"Oil Slick" 2011; Acrylic on canvas, for sale here.

Thanks to my friend Seth for mentioning me in the latest "Style File" during the 4th of July "The Pulse" extravaganza. Every time I hear the word "style"..I am reminded of a funny story that I will attempt to relay here in writing:

Once upon a time, while working in said very fancy luxury goods store, I met a very uptight..sometimes shouting..demanding client we will call "Mr. Gruff." Mr. Gruff yelled and cussed out every sales professional that could not meet his high demands, which was why I inherited him. I could take him....but, I confess, I was a little nervous that I too may one day meet his wrath.

My relationship with Mr. Gruff was great. We met annually for large orders for his bunsiness associates. I kept his clients on file, knew their addresses, knew their past gifts, etc. Mr. Gruff had earned himself a large file in my office. When the employees would tell me that Mr. Gruff was here....I would happily say, "bring him on". They all thought I was crazy.

One year Mr. Gruff needed a fancy gift for his wife. He complained about the fancy gifts I presented to him and mentioned a specific watch he would like instead. We talked about the watch and tried to figure out how we would get him one on time. There was not a watch for him to see in the store at that time, but I owned the watch. I was wearing the watch. When Mr. Gruff paused, I said: "Mr. Gruff. I have that watch."

Step back a moment... Mr. Gruff was such a hot topic because of the employees he had burned through that any time he came into the store, the back house employees would stand at the ready and wait to see what he needed. STAT. They watched his every move on the security cameras. They watched me..and they waited to see if I could handle him again...

When I showed him my watch, Mr. Gruff jumped to his feet. He pointed at me and screamed, "YOU! YOU ARE A WOMAN OF STYLE!" I have to admit..I was nervous when he jumped up...but that moment was one of the most hysterical moments in my career. The back house employees were concerned..they could not hear what happened and they waited eagerly for me to report what had happened when I went into the back. They thought he was screaming at me..when in fact we were now life long friends. Haha..

I still think about Mr. Gruff during the holidays and I wonder where he is shopping and who he is chewing up..and I smile because I know I was one of the only people ever to be able to wrangle Mr. Gruff. I take the opportunity to remind my old colleagues that I am a "woman of style" too..

I sit here with dried frosting on the back of my hand, in an old tank top and flip flops, no make-up....it's time to get some style. I'll give you some art style..

Leave a comment here on this post; mention what style means to you...and you will be entered to win a $25 Dick Blick Gift Certificate! Chris and I are giving away our marketing budget this summer. One entry per person and please- what style means to you...AND your email address in the comment field. Enter through 7/15, winner announced 7/18. Good luck!