Mixed Media Artist

A Lesson Learned

Ever have your faith in humanity questioned?  A few weeks ago I had a person buy a small block print of the above painting from me. I made it up and sent it off. A little while later I received this note: (her spelling mistake not mine)

i think ill just stick to my one order.

recieved it in the mail today, and the wood part that is painted red is chipped in one corner, making it visibly crooked…a little disappointed…

I was surprised and, having never had this happen after over 600 sales, I wasn’t really sure how to proceed. I offered to send her a new one but then re-reading the message again, I felt perhaps she would just want her money back, after all, she never stated that she liked the actual print. I was kind of hurt.

She jumped at this.

So, I gave her the money back and then asked her if I could have a photo of the damage. This is what she wrote me:

Unfortunately, after I recieved your first message about you mailing out a 2nd print for me that afternoon, I tossed the one I had.

I feel dumb. I handled the whole thing poorly. I know I should have asked her to send the damaged one back before I sent her the refund.  It is just hard to believe that people can be so horrible and so dishonest.

I can’t help but think that if this was a Seinfeld episode, I would be figuring a way to get  into her place in Calgary to see if it is hanging on her wall. (Which I am sure it is!).

I have learned my lesson. Sometimes, you can be too nice. That sucks doesn’t it? That some people make that statement to be true. I work really hard and try to ensure that all of my pieces ( originals and reproductions) are made with love. It is not easy to make ends meet  with two little kids and an old house on the income of  two artists .  It just really boggles my mind that this girl would feel that because the edge of the wood surrounding the hand signed archival print on bamboo paper that I personally mounted and painted by hand was worth no more than simply ‘tossing’.  Sad.

I just have one more word to say about this whole episode:


There. I feel better. I just really needed to get that off of my chest.

21 responses

  1. Shelly

    There’s always one in every crowd….This happened ONCE in over 600 sales…pretty good odds!
    I agree…KARMA!

    August 8, 2011 at 3:41 am

    • Agreed. I just needed to vent.
      Hey, how about coffee sometime soon? We are in ballet camp this week but what about the week after next?

      August 8, 2011 at 3:50 am

    • Lynn Puckett

      I agree. Karma. However, the people who will get to read this episode will see the purity in your heart. I did. I love your work. Although I am new to the artworld; painting etc. I would love to paint like you. Maybe someday I will.

      August 8, 2011 at 11:09 am

  2. Hi Maria,
    Unfortunately you were conned by a horrible person. I do believe what goes around comes around. They would not have thrown the painting. So mean!! You work is made with such love and deserves nice people to own it and admire it. Regards Faye.

    August 8, 2011 at 6:50 am

    • Thanks for sharing. Your art and sensitivity to the world around you is an inspiration to me. Lisa T. (a fledgling artist)

      August 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm

  3. louise

    Lesson learned. I sell online as well and have had a few complaints disappear when I asked for a photo of the damage. All part of retail I am afraid! If you owned a land shop there would be shop lifters. I try to just forget about these things as quick as possible in case negativity attracts more!
    Love the work!

    August 8, 2011 at 11:00 am

  4. Jackie

    I’m sorry this happened to you ,you are an amazing artist! I had something similar happen to me on eBay once . Is there a place you can leave feedback for the buyer so this doesn’t happen to someone else?

    August 8, 2011 at 11:37 am

  5. Sarah

    Yuck! – but I am glad you blogged about it. 🙂 Sometimes that’s the only release we can find.

    August 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm

  6. Ever since I found your blog I have felt at peace when I looked at your paintings. Please know that your paintings bring joy and tranquility to so many people who are otherwise stressed by everyday events. I look forward to your new post. Your world is so beautiful. Thank you.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:06 pm

  7. Amanda Barsby

    Hi Maria

    I would never toss anything that you made. Your work is precious.


    August 8, 2011 at 4:13 pm

  8. barb daniel

    To rob an artist is comparable to killing a mockingbird.

    August 8, 2011 at 7:48 pm

  9. Hi Maria….I have two of your paintings…an am honored to have them. I’m so very sorry this happened….ahhhhh….sometimes this world of ours is not so pleasant.



    August 9, 2011 at 1:08 am

  10. I thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, you have restored my faith!

    August 9, 2011 at 3:21 am

  11. There are many areas in life where people are losing basic manners and defaulting to what I frequently call “entitlement”. So many feel entitled to do just as they please, act out in any way, ignore others’ needs … it’s sad. It’s connected with instant gratification and selfishness. I came up against a realization a while back that made me almost want to quit selling paintings altogether. I was delighted to have been introduced to a buyer who ended up buying several pieces. It was only during the final arrangements of delivery, presenting cert of authenticity, etc., that I realized this purchase for her was no different than buying pillows for the couch–and that my work might end up in the back alley trash if she woke up one day with a headache and decided she was just “tired” of it all! It became clear that my work was up for criticism (not critique) in a way that had nothing to do with artistic vision (i.e., “you know I think I would’ve liked it better if you used an “orange-ier” red” over here–oh well, I guess I just won’t look at that corner! This was said after she purchased!). There’s a similarity between your situation and mine in that too many display no “grace”, no common decency, no respect. This is an issue that not only affects our situations, but so many daily situations. We all need to be as gracious as possible.

    August 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    • Perfectly said, Marie. I can’t believe that someone would say that to you and at the same time I can completely believe it. I also believe that she is most likely someone that wishes she could do the paintings that you do. She was feeling envious and used her power (money) as ‘entitlement’ to make you feel bad. I have had some one purchase three large pieces on line and never respond to my emails, let me know when she got them, tell me she was happy with them. Nothing. I still think that they were three of my strongest paintings and it really makes me feel ill. They are not simply a product, they are part of us.
      Thanks for sharing this experience. I can’t say it made me feel better about my faith in humanity but I appreciate your insight and wise words about being more gracious.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:09 pm

  12. xoxox I framed my ATC”s I bought from you years ago (definitly know the starving artist, 2 special needs kids song) and the peice I WON from you ( you amazing kind generous girl you!!) hangs in my kitchen where I look at it daily, and am filled with joy because it’s so wonderful :o)Thank you for all the beauty you share. There are so so many of us that LOVE and respect and admire your art {{hugs}} I feel sorry for that lady…what a miserable life she must lead. Hope you have triple the collectors and don’t come accross another turkey! Haha! Joy and Peace to you this week Maria!!

    August 10, 2011 at 1:32 am

    • Thanks you , you sweet, sweetheart! Glad you are enjoying your giveaway, I am going to post a new one today! I agree, she must be a sad soul indeed.

      August 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm

  13. Jade

    Hi, Maria.I am really sorry that happened to you! I can only say that my paintings were sent all the way to Brazil and, once they were perfectly wrapped, they arrived with no damage at all. Best Wishes! Jade

    August 11, 2011 at 3:13 am

    • Thanks, Jade, I am so glad that they made it safe and sound!
      All the best to you,

      August 11, 2011 at 3:18 am

      • Jade

        By the way, they are wonderful, much prettier than they are online….now I want more!!!!

        August 12, 2011 at 1:42 am

  14. Bea

    Aw, sorry you had a hard time with this customer. As some of the other posters say, there is always one! Never mind, try to forget about it and move on. One bad experience out of all those sales is good going 🙂

    Your work is beautiful.

    Best wishes – Bea

    August 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm

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