Paying It Forward

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One evening last week I was painting out on the green in front of our house.  A few doors down an elderly couple have pairs of nurses visit throughout the day to care for them.  Two nurses stopped to look at what I was doing.  One nurse said it looked like Mickey Mouse, which it was, and I said by the time they come back it’ll be done.

Later, on their way back to the car, I showed them the finished Mickey and a number of other paintings I’d done.  As they both liked the paintings and had children I said they could each choose one each for free.  They were both very grateful and one (I later found out her name is Jackie) asked if I sell them.  I said I do and they are £10 each.  “I’ll be back” she said, and she was!

About an hour later I was walking back from the shops and a car pulled up alongside me.  One of the nurses was driving and as she stopped and said hello another nurse lent across her and said she wanted me to do an elephant painting for her and she’d pay me.

Elephants are my favourite animal and I suggested a sunset scene which she loved the idea of and off she went.

Once home, the idea got under my skin so I thought I’d do a test as I told the nurse I’d have it ready in a few days. I found a photo online that looked perfect and made the stencils.

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Test 1. Once again, happy with the 1st attempt apart from the mark around the sun.

Funnily enough, to me, just the word ‘stencil’ makes the whole concept of spray painting seem, or rather sound like cheating to me although it obviously hasn’t put me off. 

However, even though the use of stencils is almost unavoidable, it’s still very hard to master some aspects.  For example, the use bowls to get perfect circles for planets etc. is so easy but trying to get the sun to look right before I even placed the bowl over the paint before spraying the background sky was a lot more challenging than I’d expected and for the first attempt, I was very pleased with the look of the sun apart from the edge of the bowl left a mark as the paint wasn’t quite dry (a real challenge in this hot weather).

A few days later, walking through Gunwharf, I bumped into Jackie again and she ordered another painting!

So George, what are the scores on the doors?

2 paintings given away, 2 paintings ordered.  That’ll do me.

P.S. The scratches above my signature are my grandsons attempt at his signature.  He watched me finish it, sign it and then I was distracted for a second. when I looked round, he’d picked up my pallet knife and added his signature above mine.  How could I be angry with a little star like that eh?