Today I have been working on the third painting in the current “Dreamer Series”, and, as is often the case when I’m painting, the world just goes along without me until I am suddenly wrenched back to consciousness by the need for food, liquid refreshment, a ringing telephone or any of the day’s other little interferences.
During one of these “back in the world” moments my thoughts turned to something that really upset me a while back, and still upsets me every time I am reminded of it.
I was taking a breather while paint was drying and came across an article in a blog, not really the kind of blog that would interest me normally, but it highlighted an old story from the Cayman Net News regarding the Mail Mountain At Grand Cayman’s Post Office. This was the catalyst that brought back all the frustration and feelings of annoyance over the above mentioned recollections.
Since moving to England, I have been somewhat far removed from the Cayman art scene which has brought with it some problems in marketing my work. My partner has worked very hard to get me wider exposure and, I am pleased to say, has had a fair amount of success. We decided that it would be beneficial to give a gallery on Cayman the sole rights to sell my work on the islands and entered into a business arrangement with The Morgan Gallery. So far so good, both parties were pleased with the arrangement, and an initial consignment of four pieces was agreed upon.
I decided that for cost reasons I would use the Royal Mail (first mistake) to deliver the paintings to Grand Cayman. I packaged them very carefully and handed them over at my local post office, along with a rather large amount of money. (Most people in England will doubtless already be shaking their heads and making worrisome noises at this point). Being an expat I foolishly believed that the Royal Mail upheld standards by which all others should be judged (second mistake). The end of the story is already plainly obvious so I won’t drag it out…..two of the paintings failed to materialize at the framers back home, but, strangely, the two smaller (and less valuable) pieces got there just fine.
Both paintings remain missing. Is this due to the mail mountain in the Cayman Post Office? Is it due to dishonesty on someone’s part? I don’t think I will ever know but (third and biggest mistake) I didn’t purchase insurance and although the Post Office looked into the loss after much form filling on my part, the end result was that “they could do nothing” and my paintings remain lost.
It pains me to say that the only way anyone can get to see The Embrace and Black Ball is with these digital pictures. It saddens me because I personally think they were two of the best paintings I had produced since arriving in the UK.
It’s a cautionary tale and a hard lesson learned. Nowadays I will only use private courier companies with parcel tracking facilities. I have found both DHL and UPS to be very good. Online tracking keeps both myself and my customers informed, and is worth its weight in gold. If you are sending artworks anywhere, don’t be naive as I was, and don’t penny pinch – it could end up costing you a lot of money and a large slice of goodwill.
Ok, I’ve ranted, now I’m going back to my painting……
The Arteccentrix Gallery