A little while ago I received an inquiry from a potential customer, with a “regular name” not under a pseudonym, asking me whether painting x and painting y were still available and if I could tell “her” more details. “She” was expecting an urgent reply. So far everything seemed to be okay although I found the “urgent reply” a little bit pushy.

I wrote back that painting x was still available, painting y not. I also asked what details “she” wanted to know as I did not want to overwhelm  “her” with all kinds of stuff  “she” did not want to know. I don’t mind to deliver exactly what people want to know even if it takes several mails. “Her” email address was this time a different one but I did not get suspicious yet as most peole have several email accounts.

In the next email this person asked for confirmation of the price and size, expressed” her” intention to buy the painting and additionally “she” wanted to know what motivated me to create the painting. I wrote “her” the appropriate answer, asked “her” where “she” was located and offered “her” to waive the shipping costs in case “she” should be located in Europe. I also asked “her” to use my Etsy shop in case “she” wanted to purchase my painting.

The next email I received was telling me that “she” apparently did not receive my answer because of  “her”  having problems with “her” email account so I re-sent what I had answered before. In the meanwhile I became a little bit suspicious about all this being okay although I had no reason at all to doubt it yet but there was that little feeling in my gut…

The following email though fully arose my suspicions. With no word did “she” mention anything about what I had told  “her” about the painting. “She” did neither inquire about shipping costs and all that stuff you would like to know as a future customer. Instead  “she” told me a story about not being at home herself but visiting family in the UK, being in the middle of a big move and expecting a baby. “She” was supposed to be back in a few days.  “She” wanted me to send “her” my mailing address and telephone number so that “she” could inform “her” husband who was shutling between “her” home and South Africa and who apparently was organizing the move from the IT head office in Johannisburg in SA to New Jersey. “She” wanted then to forward my contact info to the shipping company who was supposed to move their belongings. The shipping company would send FedEx to my studio to pick up the painting and consolidate the whole move then.

Now I WAS sure that this all was false – a scam. I wrote back to “her” that if  “she” wanted to purchase my painting  “she” or “her” husband would have to do this via my Etsyshop only and that “she” would receive my address and phone number then and only then. I also told “her” that this was for “her” and my own safety because of all the scams out there. I would not let go of my work before the money was in my account.

I never received an answer back.

So what I am telling you here is that these scams are getting more and more perfidious. Using names and phrases like “FedEx” or “head office IT”   should make you feel safe. Telling you “personal things” like visiting family, husband and sister, expecting child etc. is appealing to your emotions and the personal tone should erase your doubts.

But YOUR COMMON SENSE SHOULD NEVER SLEEP!

Who on earth would buy art being in the middle of a move and short before giving birth? What sense does it make to add something to a shipment from one part of the world when stuff is shipped from a total different region of this planet to another? She did not react on my request to purchase through an official shop. Why? This should be much safer for the customer also. She did not mention how she was going to pay – or rather she did not even ask me about it. Apparently it adds to the trick to use a female name because somehow these people think that women are less supposed to be internet scammers. Well – we live in a male world – don’t we? But behind an email address anything could stand…

I am really sorry that I have not posted lately but I am very busy with marketing my work. My attitude is that I cannot go on and create one after another if I don’t sell anything. I have heard/read from other painters who rather burn their paintings that do not sell for whatever reason than stocking them in the basement. What’s your point of view about this?

For me it’s simply a practical point of view: I just don’t have the space to stock all these works especially not the biggies and I hate producing waste and this would be exactly it if I would burn my works. I am still standing behind every single piece. Works which do not come up how I want them to be are being re-used if possible.

Now I have a little wish for you. You know I love pigeons and care very much for them. I have often talked about my pigeon diary the Pigeon Tales, documenting everything I learn about pigeons, their behaviour and during the past years I have deeply fallen in love with these amazing birds which are completely different from those awful prejudices they are beaten with.

I have also started a painting series about them, using members of our pigeon family as models. One of those paintings I have now submitted to the Saatchi online competition. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful hommage to these wonderful birds if a painting would make it into the first places?

So I am asking for your help. If you like this painting (see below) would you vote for it on the Saatchi website? Here is the link. If you don’t want to register with Saatchi you can use your facebook account instead. The voting is going til Feb 07 for the first round.

Thank you so much!

Voting Link

Dear Readers,

I bring this up again although you might be bored about it already but this is an issue of my heart and I cannot stop to urge you all to do what you can to support Greenpeace in their fight against the threat of whaling becoming a commercial abomination again.

