Friday, March 16, 2012

Retail is not my bag; Painting Gets my Groove on!

I’ve admitted many times that I’m “technically challenged.” Unlike my younger sister who can wire and change an outlet switch, fix a toaster and repair a toilet; I’m a complete idiot when faced with anything that requires a screwdriver, a key, pliers, or a drill.

No wonder I faced with trepidation my first day as a volunteer at the Southwest Florida Artists Co-operative; temporarily located on Fashion Drive at Coconut Point. Of course, I was depending upon my co-worker to take care of anything major. Joan was a pro. She worked there at least once a month. She would have the store open and ready when I arrived. Not!

Traffic obstacles made her almost an hour late; I had opened and greeted three customers before she arrived and not without some grief and hair pulling. First off the power box was locked, or so I thought. The teaching demo a few days ago indicated that it would be open.

I misread the instruction sheet, and interpreted “the back wall” to mean literally the back wall, not the back wall of the utility room so I set off the security alarm in the dark, mistaking it for the Muzak box. Mall Security rescued me from my stupidity and set things straight before any customers arrived. 

When Joan finally set foot on the premises, I don’t think she found my escapades the least bit amusing.

It was a very long day what with only 27 people coming in and out. The curious artists and novices searching for ideas sparked lengthy stays and conversation. Two customers came in and out to avoid a spontaneous cloud burst. Boring!

We took turns going for lunch, and wouldn’t you know when Joan was gone, I spilled part of my soup over the counter when I jumped up to greet three customers. Luckily the tax sheet was covered in plastic. I was wishing I could hide my humiliation and frustration as I mopped up the mess.  In spite of that, I sold a ceramic plaque of Fort Myers beach and managed to write up the cash sale.

"Raccoons at Sunrise" -- acrylic on 16x20 canvas

The best part of the day involved a newlywed couple from Canada (I could tell by the glow on their cheeks) who bought a gift for the host parents and a lovely necklace for the bubbly wife.

They were also interested in one of my paintings and took my business card when I told them they could order prints online. When I closed up for the day, I breathed a sigh of relief as I headed out into traffic.

I’m in between paintings right now, but I’ll have something new for you shortly. We’re dealing with some family medical issues that require time and attention.

"Star Billing" -- 14x18 mixed media on canvas

I’m also repainting some canvases that I wasn’t overly pleased with. I’m going to see if I can salvage the time and materials and turn them into something wonderful Stay tuned!