Last week we received an email and photo from a contractor who MC Artisans have worked with in the past. It was a request for an estimate to repaint our above friends- a most colorful statuary portrayal of youthful curiosity.
The statues, prior to this photo, were of course fairly shabby, having lived outdoors a considerably long time. The contractor didn’t give much detail, just asked how much we would charge to give them a new coat of paint, matching the existing.
Having been in the decorative painting and interior arts since 1986, this was one type of project I had not yet done. So imagine my uncontrollable delight when fate gave me the opportunity to expand my portfolio a tad further than I would have dared hope to imagine.
Let me put it another way. My artistic nose was so high in the air it is rather miraculous I did not suffer from a non stop five-day nosebleed. However, pride goeth before the credit cards, so what the heck. We assumed this was for our normal clientele who had substantial funds but just happened to be suffering a temporary loss of cultural sanity. Ergo, we bid it for what it would take to do a preposterously correct job. Wash them thoroughly, prime with a masonry paint, translate the faded existing colors to a newer, fresher version and repaint everything, then put several clear coats on them so they’d be good for another 25 years. Of course, the price reflected that. We felt that if someone wanted to have these two painted just so, the clients would understand the quality reflected in the estimate. And if by chance they chose not to do go ahead with it, that would be just fine.
The contractor gulped at the price but said okay. He graciously brought the little cement cast heavyweights to us so Bryan or I did not have to make the trip down to too far to go get them. However, when he dropped the kids off he let slip that the statues were for his folks who the family had just moved into a retirement home. Now this contractor and his brother (also his biz partner) are in their mid to late 50’s, so imagine how elderly their parents must be. Wow- still together and heading into the next phase of their lives with one another. Mega bravo. Apparently the statues had been in the family yard forever and the brothers thought their mom and dad would really like it if they had them for company in the new surroundings.
Ahem……. how many different ways can you say “Boy, do I feel like schmuck”? However many you have thought of, I probably ran through a few more. So although it was not mentioned on the spot, there was no way we were going to charge the brothers very much for this gift project. It was an incredibly sweet and thoughtful gesture on the family’s part- one we felt genuinely happy to participate in.
And yes, it was actually kind of fun. The young couple inhabited my kitchen table for four evenings or so while I chipped away at them after dinner, accompanied by John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Guy Clark, John Prine, Amy Winehouse, Emiliana Torrini, J.S. Bach, Pavarotti and others. Just put Pandora on quick mix and be prepared for musical schizophrenia.
The kids were pretty quiet, so I wasn’t able to glean much of their young life’s story. But it is obvious they are quite attracted to one another, have a good sense of humor, and are snazzy dressers. A good formula for a potentially long-lasting relationship.
And it seems like they have a grand example of a long-lasting relationship to go home to.
Thanks for taking some LIP from me,
P.S. If you are curious just who MC Artisans are, click on the MC Website under the butterfly. Photos speak louder than words.