I have just released a new DVD workshop on this cat; it was painted with my new and improved Shining Feather Soft Stroke Brush.
I thought this was a perfect time to tell the story of my brush I invented. I have been a fine artist for over 30 years, I taught in my Shining Feather Art Academy from 1978 until 2003. During that time I was accepted in many galleries in the southwest states. My favorite subject at the time was southwestern still-life, with American Indian blankets, pottery fur and baskets.
When you are in galleries you are required to keep the galleries supplied with art. The baskets and the fur I painted was then painted with a Script liner, it was very time consuming. I thought that I needed to find another brush that would work faster and easier…. I had to be able to meet the demands in a timely manner.
Needless to say there was no such brush, so the motto: “necessity is the mother of invention” became a reality for me!
I started experimenting with cutting brushes, being a hair stylist years ago I have the knowledge to cut hair so this gave me the courage to cut into an expensive brush, however I did end up throwing quite a few of them in the trash before I got it right!
Once I got the brush cut so it worked for me, my students immediately wanted one! So I cut many brushes over the years!
When I retired from teaching in my studio, I wanted to have a way to still teach and share what I had learned. I got into the decorative area of painting, and found that painting, making patterns and writing instructions for my art was a way to continue with that endeavor. My dear friend and artist Kay Quist encouraged me to attend the Las Vegas Creative Convention, this sounded fun so I worked for several months on patterns to sell in my booth.
I had the chance to introduce my brush to lots of artists at the convention and they sold out the first day!
While I was at the convention I had all the brush companies coming to my booth to see this new brush.
One man in particular was very interested…..
He took my brush and told me that he would mass produce it and put my name on it, he would buy it from me! Being a trusting person I took his word for this and we shook hands, we had a deal and I was excited to think that I would have a brush I invented with my name on it…finally!
The owner of Scharff brushes told me that there was no way that anyone could cut my brush with a machine. He was right but I trusted the man I shook hands with!
When I got back home I was supposed to call the brush company that was going to make my brush, when I tried to reach them I was always put on hold, the man was never in. I left many messages only to be ignored! As it ended up I could never get them to answer me. Things just sort of started tumbling down as I realized I had been mistaken, I had been too trusting! I had been cheated out of something I had invented.
A few months went by and I got a phone call from the company’s Director of Education she told me that they had already made my brush and it had their own name on it. She was doing this as a favor to me and I appreciated it greatly. I finally knew for sure that I had been deceived by a man who shook my hand on our deal!
Within a few weeks the brush was being advertised in all of the decorative painting magazines, it was being used for teddy bears. It was all over the pages…right there in my face! I was devastated but I got my bearings back and not being afraid of confrontation, I walked up to this man at the next convention with his brush in my hand; I told him that he owed me some money for my invention he brazenly took from me. Of course he tried to side step it and get away from me but not before a lot of people heard me tell him what I thought of him and his ethics!
In the end I found a company that would send me the brushes uncut with my name on them and I am still hand-cutting each and every brush!
As it turned out the brush that this man had made did not work at all, in order to cut it with a machine they had to use a bristle filament instead of a synthetic which is much softer and as a result the strokes looked think and ugly not at all like my brush!
I have since learned to not be so trusting when it comes to money and business…some people have no sense of right and wrong, no ethical practices, they are only out to make money…they put money before everything else in their lives. They care noting for others feelings. Money is their God. How very, very sad for them!
On a good note: I have been selling my brushes all over the world, thousands are now in the hands of artists who are using them to paint beautiful animals!
If you would like to learn how to paint this cat please go to my website and check out the new Cat workshop DVD.