’m the artist that is the last to leave a show, carefully wrapping all my paintings in bubble wrap so they won’t get damaged in the car. I’m good at my day job because of an OCD level of attention to detail. I contacted my client and asked how I could make this right? I offered a refund, or I could paint her something similar and get it in the mail within the next couple days. She opted for the replacement piece…. so with just 6 days until Christmas eve, I was in my studio painting.
I painted two, just in case one of them was a failure. I knew I couldn’t duplicate the original. That piece was done last summer and I was in a totally different state of mind. But I could use the same colours, composition, the same basic shapes and get close. Actually, I think they both turned out better than the original. I’ve learned since then. All the work I’ve done on composition and value since this summer has given me tools to improve on my original image. I sent photos off to my client, and constructed a package that hopefully can survive the trip. Once she made a decision off it went, expedited of course, and hopefully arrived in time. Fingers crossed.