How Do I Stop Being David Cassidy?

Can we talk?  Pull over a chair and let’s have a chat.  Glass of wine?  Don’t be shy, I’ll have one too.

You know, I’ve never really thought of this ‘thing’ I do as a real blog.  Not in the true sense of what a blog entails.  This ‘thingy’ is just an extension of me.  It’s my way of trying to establish a personal bond.  With you.  Someone  like-minded.  Someone who has highs and lows, and lots of inbetweens.   I think if we’re honest, most of us crave such a bond.  A personal connection, if you will.

So.  I’d love to chat with you.  Let you know what’s going on in my head.  Maybe you’ve felt the same way (maybe not).

I went to Italy.

I’ve never been before.  Even though I’m English, my past ventures to Europe involved pseudo-scientific experiences on how long a Factor 2 suntan oil would protect your skin on the beaches of the Mediterranean or one or two seldom-mentioned Greek islands.  (it turns out – not very long. Ouch).  In my youth, I went in search of sun, sand, and English bars selling cheap booze.  It was mildly comforting to hang out with other ‘severely-burned English people’ in  dimly lit hole-in-the-walls.

Such was my quest for culture and enlightenment.

Then I got old (er).

And I discovered not only a love for art, but a deep deep appreciation for it.  No particular style, or finish.  Just art.

And then I went to Italy.  I went for a family wedding (and I’ll tell you more about the actual trip itself over the next few weeks), but I wanted to take a step back and tell you how it ‘affected’ me.

Have you ever been to Italy?  It’s strikingly beautiful.  I was excited about looking at authentic patinas.  And I was blessed in being surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of years of naturally aged patinas.  It was both inspiring and intimidating.  Because the more I looked at the patinas, the more I realized that it would be so difficult (at my skill level) to try and replicate them, without  looking contrived.  You could get lost in patinas.  Seriously. They have a mesmerizing power to pull you in; they almost beg you (challenge you) to try and dissect them.

I came back with sensory overload.  I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with it all.   How could I apply what I’d seen?  Could I even begin to come close?   Being unplugged for two weeks, I was eager to touch base  on social media and see what I’d been missing.   And then it hit me.

I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but I felt completely and utter underwhelmed.  It was a really strange feeling.  I think within a few days I had jumped the bridge from ‘complete and utter’ inspiration – to nothing.  Same old, same old.  Such a strange, unexpected feeling.  Have you ever gone through that sort of thing?

It’s a weird time in the painting world, at least it seems it to me.  Maybe you feel it too?  I’ve been introduced to another paint line which is exciting, but I’m becoming more aware of the pains that small stores go through,  and it seems that I’m hearing about paint stores closing on a too-frequent basis.    And for me, I’m feeling like….I don’t know, like the market is just ‘over-saturated’ with painted pieces.  They are everywhere.  There is no reprieve.  It’s almost stifling.  If I had to use an analogy to explain how it makes me feel, it would be like looking at posters of David Cassidy on your bedroom walls when you were 13 .  And you loved him – like really loved him.   And he was beautiful in every possible way.  And you saw him every day.  First thing in the morning.  Last thing at night.   EVERY SINGLE WAKING MOMENT  and there was no escape from his white shiny teeth and flicked out hair, and that shell necklace…what was with the shell necklace? Didn’t he know it actually looked pretty girly?  And then, you just wished to hell he’d give you space and stop staring at you, because it was getting creepy now.  And then you just one day, woke up and just ripped his stupid grinning face off your walls.  And it felt good because you knew that, at some point, you’d probably like to look at him again.  But just not now.

That’s a little of how I feel about painted furniture today.  This isn’t arrogance on my part, truly it isn’t.  If painting makes you happy.  JUST DO IT. I stand by that, this is just me being open with you about how I feel.  And it’s not about a certain painter, or a given style, or a certain line of paint.  I’m tired of seeing the same application.  And trust me, I realize that I’m part of the problem.  And I think that’s the major sticking point for me:  How do I stop being part of the problem?  How do I really strive to be different?  How do any of us?

How do I stop being David Cassidy?

I’m sure that the non-painters would say it’s simple: Put the paintbrush away.  And that is always an option, for all of us.  Isn’t life full of options?  For me, I think I am putting the paintbrush down until mid-September.   That feels like the right thing to do.  Wait until school starts again.  Take time to take a few steps away from the ‘Overload of Underwhelmment’ (I think I just made a new word).  And start to try and see things in a different light.  A more authentic light.  A different application, if my skill level will allow me.

How will that manifest itself.  I honestly don’t know.  It is both scary and exciting at the same time.  Even David Cassidy made a few comebacks (OK, admittedly some were in the form of mugshots).  But, you get the drift.

So, yes, I went to Italy.  And I’ve so enjoyed our chat.   Can I refill your glass?  Mine’s a little dry.

david cassidy

{insert catchy ending phrase here}


Diane aka The Paint Factory





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11 thoughts on “How Do I Stop Being David Cassidy?

