Monday, April 6, 2009

A cup of coffee, some easy money. and Binders

I had the opportunity to be in the audience while Jim Schell was interviewed at last month’s meeting of the Portrait Society of Atlanta (PSA). Jim Schell is surely one of Atlanta’s old masters -- a highly accomplished portrait artist, as well as a respected teacher. We have had the good fortune to know Jim over the years as he has also been a long-standing customer of Binders.

During Jim’s PSA interview he was answered questions about his career
accomplishments. He regaled is eager audience with many insights and anecdotes about being a successful artist. “Was there any time in your career that you thought that you might pursue something other than painting?” Jim didn’t take one second to think before relating the following tale that happened to him many years ago.

Jim said he came to Binders early one morning about 15 minutes before the doors
opened. So, to kill a little time until the store opened he decided to walk across the street to get a cup of coffee. On his way back to the store he had to pause for the traffic to clear before recrossing busy Piedmont Road again. As he waited at the curb, coffee cup in hand, a car pulled up, a window rolled down, an outstretched arm appeared and a dollar bill was quickly thrust into Jim’s coffee cup.

Jim said, as he stood there whimsically staring into his cup, this was the only
moment that he might have consider doing something else other than painting, because, as he put it, “this was easy money!”

Much to our amusement, Jim went on to say that when he got home that evening
he told his family what had happened to him in front of Binders. His kids asked, “Dad, what on earth were you wearing?” Jim replied, “What I wear every day.” “That explains it,” his family responded, “no wonder you got a hand out!”

And so, he said, his momentary thought of becoming a professional panhandler
quickly faded. Besides, he said, that cup of Joe was $1.25 and since he only collected a dollar on the street that day, this might not be such a good business venture after all.

The epilogue to the story is that if Binders had opened a few minutes early that
morning, the events that transpired might not have ever happened. Thus, Jim might not have ever considered another lifetime career for himself. And from that moment in time, Jim knew there was only one thing that he absolutely should be doing – painting!


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1 comment:

  1. Lovely story. I can certainly understand where he was coming from. I often head out with paint on my clothing and on occasion my face.