Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Missing Art Works - Possible Theft?

Please note that this blog will be updated as more information becomes available.

Near the end of July this year I made an agreement via UShip online to have my art shipped from Santa Barbara to Vancouver, Canada with a company called LA Pack Pros. The agreement read that the art would be delivered within 7-14 days of its pick up. Its now mid September and I have had one phone call with their office manager, Andre, acknowledging that they did indeed have my art works but have received no information after that regarding where my work is now and when it will be delivered. Regardless of emails and phone calls I have sent, I have had no communication since that call near the end of August.

On August 5th this year my entire art collection of completed works and works in process on canvas and paper plus an original piece by Michelle Williams was picked up in Santa Barbara at my friend Steve Richardson's home by a man who called himself Robin 'Rob' Letcher. According to my friend Steve, he was about 30ish and was a white man about 6 foot, sandy blond hair with dreds. The truck was a white ford ranger about a 1995 with a white camper shell. He left a cell phone number which I have called repeatedliy and left voice messages, none have which been returned.

The information about this shipping company that I contacted via UShip.com and made the original agreement will appear the bottom of this blog entry.

If you have any suggestions, information, as to the wherabouts of my art work, or how I can get a hold of this so-called shipper, or if you are willing to help in any way please do contact me debchaney@live.com. Thank you.

I have begun to file a theft report with the City of Santa Barbara (805)897-2300 (I will post a file # here when it becomes available) and will pursue the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Internet Crime Complaint Center. I have also called the franchisee corporation - Go Packaging - who issues business such as LA Pack Pros their business entity and they are helping me with this.

Any ideas to help solve this mystery: debchaney@live.com. Thank you!

Company: LA Pack Pros

Name: Rob Letcher

Phone: (310) 673-0615

Alternate Phone: (562) 686-2145

Fax: 310-673-0291

Email Addresses: uship@lapackpros.com;





Franchisor: Packaging Store

Updated October 7-09

Since Posting this blog several weeks ago I have had the good fortune to finally be in touch with Rob Letcher (who apologized profusely) and said that, yes, indeed he did have my art work here. That he had tried to ship it to Canada twice and that it had now been returned twice at the border. WHy on earth he did not contact me about these attempts, I do not know. He since then put my art crate back on uship. com and the bid was accepted by another company and now I am waiting for full details - name, website, etc. Honestly, I was shaking and cried after he called. The funny thing was about the call was I was sitting at my desk at my computer looking at the paper work from the Santa Barbara Police department and reviewing a letter I sent to a layer in LA while in process of writing Rob an Email saying that enough was enough and I was going to be taking some serious legal action. He called just before I clicked 'send'. Interesting universe we live in. The saga continues though...

Interesting enough, I have received two emails regarding this blog post, of people in the exact same situations! Here they are:

Received today:

J. M. Kenworthy (jmkenworthy@gmail.com)
Sent:Wed 10/07/09 2:11 PM
Attachments: 1 attachment
CIMG0114.jpg (1527.5 KB)

I came across your blog because I am in a similar situation. I contracted with LA Pack Pros to take some furniture (including family heirlooms) from San Francisco to Lebanon, OH. A guy named Andre picked up the furniture in a rented box truck on August 22nd. I have attached a photo I took. You can almost make out the license plate. I have not heard from them since. I fear my furniture has been Stolen. I call the 562-686-2145 number about everyday and leave a message, but no one calls back. I did, however, get an address from uship.comfor LA Pack Pros (listed below). Unfortunately, It looks like an apartment building when I use Google Street View.

Have you ever heard back from them since you made your blog post? Its nice to know I am not alone, but I am also frustrated because I don't know what to do next. What email address did you use to get a response from LA Pack Pros?

Here is all the contact information that uship.com gave me.
Rob and Frank Letcher
(310) 673-0615
(562) 686-2145
(310) 673-0291
2909 Arizona Ave #9
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Thanks for listening,

J. M. Kenworthy

Jason (above Email) even sent me this photo of his shipment being picked up:

and here's an EMail I received last week:

Sean Kaylor (kaylorsean@hotmail.com)
Sent:Tue 10/06/09 12:49 PM

My wife and I had a number of items shipped from Texas to SF, CA. We also can't get a hold of LAPackPros and believe they have stolen our items. Unfortunately, most of the items were sentimental and of no material value.

If you get any word please email respond and I will do so in kind.