  • August 10, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    Well this was an unexpected post! I rarely comment but here is my take: there are so many people who have become convinced that everyone can make a great living doing this it is hard for most to not try on this dream for a time. Many come & go. I find dead blogs on Pinterest fairly often. I actually paint only a little and not at this point as a significant means of making money but I enjoy finding artists like you where I can learn something unusual or just to simply admire. Your style is very unique and would be difficult for most to copy much less master. You were selected as the GF winner for a good reason – you are super talented. And I see this complaint in retailer and furniture painting forums from time to time. The market is over saturated with furniture flippers. Almost to the point as you talked about in this post: it is all starting to look the same. The one thing I wish many furniture painters would do is raise the price. We have created a market that is unsustainable. All the effort and materials that go into a quality piece are worth more than most people are charging. I hope this changes. We can’t keep selling work at Walmart prices and expect the public to suddenly start paying higher prices. Take your break as you deserve it but PLEASE be sure to come back!

  • August 11, 2015 at 12:50 am

    Firstly, let me just say that I was lucky(?) enough to have a sister who loved David Cassidy to the same extent as you. That meant that her posters balanced out my Donny Osmond and Kevin Keegan posters. Secondly, variety is the spice of life as they say.
    I understand your underwhelmence (great word by the way) and the point about saturation but I guess that what is really happening here is your evolution towards accepting that you are an artist. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love painted furniture, I love to paint furniture albeit not very well but I do think that there is a difference between a furniture painter and an artist. You are an artist. Yes you paint furniture but you add your own kind of artistic flair to it which is very different from anything I have seen before. My guess is that your visit to Italy has fully awoken that slumbering artist who (before) was whispering in your ear but is now shaking you from the inside out. Listen to your heart, work out the next steps, there are so many paths you can take as an artist that you can skip between them. Take a course, find a mentor, travel for inspiration. Paint furniture, paint on canvas, paint murals but you must paint! You know this don’t you?

    • August 11, 2015 at 6:48 am

      My older sister loved Donny Osmond, so I wasn’t allowed to like him!

  • August 11, 2015 at 2:20 am

    When I leave a place where I’ve been immersed and vibrating at high levels with artistic energy, it’s hard to go back to the real world where there is barely a slight buzz.
    Your muse is calling for something that will bring that luscious feeling back. Else you’ve fallen out of love. I’ve heard that one goes quite mad in Italy because the light there is so different and the madness comes from trying to replicate that ethereal splendor
    ( putting down cell phone and walking away singing Good Vibrations, the Beach Boys ).

  • August 11, 2015 at 3:43 am

    Here .. try some of my Pino… so it seems the same on the west coast as the east coast? Over load. That would be a good way to describe it. Everyone is painting these days. With the explosion of various boutique paints finishes powders ect.. an artist colony could be formed and fill Texas! And that’s a good thing. It will give inspiration, challenge the artist in us , I see your point . Same old same old.. But just so you understand. .. your work was and is never same old same old to me. Take your break .. regroup.. and when you find that certain piece that makes your heart skip a beat.. you will know it time to pick up a brush ..

  • August 11, 2015 at 4:46 am

    I personally love our chats! Italy sounds remarkable. I will have to put it on my bucket list.

  • August 11, 2015 at 6:11 am

    I could not agree more….I LOVE to paint…each piece that I complete has spent a VERY long time with me..from the drop off moment if it is custom or the “find” if it is one I am going to paint and sell…I have had my small business for about 8 years now…and in the past year some of the painted pieces I have seen for sale have really somehow taken the wind out of my sails…..and some of the drama in the paint world this past year…OOOHHH MYYY…..can we act like adults please? Instead of being this little special thing I do –I have become the competition to beat…I don’t want to be beat…I don’t even want to compete…… I just want to paint and be pleased with my work……I have a few painters that I look to for inspiration and when I get down I look at their pieces..that helps me re-charge…but I would NEVER think now I have to “beat” them…My hope is that the newcomers with the “gotta beat the world and be on top” attitude will burn out and move on to their next competition…..and a year from now painting will no longer be a competitive sport…

  • August 12, 2015 at 2:22 am

    First I thought how the hell does she know about me 🙂 You described my personal experience so well. I went back to Europe in 2013, spent 2 weeks in Florence where I did a course in decorative painting, gilding, fresco painting, Venetian plaster…No no no I am not a MASTER….. then I came back to Australia. And they are just not so into all of this, and my view on painting furniture is somehow different from what the market wants to buy. I want Patina, “they” want it heavily distressed (and that is a topic on its own!) , wildly colored, or boring greige with no depth to it. It hurts my eye – but it seems to sell. I just paint my own furniture now; I can experiment to my heart’s desire because I no longer have to think if the ‘market’ will buy it. There are only a few painters I follow, and they are always an inspiration. I personally love your work, technique/s… such a CREATIVE process. Lets go back to Italy!!

  • August 25, 2015 at 6:56 am

    I just came across your blog through one of those “click here leads to something which leads to something else” events and I’m thrilled! First let me say your work is breathtaking.

    I work in mixed media, so while kindred spirits, our work is far afield from one another. However, I think anyone who “dabbles” knows that sometimes the well just goes dry. That’s generally when I pull out my sewing machine. The resulting bags and totes still allow me to work with color and pattern, but there’s something about the limitation of the structure itself that helps me recharge. Make sense? Pretty soon I’m painting on the bags and before I know it the sewing machine goes back in the case and I’m off and running again.

    I look forward to our continued conversations. Since I live just down the road from a world prize winning cheese factory in Wisconsin, I’ll bring a nice brie.

    • August 25, 2015 at 7:05 am

      Then I shall provide the cheap booze and an endless amount of drivel!!

      (thank you for daring to click on the lead, that lead to the lead, that lead here!).


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