The payoff

I have spent many long hours in Birdsong Studio since we got home from Cambodia.  I quietly had set myself two goals before leaving.  First, that I would hit the ground running when we returned to complete as many Christmas commissions as possible.  Second, that I would take the remaining stock of original paintings and a few prints and auction them off using an online portal called 32 Auctions.

Quiet goals are important to me.  I call them quiet because they are very much internal; I don't have them written in a list somewhere.  Those two aspirations or commitments allowed me to check out completely during our time overseas.

We came back on December 11th.  It is now December 24th.  Thirteen days have passed and 16 paintings later I am ready to hang up my brushes for a day or two.  I didn't get to everybody, but I tried my best to create as many Christmas surprises as humanely possible.  At times it wasn't easy.  Clients who came by to pick up paintings will confirm that I have been battling a monster cold and an insistent fever.  When you are doing something you love, it is easy to plug on, knowing that there are so many payoffs down the road.

Bobby MacDonald got to open his Christmas gift a few days early, a special wedding portrait commissioned by his lovely wife Meghan. This photo captures so much for me: a grown man in his PJ's admiring and photographing something that I spent hours and hours creating.  While Meghan shared with me that it was a big deal for him (and her), it was an equally big deal for me.  I get asked to take own so many projects that are precious to families.  Seeing them happily received brings me great joy.

I had a number of original paintings that were supposed to land at their destination on December 20th.  I had paid the extra shipping fee to make sure it arrived in plenty of time for Christmas.  It was December 23rd and the package had still not landed.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concerned.  I was becoming increasingly worried that I would need to recreate several paintings.  The client texted me this morning (December 24th) to let me know that they had arrived and that all was well.  My Christmas came early.

By the time the dust settles on Christmas Day, original paintings and prints will be opened from coast to coast, and in one or two cases, overseas.  The ultimate payoff for me will be the pictures, notes, comments and news of happy recipients.  Owing to the nature of several of the projects, tears are pretty much guaranteed to fall as loved ones or beloved family pets are immortalized.

I would love to get a sense of how things go on Christmas morning, or whenever you open your presents.  If you feel comfortable doing so, snap a picture of the recipient and the painting or print and send it to me via my Russell Thomas Art Facebook page.  If you give me permission to share the moment, I will put your name in a draw for a $100 credit on your next purchase of an original or print.

Oh yes, for those not on Facebook, just send it over to my email:

I'd love to know where you are in the world and how they reacted.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.  May the blessings of love, peace and most importantly, joy, find their way into your home.


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