Extraordinary People, Construction

For those of you lovely peeps following my Instagram, you know that I boldly go where I have never gone before! INTO construction offices! Actually, I’ve been to tons of construction offices, BUT not as an artist.


My current art series is about the everyday extraordinary people we have in construction. Here’s the situation:

Sometimes after watching too much TV (NEVAH!) I get the inkling that perhaps the celebs are just SO special — MORE special. Ditto politicians, etc. Not true! Every one of us has amazingness. We all need a reminder of that.

We need to remember that everyone has their story, their heartbreak, their struggles, their uniqueness, their way of blessing others. Every person has extraordinary value. We need to remember that — especially in the day to day.

SO, I’ve decided that because I and my husband have both been involved in the construction industry for years and years that I would start there – showing the amazing everyday people in construction. (I feel like Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs & Project Jump Start— without the dirty part.) In the following video (at 5:50, Mike Rowe says, ‘You’ve got to make work cool again.’ Amen!)

Plus, isn’t it fascinating?

It’s jaw-dropping — watching people weld or run a crane or make sense of the complex HVAC or electrical systems. It’s why little kids always want to sit in the backhoe. It’s why I seem to be collecting pictures of welders.



I tricked myself into doing it. I already had some great paintings planned with the help of my husband. (first one is getting ready for varnish!) AND ALSO – Eau Claire has some amazing construction projects going on right now. Confluence Project, the new tennis courts at Carson Park, the new Fleet Farm (& more).

I was thinking to myself, ‘Self, if you had NO fear, what would you do?’ Cue dreaming about waltzing right into a major project and asking them if I could take pictures.

Jiminy Crickets, Batman!

Yes, I did it. Of course, I had to trick myself. I started out thinking that, ‘Wow – the sun is out and it would make for some great shots of a construction site.’

*nail biting*

‘Hmm. Let’s just go to my dream construction site and … see what they’re doing.’

I drove to the site telling myself all the way that I would just ‘see what they’re doing’. (Can you hear my mantra?)

When I got there, they were locking up for the day. Before I knew it, I was scrambling out of my car and boldly strolling up to the gents who were locking up and ‘Hey! I’m just in time!’ boldly asking them where I go to talk to the person in charge.

*tiny fearful person has now been gagged*

Long story short, I asked a Major Guy in a Major Construction Company if I could take pics, and he said ‘yes’!

I got the tour. Took a bazillion photos.

I realized that my cell camera SUCKS!! (Bah, I need a good camera, but that is another day.)

Went back because they offered to let me look at their photos to use.

*happy dance*

The last time I stopped (pre-Thanksgiving holiday) I dropped off the Model Release forms (aaargh! WHY?!!) that would let me paint the people in the pictures and the Copyright Release form (!@*#&* legal stuff!)  that would allow me to paint and sell a painting from their photos.

Why the drama? Well, because I have NO idea how they will respond. They could be just as cool and realize that at the very least they will be getting awesome marketing and attention. OR, their little Fear Monger could get in there and say something like, ‘Hey, you don’t know this crazy person. She could be ba-a-a-a-a-a-ad.’

Either way, I will not hold it against them. Fear is a tricky thing. So are legal bits. They’ve been awesomely cool and gracious and patient. That’s why I gave them peanut butter cookies (NOT because I’m buttering up hard-working folks to get what I want). 😉 Though a little butter never hurt.

AND, I am determined to congratulate myself for ASKING. Because pushing back your own personal Fear Monger is important. It’s either that or they take over your world.

I find out this Wednesday if they will say ‘yes’ to ART and ‘No!’ to Fear.

And so I wait.


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