Conventions: My Takeaway : Lisbeth's Blog

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by Lisbeth Stull
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Conventions: My Takeaway

by Lisbeth Stull on 03/02/19

Today we returned home from a wonderful week attending Creative Painting. A gathering to feed the spirit as well as learn new skills and techniques. It is a truly wonderful gathering of creative artists that have decorative painting in common. There were attendees that were interested in knowing more and masterful teachers that have directly influenced our industry’s growth over time. The community is strong, despite the fact it is smaller than ever. It is a special group of people who are interesting, supportive, talented, and creative. Hugs abound, energy is palpable, and all have gathered to share an event that we cling to in effort to grow and sustain the art we all love.

I shared space with Jamie Mills-Price, Between the Vines, and Don Lute, Valhalla Laser Designs, on the trade floor. So many painting vendors were all in one place! Products, new and favorites, were available to shoppers. You could see the passion in the shoppers, feel their excitement, watched as they crossed items from their lists, and revel in the rare chance to chat with painting friends, both new and established! I choose to hold on to that aspect of the week and fill my cup! So special to hear the kind words and comments about my designs, listen carefully to the wise words of other designers who support and guide me. For all those reasons I thank you all!

At the same time my heart is broken. During the last day of the show someone took my original painted piece of Holiday Whooligan. While many may think it is the material loss that I am hurt by, but that is not necessarily the reason I write these words. The bottom line is that my feelings are crushed not only for the piece that I created that is gone, but the fact that someone would steal from an artist, especially in this special space to fill our creative fuel tank to get us to the next painting destination. They took my faith in this community and gave me cause to doubt it. They missed the whole purpose behind a convention and missed the larger purpose of gathering with a common purpose. They missed the reuniting with old friends, and the opportunity to make new ones piece. Serving only themselves, they took something that I cannot replace. Sure, I can repaint my Holiday Whooligan and nobody will be the wiser, but I will always wonder why they would disregard my time, effort, creativity, and take the item.

I spoke with other vendors, after realizing it was missing, to ask for their eyes and ears to look for the piece in the crowd. Most had a story to tell about “the time it happened” to them. WHAT?! Are you kidding me?! Those are not the painters I know. I wanted to think it was an isolated event, but it is definitely not. I, like many of the designers out there, are a one-person business. Replacing the time to create a new original is time that could be spent in a million other ways, making revenue to support myself in this industry.

The hurt is something that I needed to leave behind in Las Vegas this time. There is nothing that I can do that I have not done already. Hotel security and hotel staff are in charge at this point. My question is, “How can we protect each other from this happening over and over to the people that create new designs, sell supplies, and are desperately trying to keep things thriving and growing?”. The problem belongs to us all and it is each of our jobs to look for scenarios that are “not quite right”, and step up when we can to become advocates for one another and the industry in general. Thank you in advance for any effort you make to help this from happening over and over. Preserve and hold dear the community we have left that sustains us in the art we love.


Comments (5)

1. Susan Asselin said on 3/3/19 - 06:37AM
So sorry to hear of the loss of your original work. It is a sad world that we live in, we trust because that’s who we are, and we are heart broken when that trust is violated. We do see ourselves as members of the painting family and this makes the loss so much more. We have to keep focused on those who are thankfully the greater majority that are appreciative of your work and share in the excitement of your wonderful designs. Thank you for sharing your art with us, I have quite a few of your designs and love them all. Hugs from a painting friend.
2. Cathy said on 3/3/19 - 07:45AM
Oh Lisbeth, so sorry. And yes I to have a that happened to me story. I've forgiven the person and hope that the painting brought joy to someone. It was treasured piece just released and I've never replaced it. Someday, someday. Love to you girl and may you find peace. God is good and Karma is real.
3. Pamm Gonce said on 3/3/19 - 08:29AM
Sorry Lizbeth that this happened to you or any other painter. Our painting community may be getting smaller but most are still a great group...too bad there seems to be a few bad apples and not respect the hard work that all the artist put into their pieces. I hope you can forgive and go on to make more of your pieces and not let this person take the joy of creating from you or any other artists. The trade floor was awesome again this and my carry on was full of wood and pattern packets...we went on Wednesday and it was packed and so good to see....we went twice that day!!! Keep smiling Lizbeth!! So good to see you and Shane!! ��
4. Pat Manwell said on 3/3/19 - 01:09PM
I’m very sorry, LisBeth, that you had to experience such a disappointing and heartbreaking incident. One person can so ruin it for the rest of us. This isn’t an easy thing to forgive but you’ll be able to do that at some point. I also am in that group who have had pieces disappear and although forgiveness was difficult, I, too, moved on. Don’t let this one discolor how you feel about designing and sharing your love of painting. We know you’re strong, and we also know you have a lot more to share with your painting community.
5. Penny Hobbs said on 3/7/19 - 04:02PM
Sorry to hear that someone actually stole your original piece! You are so right that the time it takes you to repaint it could be used for so many other things. Time is a precious commodity. Praying for conviction and that they NEVER do that to anyone else! I so loved visiting with you in Las Vegas. You took the time to walk with me over to Smooth Cut Wood to get the arched piece w/the scalloped bottom edge. I sent you an email regarding the potential to travel teach for San Diego Brush Whackers. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. ADORABLE designs...thank you for sharing your talent. Penny


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