With your art, you just can't be too careful

Posted by Stephanie Tickner on Saturday, May 3, 2014 Under: Reflections

I was really excited recently when I received an email inquiring about my original paintings that are currently for sale. I had put a lot of work into updating my website, using social media, and adding Pinterest buttons to my website. I thought maybe this new to me person had discovered my work through those efforts.

As you will see in the email thread below, it seemed pretty exciting, and at one point, nerve wracking, when I realized I had missed one of her responses for over a month. I wrote back, and thankfully, Julia was still interested. Here's how things went:

On Mon, Mar 3, 2014 at 2:48 AM wrote:

You received a null submission from Stephanie Tickner Watercolors:

Name Julia Simpson
Email blair.simpson150@gmail.com
Message: Hi, Hope this message finds you well. I saw these lovely pieces on your website and I will like you to get back with more details if they are still available for purchase. Ken's Dream Vineyard , Until Tomorrow and One Morning in Gilsum. I will appreciate an urgent reply. Best Regards, Julia Simpson.

Stephanie Tickner <stephanieticknerwatercolors@gmail.com>
Mar 4 to blair.simpson150@gmail.com

Hi Julia,

Thank you for writing. I am glad you are interested in my paintings.

The originals of all the pieces you mentioned have been sold. Ken's Dream Vineyard was a commission that is in a personal collection.

However, Until Tomorrow and One Morning in Gilsum are available as matted 11x14 prints for $20 each. The links to the paintings are below:


Please let me know if you are interested in prints of the paintings.

I look forward to hearing from you again.


Julia Simpson <blair.simpson150@gmail.com>

Mar 6

Hi Stephanie,
Thanks so much for your response to my query about those creative works. Can you pls send link or photos of some of your recent Original works that are available for purchase  right now. I will look forward to hearing from you soon.


Stephanie Tickner <stephanieticknerwatercolors@gmail.com>Mar 7

Hi Julia,

Below are links to the original paintings I still have for sale. Please let me know if you have any questions about them.




Julia Simpson <blair.simpson150@gmail.com>

Mar 7
to me
Hi Stephanie,
Thanks so much for your sending those links. I really enjoy viewing
all the paintings and reading the story. I will like to proceed with
the purchase of the three pieces below. Any discount for multiple

Flanders Bay Morning  ,  Rockport Storm  and  Hope Garden

Try and get back as soon as possible so I can know how best to proceed. Thanks.

Stephanie Tickner <stephanieticknerwatercolors@gmail.com>

Apr 26 (5 days ago)

Hello Julia,

I sincerely apologize for my delay in responding. Somehow I did not get a notification when your March 7 email came in.

Are you still interested in the paintings? If so, I would consider a 15% discount, which would be $60 off for a total of $340.

Please let me know your thoughts. Again, I apologize for the delay. Technology can be both a gift and a curse! Finally, where are you located?


Julia Simpson <blair.simpson150@gmail.com>

May 1 (2 days ago)

Hi Stephanie,
It is nice to hear back from you.  I will like to proceed with the
purchase of the three pieces. I think they are lovely works and I hope
to give them a good home.

I am presently traveling for my Sister's wedding even though it comes
at a time when I am preparing for a big move to Miami Beach, FL but it
means so much to her and I should be back in few days.

Miami Beach, FL 33140

Meanwhile, can you pls get back with your mailing address and phone
number so I  can inform my husband on where to forward the payment. He
can have one of his PA handle the payment asap.  About shipping , you
can handle it from your side to my new address above or I can forward
your contact info to the local cartage  company handling the shipment
of all our house decors. They can arrange FedEx or UPS pick up of the
artworks from your studio.

I will look forward to hearing from you so i can know how best to
proceed. Cheers.

Something about that last email seemed off to me. The English came across slightly odd sounding...but she could be an English as a second language speaker. I wondered why there was no street address, and why she needed my phone number. It all made me hesitate, so I decided to Google her name and gmail address. I was both disappointed, and relieved, with what I learned.

The first Google result was a Facebook post by the Noyes Art Gallery in Lincoln, Nebraska on October 28, 2013. Gallery member, Julie Lemons received an email from "Anne Sewell" with the same address as "Julia Simpson" who emailed me. Julie also felt the emails from "Anne" were not quite right. She also Googled the name and email address and found a September 24, 2013 blog post by artist Jeanne Williamson of Natick, Massachusetts that shed light on this crummy scam. Jeanne Williamson had received emails from "Elena Simpson" with the same email address of blair.simpson20@gmail.com. As Julie at the Noyes Gallery wrote, "The person, Elena Simpson, wanted to buy $2,505 worth of Jeanne Williamson's art, sent a check for over $4,000 saying she was sorry her husband had made a terrible mistake and over paid. She wanted this artist, Jeanne to cash it and send her husband the difference. That is the scam...they get your money with a bad cashier's check, you owe the bank, and they get your paintings. What a racket!"

I am so glad that I followed my instincts and looked on Google before going any further with "Julia". I am so glad that the internet makes it so easy to double check when you feel unsure. I wrote one more email to "Julia" on May 1.

Stephanie Tickner <stephanieticknerwatercolors@gmail.com>

May 1 (2 days ago)

I'm sorry, Julia. I decided to Google your name and email address to be on the safe side, and I see this this is a scam. I will not be in touch again.


Artist Jeanne Williamson closed her blog post saying, "If you get an email from someone wanting to buy your work, even if it sounds like it could be legitimate, do some investigating. Google the email address, the name of the person, the street address, and phone number. It might turn out that the person is really interested in wanting to buy your work, but it could also be a scam." I do hope I can sell some of my art to people who discovered it via my website, Facebook page, Twitter account or Pinterest. That said, I will be sure to research about any inquiries before I go forward.

I hope you will pass this on to fellow artists. It's sad, but unfortunately, selfish people are out there. Happy creating!

In : Reflections 

Tags: "art scams" "online art sales" "google research" "warning support fellow artists" 
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