Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Purple Pool

Two weeks ago while I was attending an art workshop, my husband, affectionately known to our youngest granddaughter as Papa, bought her a wading pool.   We have her over on Tuesdays and are always looking for something to entertain her boundless 3 year-old energy.

Emma arrived the next Tuesday and while out on the patio, we thought it would be a good time to bring out the “surprise.”  She yelped “I hope it’s a pool!”  Well, it was and even though to us it was a hunk of hard purple plastic which cost all of $12.99 she thought it was beautiful.  She kept telling us, over and over and over.  And yes, Papa couldn’t resist when she asked him to get in the pool, too.  That Tuesday will be a memory I won’t forget – it’s treasured.  Who wouldn’t buy a precious memory at any price.

The Barbara Newton Painting
Earlier this year I discovered Barbara Benedetti Newton had a small 5 x 7 pastel painting up for sale. She was experimenting with the Daily Paintworks website.  As a sometimes colored pencil artist, and president of the Colored Pencil Society of America, I’ve been familiar with Barbara’s work since her colored pencil days.  She now specializes in gorgeous pastel and oil landscapes. 

I snatched that baby up.  When I received it carefully packaged with a nice note from Barbara I popped it into a gold frame that same day.  I wrote her and told her I feel “elegant” every time I look at the painting.  She said she would remember elegance the next time she was walking her dog with the plastic pooper-bag at the ready.  I just had to laugh.  So now I have several feelings wrapped up in that painting – elegance and lightheartedness.  These feelings are so much more valued than the $35, plus shipping, I paid for the painting. 

My newest book on Kindle is The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way you Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau. He writes about comparing product features (descriptive) to product benefits (emotional).  “Overall, the more a business can focus on core benefits instead of boring features, the more customers will connect….and purchase.”

Today’s Nitty Gritty Nugget:
     Focus more on the benefits of your art than the features. (Thanks Chris!)!

Whats Next?

1.      Make a list of the features of your art.  You know….oil, Masonite board, still life, fruit.  The features of the pool are: plastic, round, purple, small, shallow.  The features of the painting are: pastel, landscape, Pastelbord, 5 x 7.
2.      Make a list of the benefits of your art.  Harder, I know.  Try feelings like dramatic, elegant, restful, angst-ridden (not something I would buy, but someone probably will.)  The benefits of the pool: treasured memories and one happy little 3-year old and proud Papa.  The benefits of the painting: lighthearted story, feeling of elegance.

3.      Experiment with the descriptions you write for your art work.  Sell the benefits rather than describing your art.  Could be as simple as “After a hard day at the office, come home to gaze upon one of my abstracts and wash away the cares of the day.”  That’s a bit corny but you get the picture….pun intended.


  1. Great advice, Cindy! I so enjoy this blog; it uplifts my day to read it. Thanks!

  2. Hi Cindy, Kay Dewar just let me know about your post so I came to look. Wow! your framing makes my little painting look great. Thanks for your nice words. I'm a fan of yours and I'm going to subscribe now.

  3. Hi Barbara! I meant to put a link to your website and just haven't corrected that yet. I'm glad you like how the painting is framed, it's really so much more beautiful than this picture.

  4. Thank you BarbB! I'm glad my articles life your spirits. You lift mine!