I am tired and desperate about this whole issue and I do not understand why man must do this. What kind of human being is able to slaughter these wonderful intelligent creatures, torture them for profit, merciless and senseless?

Please – we all need to do something about it!!! Thank you!

Save the whales!

.

Dear Petra,

In 10 days whales could face their biggest threat in over two decades: the return of their slaughter by commercial whaling.

On June 21 the International Whaling Commission (IWC) will meet in Morocco where they could decide on a proposal that would resume commercial whaling, once again opening the door to the destruction of these amazing creatures.

Greenpeace is gearing up for one of the biggest battles the war against whaling has ever seen. Please make your most generous donation today to help Greenpeace in our fight for the whales. This is an “all hands on deck” moment!

Picture a Japanese harpoon ship cutting through the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Suddenly, the harpooner spots a mother whale and her calf. The ocean quiet is shattered by the blasts of exploding-tip harpoons hitting the whales.

The whale pair struggles to free themselves from the harpoon lines, but a gunman fires down from the deck, finally ending their suffering. It can take as “little” as 20 minutes to a couple of hours of agony for these magnificent creatures to die.

If countries like Japan, Norway and Iceland — now supported by the USA — get their way at the next IWC meeting, this horrific scene will see itself played out over and over again.

For 35 years, Greenpeace has been the whales’ greatest defender. We will not allow this newest threat to their existence to come to pass. The international ban on commercial whaling must not be overturned but we cannot ensure this without your support. Thank you in advance for your generosity in this, the whales’ most desperate hour.

For the whales,
John Hocevar
Oceans Campaign Director


P.S. In 5 days our top activists and campaigners from around the world will be on their way to Morocco to defend the whales – we need your support TODAY to save the whales, end the slaughter and defend our oceans.

Click here to forward this message.

Greenpeace
702 H Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20001 | 1-800-326-0959

Greenpeace Inc. is a non-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(4) organization. As a result of our effective work for new environmental policies, contributions are not tax-deductible.

Today this email from Greenpeace was in my inbox:

Dear Petra,

White House Whale Delivery

Activists deliver over a million messages to the White House on Thursday, June 3rd.

Whales needed help and you jumped into action to save them. While the Obama Administration supports a deal that would re-open commercial whaling for the first time in over two decades, activists, like you, spoke up for the whales by saying, “enough is enough!”

And, our collective voices are being heard! On Thursday, I had the pleasure of delivering your messages to the White House. Your voice joined over a million others in speaking on behalf of whales all around the world. Thank you.

Activists and supporters showed their love for whales by creating origami whales, participating in our photo contest, taking action online, tweeting and spreading the word on Facebook.

Commercial whaling is cruel and unacceptable. That’s why this proposed deal to re-open commercial whaling is so outrageous. In just a few weeks, the International Whaling Commission will gather in Morocco to vote on changes to the international ban on commercial whaling.

The Obama Administration will be at these negotiations knowing that millions of Americans back home are rooting for the whales and not the whalers! Keep your fingers (and fins) crossed that whales will be spared from the path of deadly harpoons.

For the whales,
Phil Kline
Phil Kline
Oceans Campaigner

P.S. I’ll be in Morocco at the IWC meeting and will keep you up to date on what’s going on…so stay tuned. And there’s still time to get messages to the President before the IWC. If you haven’t already, please take a minute to ask your friends and family to take action by copying the following message into an email:

Dear Friend,

In an altogether shocking move, President Obama’s delegation to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has decided to back a plan that would legalize commercial whaling — including in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary — for the first time since the international ban was passed over 20 years ago.

We only have until the start of the IWC meetings in a few weeks to convince the President that this plan is a horrible idea. Join me and tell Obama to keep his promise, save the whales.

http://us.greenpeace.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=624&s_src=taf&s_subsrc=wave2

Sincerely,

facebook myspace twitter youtube

Greenpeace
702 H Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20001
(800) 326-0959

I really hope that at the next IWC meeting a complete ban for any commercial whaling will be pronounced. We all have to make a point. President Obama simply cannot ignore the voice of the people – and the people has spoken out loud!

~

This morning I received following email from Greenpeace:

“The headline reads like a bad joke: “U.S. plans to save whales by killing whales.” But it’s no joke.

In an altogether shocking move, President Obama’s delegation to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has decided to back a plan that would legalize commercial whaling — including in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary — for the first time since the international ban was passed over 20 years ago.

We only have until the start of the IWC meetings in June to show the President that this plan is a horrible idea. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

Take Action NOW: Tell Obama to keep his promise, save the whales.

