Why I Fired A Would-Be Collector

I don’t normally get public about this kind of thing, but a line really got crossed. If you know me, you know that takes quite a bit of effort.

For over a year I had marked this painting as sold. I’d only exhibited it once before at the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University.

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“Prada is Poetry” 14×18″, oil on canvas.

It seemed I found a perfect owner, we had a few mutual friends, and they went on a payment plan with me. I do this for just about everyone; I figured if Cleveland Clinic can do it for me why not do it for others? It has been great for all involved for several years, now. That is, until someone comes and ruins the party! How someone can bounce a check to me for a minimal amount, jerk me around, and then have the gall to keep it going for 8+ months? I don’t know. I almost sent the painting to this person when they had so little left owed on it — thankfully, the bank stopped that from happening. Try doing all of that with your plumber or mechanic. Why do people think this is okay to do with artists who run a business?

Anyway, I finally had enough since the value of all my work had gone up significantly this year, so I essentially “fired” this person since I had lost opportunities to exhibit this painting, and refunded them their money thus far. I’m glad I sent the refund certified mail, because it was forwarded on a whirlwind across the country to 3 different addresses and a P.O. Box that had been closed. Another red flag indeed. So, what kind of response do I get when the check finally made it to them and I said they don’t get the painting? Well according to this person, they are now caring for a sick aunt (which I don’t believe for 2 seconds) and then the kicker, “Having had cancer yourself I thought you would be more understanding”.

Let that sink in for a moment.

No really, let that sink in.

Yes, let’s throw cancer in my face as a final excuse for lack of responsibility and try to guilt me with it.

And this is supposed to make me WANT you to have my work?


So with that, if you or someone you know who is not a totally loathsome and questionable person would like to purchase this painting, get at me, she’s all yours for $1500.00. I’m not going to let one bad experience ruin it for everyone else. I want this painting to go to someone who deserves her.

3 thoughts on “Why I Fired A Would-Be Collector”

  1. Women are discriminated against in the art world. a couple months ago a lady from a gallery called me and said a man was there who was interested in buying a painting I did. He wanted to ask if I’d sell it for less if he bought it unframed. I said yes and gave him a generous discount. I heard the gallery lady tell him, “she said she’ll sell it to you for $500.” Then I heard the man exclaim, “It’s a SHE?!”

    I make up my labels with my name Chris because Christine is too formal for me. He only wanted to find out if I was a boy or a girl because he didn’t buy the painting. Then later I told the gallery lady the discount is off. And I raised the price on that painting. I also felt like I was jerked around.

    Some collectors think they can buy art as an investment and after the artist is dead it will go up in value. but not if the artist is a girl. Think about it, how many great female artists can you name? I can only think of a few. Why? Because the odds are against you being noticed in the art world.
    Little does that guy know, my daughter has a genius marketing plan that will drive the prices of my paintings through the roof when I die. she knows marketing and enough about the art world to do it.

    Did you know that person? If they contacted you by email it might be a scam. I get email from people who say they want to buy my paintings but the English isn’t good. They are usually moving to another country or state and want the art shipped by their courier. Don’t accept a check from someone and ship your art. If you do ship art after a check clears, use a reputable company that gets the signature because the scammers will say they didn’t get the art and demand money back. Even more money than they paid. Never give out your phone # to or address to someone who contacts you by email either.

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to complain, and good luck with future sales.

    1. This was a person I never met, but we had friends in common as well as friends in common with my in-laws. She once lived in my city but had since moved. I’m always very good about scams, and this wasn’t really a scam per se because they had put money in (always late). But, I think they were hoping to not have to pay the rest. Either way, it was an appalling response when I had been MORE than patient.

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