Sorry about all the troubles,

Sean Kaylor

By the way, I sent both of these inquiries to Kelly Dafleur who works for the Franchisor 'parent' company to LA Pack Pros. her contact information is as follows and she has been extrodinariliy helpful in this process of tracking down my shipment. Here's a big cheer for Kelly!!!

Kelly Dafler

Franchise Services Coordinator

Annex Brands, Inc.

7580 Metropolitan Drive, Suite 200

San Diego, California 92108-4417

Ph: 800-456-1525

Ph: 619-563-4800

Fax: 619-563-9850



Become a fan of our Facebook page

Our "blackberry summer"on Whidbey Island, WA

We spent a lot of time this summer at our family cabin on Whidbey Island, WA, USA and I've had a lot of requests from my friends in Santa Barbara, CA to see pictures. And, by the way, we have officially named this summer "Blackberry Summer" because I think Ruthie pretty much lived on fresh vine ripe juicy blackberries when we were down there. Best blackberries in the world growing right on the beach, sweet, plump and right at your finger tips. Couldn't get much better than that for fresh eating. On the three hour drive home back to Vancouver Ruthie (age 6) would look out of the window and spot blackberry bushes and say "blackberry, blackberry...." So here we go, black berry summer, enjoy...

The cabin my parents build around 1978. Decor to match. :) My friend Lyza scoped it out live on skype and has decided it'll be the perfect retreat to do some art and hang out in PJs with a small group of women artist friends. We'll see...
Made lots of treats this summer..big batches of oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip cookies.

Mid-tide, my favourite walk. Up where you can see the trees meet the water is where I saw several deer a few weeks back. Beautiful.
Nothing like throwing rocks in the water.
My Dad, who took all the photos here except this one, with Ruthie. I'm inside this amazing fort that someone built up the beach from us. Really cool. It was so big, you could camp in it. Ruthie and I had pretend tea parties there.

Don't touch the ground, it's hot lava. Gotta stay on the rocks.

Morning journal writing on the picnic table...smell that sweet ocean air. Lots of light. Peace.

When we first arrived at Whidbey after driving up from Santa Barbara. Grandma Margaret was there with balloons and groceries and big hugs for Ruthie!
Mum and I doing a clay face masc. Benstonite clay mixed with a bit of apple cider vinegar, makes a nice paste. Put it on, let it dry, sucks out toxins and is fun to do!
digging for sea creatures!

Painting rocks.
( I was inside hand painting little gift cards)

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Selling art in non-gallery venues

Pure Abstraction Series
20 x 30 x 1 1/2 " (approx)
Mixed Media, Sand, Acrylics on Canvas
Original Painting is available, pricing on request
Prints and other items with this image at cafepress
Feng Shui Recommendation: earth & water element , career and reputation, health & vitality

I sell and have shown my work predominantly in non-gallery venues. Its pretty common for artists starting out who don't have gallery representation. Really, if you're creating regularly and producing work - fairly good, good, or great - its nice to just get it out there and get some response, feedback and sales.

Currently as I am getting all my bits and pieces together for my new website I was looking over my artist resume and remember all the shows I've held in the last number of years... Each one was its own experience with various results. Every one part of my journey of being an artist creating and showing her work.

Generally, I've made an effort to improve aspects of each show as the years have gone by. Better marketing of advanced notice for friends and collectors who would stop by. Better signage. More treats! Motivation for people to come - creating a draw. Asking for more help. Teaming up with other artists. Holding a raffle. There are always aspects to tweak and improve when doing an exhibit...

I would say the latest and greatest improvements I've made in exhibiting my work in non gallery venues are to create contracts with the store/boutique/restaurant owner so that we are all on the same page. I've been lucky to date and have never had any difficulties or challenges with any venues. However, even the process of creating a contract with the most recent venues makes a good conversation point to the agreements of having my art in their space - what's OK, what's not.

Here's where I started with creating my own contracts: http://snagmetalsmith.org/Publications/Professional_Guidelines/
Specifically look at the EXHIBITION CONTRACT (for non-commercial exhibitions) section.

I'd love to hear what you're doing to get your work out there, how you're improving with each show and exhibit. And I'm trusting this is helpful on your journey. Best, Deb

For the curious, here's where I've displayed my work for the last several years...The most recent listing have written signed contracts based on the above links.

