Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why I'll always go back to Starbucks

I painted this small still life in my kitchen one halloween years ago while waiting for little trick-or-treaters. It makes me think of the things I like about this time of year. The plastic pumpkin represents candy (which is the only reason for this season in my book, and always has been!), and of course my favorite "adult treat" brought to me by Starbucks, in my beautiful shiny Starbucks cup! I bring it out to decorate my home every halloween.
Now, for the endorsement: I recently laid to rest my former Starbucks "Barista" latte machine. During the YEARS that I enjoyed that machine, there were a number of times that I was "sure I'd got my money's worth", and had almost resigned to replacing it. Every time I had a problem with it, and I will say usually it turned out to be "user error", I would as a last resort, call Starbucks customer service. Each time, I would be in contact with a friendly and knowledgeable associate. Each time, the people at Starbucks patiently walked me through "trouble shooting", to solve my problem and therefore it was not necessary to spend any extra money on my part. Now, my machine was nearly 10 years old, and because I had allowed moisture to accumulate inside the walls, it was beginning to corrode. I recently decided to buy another (Starbucks) machine. My husband and I walked into our local store, where the store manager offered us a shiny new "Vanezia", the "floor model" for a discounted price. He also threw in a pound of espresso beans! When we unpacked the box at home, we discovered that a small piece was missing from the "parts list". Before we packed it back up and drove the whole machine back to our local Starbucks store, I thought I'd just see what would happen if I called customer service and asked them what my options were. After hearing my story, the gentleman I spoke with just very simply said, "Well, we'll just ship you out that part." Imagine that! (no hassles with, "We're sorry ma'am but you're going to have to show us a receipt for that purchase"...) In this world, where businesses have gotten so big that "customer service" is a thing of the past, it's refreshing to be treated like a valued "client" instead of a "faceless number"! Thank you Starbucks! p.s. the coffee cup pictured in this painting is also still with me, and I have dropped it in the sink many times in the past years. The quality of a Starbucks coffee mug always amazes me!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Two Little Friends

I was meeting my painting group at the north end of Solana beach for a plein air painting excursion, when I noticed these two very busy little boys exploring the tide pools. I did feel a little weird taking their photo for reference, especially since there was not a parent to be seen! (but I just had to, since I found the scene so beautiful!) I shot a few photos, (before I notified the nearest life guard, who said that he had been keeping his eye on them) and developed them at home. From the series, I modified the placement of some of the waves and rocks for a more interesting composition, and here we have "Two Little Friends", 11"h by 14" w

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Afternoon at Torrey Pines State Reserve

Yesterday I met some good friends and fellow artists from Redlands for an afternoon of painting in beautiful LaJolla, California. We had a super time catching up and sharing the day! This 8"h by 10"w plein air in oil is on canvas board, and it's title: "Afternoon at Torrey Pines State Reserve"