My Blog List

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Day/Pay Job; My Art

Doesn't look like much of a drawing does it? Yet this fourteen by eleven preliminary floor plan took most of yesterday. I had to do a couple of do-overs. The clients kept calling me with "slight changes." They had gone appliance shopping over the weekend as I suggested and were obviously still shopping as they went through all the brochures and catalogues the dealer gave them. It is the third revision. Getting it as close to right as possible was a priority; I didn't care to do any more revisions. I wanted to get the project nailed down, quoted and in the works. And that prohibits doing a drawing like Mai House, Mai House (on the right) is another form of fine art I do for myself.

I love my day/pay job. I like helping people to live happily ever after in their castles. I love making the space work and flow and please. I love that the trades love me; my plans are explicit, they know what I want done and that I'm the one who will take full responsibility for the outcome. And, as I'm sure I told you. I really do love walking around the site when it's finished. I get a great sense of satisfaction standing in the middle of a space I made work and would now give pleasure to its owners.

That satisfaction is hard to achieve in fine art. When I finish a painting I always think I might have done something differently--but I've gone as far as I can go without totally screwing it up and it's time to move on. As much as I love paint and the flow of colors, my finished piece still leaves me doubting. It isn't till much later that I look back on the piece that I realize, "Hey that is okay." It's this doubt that has kept me away from the business of art. If I was to go into that business,I would definitely need an agent, a liaison between me and the public. Self doubt does not sell paintings. I'd also be inclined to work like Rubens with a group of talented people to paint what I didn't want to and assist me in producing more product. --Or go into the print market, but not as quite as ambitiously as Salvador Dali.

In both my endeavors I strive ambitiously for success. In art, I strive to do better for my own satisfaction. My ambition is personal. In design/build, I strive for fame-- fine reputation, the satisfied word-of-mouth of clients--and fortune--to get paid for my good work. My ambition is to be better than my competitors, who I know and like, but will still compete with them for the job. Ambition is a good word in my book, always has been. I really can't understand anyone thinking otherwise--unless the ambition is over the top and the ambitious guy or gal is a really a pig.

Shakespeare in Henry VIII wrote: "Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away Ambition. By that sinne fell the Angels." Joseph Epstein, (author of Ambition, the Secret Passion), then went on to say, (I paraphrase here): As drunks have done to alcohol, the single mindedly ambitious have done to ambition--given it a bad name. I'm guessing that would apply to folks we call workaholics. Which the length of this post proves I am not. So off to work I'd better go. I've got an appointment with the lady of the house Thursday to discuss the positioning of her bread drawer and other interior features she's requested. I want the new elevation drawings by then. Have a happy day and may you accomplish everything you've set out to.


  1. "doesn't look much"? lol, lady, my husband did drawings similar to those but for a commercial plumbing contractor, so u know what his looked like. He would pour over blue prints at night and weekends... I love your design of 'your' kitchen.. especially the island and the fact your laundry is right off the kitchen!. When will male architects/designers design practically???Of all the homes I have been in u can tell a male did not know how to utilize space.

  2. Thanks Chris. Your comment means a lot. Most of the architectural firms use guys who have just come out of school to design residential home developments; they're young, haven't lived around,haven't made any money to go to the places where good design can be seen, and can be paid less. Me, a space planner, who does cook, has worked in a kitchen, has credentials in kitchen and bath design and whose has been around out in the world, is a better deal for the remodeling client. I charge a fee--but no where what the architectural firms charge. I'm also very intent upon working with the person who is going to use that space. I want the project to go smoothly and them to be happy and without stress throughout the construction phase. Sounds like a commercial, but that's my objective. Noticing how that was missing was how I got into the business.