Exhibits and Solo Events

2009 Solo Exhibit, Patchwork Paper,Via Roma Boutique,

2009 Nature and Asbtraction, group Show, Deb Chaney & Steve Richardson, Santa Barbara, CA

2009 Solo Exhibit, Select Pieces, Java Station Café, Patchwork Paper, Santa Barbara, CA

2009 SWITCH Boutique Beverly Hills Solo Exhibit, select pieces Raw Expression

2008- Group Show, Drawn Out, VIVA Design Studio and Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

2008 – Solo Exhibit, Carina Cellars, Trees & Abstraction, Los Olivos, CA

2007 Solo Exhibit; Raw Expression, Sojourner Cafe, Santa Barbara, CA
2007 – Group Exhibit, Art in Public Places with the Malibu Artist Association, Malibu, CA.

2006 – Group Exhibit, select pieces Raw Expression, Kanuga Water Color Retreat Center, NC

2006- Group Exhibit, Emerging, Fresca Café, Santa Barbara, CA

2005 – December 2006; Santa Barbara Weekly Arts and Crafts Show
2004 – Solo show
Mini Hearts
Coffee Attic, Redondo Beach, CA

2003 Solo Exhibit; Hearts Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, Redondo Beach, CA
2003 Exhibitor; Leche League International Conference
, Costa Mesa, CA
2003 Solo Exhibition; The Coffee Attic
, Redondo Beach, CA
2003 Exhibitor; Annual Ron Cawdry Springfest Carnival
, Redondo Beach, CA
2003 Solo Exhibit; Java Man Café
, Hermosa Beach, CA
2002 Exhibitor; Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair
, Manhattan Beach, CA

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Upcoming Art and Healing workshop

Sands of Time
Pure Abstraction Series
Size: 10 x 10 x 11/2"
(c) Deb Chaney 2008
available $350 USD
Feng Shui notes: Supports Health and Vitality

Need a day away? Looking for some time to make art, meet new friends and receive some healing? This might be for you...

My friend and fellow artist Amy Roemer presents a one day healing art workshop...

Gather in a gorgeous setting for a day of healing and creativity as (place) artist and Reiki healer, Amy Roemer, and local teacher and Reiki healer, Amy Ryan, guide you through easy daily routines to heal your life including the healing benefits of beautiful natural spaces like Boerner Botanical Gardens! Get in touch with the artist at your core!

Healing Art Workshop
Saturday October 17, 2009
From 10am-3pm.
At the Boerner Botanical Gardens Hales Corners, WI
(Hales Corners is in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area)
Registration: contact Monica Jeske 414-525-5659
Cost $75

Your day will include: Yoga, painting, walk in the gardens, meditation, inspirational conversation concluding with mini Reiki session for each attendee!

I first met Amy Roemer when I was living in Hermosa Beach, CA and saw her art work at Ten Women Venice artists cooperative. Somehow we became connected --- I can't remember how our friendship all started --- but I do remember Amy being extremely wiling to share all her secrets of success on her path as an artist and after a lunch one afternoon nearly 8 years ago now we have been friends ever since.

Amy Roemer is on her own personal journey of healing. In 1987, Amy had her first episode of unexplained back pain. Over the years Amy had back pain so severe that she landed in emergency rooms, became a patient to countless doctors Western and Eastern alike, has sought out dozens of healers and books, taken prescription medications, herbs, and restrictive diets. Amy’s pain could be unbearable at times, she missed work, weddings, and vacations, underwent 4 surgeries and spent tens of thousands of dollars on health costs all in the search for pain relief. While some of the doctors and healers helped, her back pain persisted, unaffected by herbs and medicines. Through a series of practices that Amy learned over the years, She created her 5 Simple Steps to Healing Your Life and put them all together into practice with amazing results! Now, she wants to share them with you! She received her attunement in Reiki, a form of hands on healing, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she now resides with her husband and daughter, in 2009.

Amy’s art has been shown in galleries and art festivals in Massachusetts, Illinois, and California. Her pieces are full of emotion and vibrant color. Her art is in private collections across the country and in Japan. Her painting “Your Song” is owned by singer/songwriter Alanis Morisette. Amy has painted and made art her entire life, she attended Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, Santa Monica College in California, and studied under pastel artist Mark Miloff in Western Massachusetts Berkshire Mountains. Amy’s poetry has been published and awarded, her paintings were honored by an award from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA. Amy has been a member of the West Coast Pastel Society, Ten Women Venice artists cooperative, and The Malibu Art Association.