We’ll be delivering all the names and messages we collect to high-ranking officials in the White House on June 3rd.

Back in 1975, Greenpeace launched the world’s first-ever Save the Whales campaign. The images we brought back from our first voyage sparked an international outcry and moved a generation of environmentalists into action. Eventually, after a decade of intense activism, the IWC agreed to ban commercial whaling. That was 1986 and it was one of our greatest moments as an organization — it was also one of the greatest moments for activists like you.

We could lose it all this June unless we’re able to change the President’s mind. We’ve done it before. Now we need to do it again.”

Sincerely,

Phil Kline
Oceans & Whales Campaigner

And this was president Obama’s promise:

Please sign the petition!

~

Seems as if I am currently apologizing all the time to YOU, my dear readers. I know this is a lame excuse in the meanwhile and I feel truly sorry in case you visited my blog only to find still old posts. I promise this will get better again.

I still have 2 pigeons to care for quite intensely, have released Willy in the meanwhile, had another rescue but this was an easy case – just took days to catch the pij in order to free her from a stupid washing peg that was sticking to her toe. Can you imagine? A poor pijjie walking with those click-clack noises because of a washing peg on her foot? But this could have ended fatally in case she got stuck in some netting or any other filaments. Oh my – this never ends.

I was also busy with opening up an Etsy online store for my artwork to make it easier for you to purchase my work. As this is a trustworthy organization and selling platform I thought that this might be the best way to increase shopping safety especially for those customers who don’t know me yet. What is your opinion about this? Would be interesting for me to know.

My new little blog Art for Sophisticated Interior still serves as a gallery with many detail photos and a short story that goes with the work but I think many people still are reluctant to buy directly from a blog – applicable at least for those who come first time. It is always a good thing to have an independant organisation to watch over business issues in case you would have any complaints (what heaven may foreclose!).
This means that those works which are presented on this blog and which are labeled with the Etsy button can be purchased via Etsy. Of course you can purchase my work still also directly from me!

Click on the button and you will be led directly to my shop. Very easy.

I really hope you will love it and visit often. Unfortunately there are not many artworks in my shop yet – it will take time to fill it up. But I will do my best.

It is quite time-consuming to set up such a shop when you want to do it right and nice looking which is very important for me because it functions like a business card. Ha! They always say it is easy – and that is right – but they never tell you that it really takes time.

And on a last note: today is Mother’s Day.

For all of you out there who still have a mother – I lost mine last year and it is the second Mother’s Day now that I can do nothing else but lighting a candle, memorizing many little stories, her love, her care, her humour and laughter and the fun we had together. It is a sad day for me but I am also glad at the same time that there was nothing left to say.

How often does it happen that in times of a crisis where you leave bad words to someone you love you will not have enough time any more to get things right again. So all of you out there – if you still have a mother you love but could not be able to tell her so – just do it before it might be too late. It can happen any minute and you will regret it.

This is for you Mom – I love you so much!

~

Finally I have good news from my pigeon hospital: Jimi and Alice have been released 2 days ago and they are doing very well. Jimi had a PMV infection, was hospitalized for 4 months, he could neither eat by himself, nor fly and now fully recovered through our intensive care.

Alice came to us beginning of Feb with a very bad bacterial infection and nearly died. She was unable to eat, unable to fly. Also she fully recovered and fell in love with Jimi. So Jimi and Alice are now a couple. How cute is this?

I hardly had time on Monday to do anything else but watching both. You really could see how happy they were and how they loved to fly free again. They stopped many times on the balcony which made me very happy as I had feared that they would be off and gone. But the contrary happened – they took a snack here from time to time and they slept during the night on the balcony!

Yesterday it was even better: both came into my studio as if this were the most natural thing to do and really had their meal here. When I was feeding Angelo in the late morning – he always jumps on my arm while I am holding the food bowl and cannot stand when another pijjie wants to eat there too – his Mama is all his!!! That's too funny That's too funny That's too funny – Jimi jumped on my other arm and both pijjies ate from the food bowl.

I watched Alice eating from the ground together with the others – so I was so relieved that they picked up their normal life. I wonder what will happen tonight and during the next days. The weather forecast is not so good for the next days but I am sure now that Jimi and Alice will manage it.

Here is the little video from the release:

And a couple of photos from the balcony:

And here is a photo with their friend Blacky – who often visited them looking into the window from outside!!! Isn’t this cute?

Now we have 3 sick pigeons left to care for which means that I have more time for myself again and I can go back to regular work again. What a relief! I am so happy that these 2 birds hare happy and healthy again.

~