My kids (now grown) have been working with me since they were young. Peter (our son) was the first. He worked alongside me for about 14 years, went on to be an animator and now is working towards becoming a high school teacher. Rebecca, slightly younger has also worked for us for many years in the shop. She has been in charge of my painting crew when we were a larger company and in the last years has been the painting department single handedly for the most part. Various nieces and nephews, my brother and my dad have worked with us at various times. It has been very much a family business.
Rebecca has given notice she will be retiring from working in our shop on a daily basis. It won't be a cold turkey quit, but rather a 'please don't count on me to be there every day as I have to move on to other things for the most part kind of deal.' Her husband Phoenix (who also worked for us for nine years) has his own similar (but different) business and is doing extremely well. Bec needs to spend more time in a support role there and we encourage it wholeheartedly. She'll still come to tend the horses each day. When I have a special project I have no doubt she'll jump in to apply her magical paint skills as no one else could (including me) . She will also keep helping out at the Sign Magic Workshops as well in the future. She is just so good at teaching.
Donna captured the workshop well and as I was looking through the pictures it made me smile. The pictures capture just how passionate Bec is about teaching. She sometimes teases me about how I use hand gestures as I communicate, talking animatedly about the subject at hand. Most times I even need a pencil and paper to show graphically the things I speak of. But obviously Bec is not much different.
Bec is very articulate in her talks, using words concisely. But she also uses her hands to punctuate her words. On the weekend she was talking about painting, texturing and the various aspects of glazing. Most often she had a brush in her hand to demonstrate but when a brush wasn't handy Bec would use her hands to illustrate. It was a wonderful thing.
I'll definitely miss her in the shop on a daily basis, but I am also glad and fiercely proud she is pursuing the things important to her and her family. I'll be constantly cheering her on too!
-grampa dan (and proud dad)