The life of memories, consciousness and experience in time and space has been shown by our newest physics to be pretty quirky and much stranger than we could ever imagine. It’s looking closer to how the Tralfamadorians in Kurt Vonneguts novels experience things. They experience the past, present and future simultaneously and so their standard greeting is…”Hello, Farewell, Hello”, and so on. This greeting is closer to how I feel about my life and my upcoming retirement at the end of this month. I say goodbye to this part of my life but the memories, friendships, connections and life changes from my involvement with Golden Artist Colors are an integral and vital part of my life that will stay with me forever: past, present and future. It has been a wonderful ride. One big wonderful intermingled ever present consciousness collage.
I spent a little less than half my life working for Golden Artist Colors but my overall involvement has been for about 42 years since I first visited “the shop” in 1980 when the company first began. Back then, in the early days of the company, when the paints and mediums were not available in any art supply stores, I heard about a paint maker named Sam Golden, who happened to be living just an hour south of where I was living in Syracuse, NY, a small city about 2 hours south of the Canadian border. Previously, in the 70’s I had been using Bocour’s acrylic called Aquatec and came to learn it had all been formulated by Sam. It was great paint, but now unavailable, and it was through the artist grapevine that I heard about Sam and his new paint, Golden Acrylics. [see GOLDEN company history]
So I made the short drive through the beautiful rolling hills of Central New York on a chilly October day in 1980 in my 1963 Volkswagen van, turned onto the crunchy gravel paved Bell Road, and within a half mile or so pulled into the property where a small farmhouse and several old barns stood. The view west over a small river valley was fantastic on this autumn day. As I got out, an older gentleman with a shock of white hair and a scruffy beard came out to greet me. This was how I met Sam Golden and how I started my experience with this wonderful company.
I left with my first paint and medium order after a tour of the paint making facilities in one of the main barns, met Sam’s wife Adele, his son Mark and daughter-in-law Barbara, got to know Chuck Kelly (a partner at the time), and Jim Hayes, a trained Chemist hired to assist with paint formulating who is still here as head Chemist in the Lab. The list of people grew quickly as the company flourished over the years. My visits to buy paint would often include sandwiches made by Adele, and conversation while sitting in their little farmhouse home overlooking the valley. Once, visiting with a friend, she made us a picnic lunch for our hike down to the hemlock grove near the river.
My friendships grew with the Golden family and employees in the company, and in 1990 I got a call from Mark Golden asking me if I would be interested in working for the company doing workshops and training sales staff at stores around the country. I said yes and the adventure began. Initially I planned my own trips and traveled across Canada and the US visiting art supply stores and presenting in painting departments in art schools across the country. The job helped me to become comfortable speaking in front of groups of people and I loved doing it. Mark Golden and I traveled to Japan where I was both a visiting artist and a presenter at art schools around the country. Eventually, and especially after my daughter was born, I traveled less and the job changed to include speaking with and assisting artists on the phone and via email along with doing workshops for the Residency, testing and more. Barbara Golden and her daughter Emma Golden have been doing a wonderful job at the Golden Residency and while Barbara is now retired, Emma continues to contribute that special Golden family energy with her warmth, humor and intelligence. And Mark Golden continues his work and daily involvement with the company that owes so much of its success to his values, intelligence, generosity and sense of social justice.
It has been wonderful to watch and be an important part of the growth of this now world renowned employee owned company, that is considered by many to be the best artist grade paint company in the world. I am so proud of Golden Artist Colors and grateful to all its employee/owners, Sam and Adele Golden, Mark and Barbara Golden and the millions of artists and customers who use our products for helping to make this company what it is today, and for giving me the opportunity to be involved. Thank you all so much.
And now, as my best friend Mark says, ”Hey man, it’s the last quarter!” …Hello, Farewell, Hello…and see you down the road.
26 thoughts on “Farewell, Hello, Farewell…”
Thank you Scott for all your help over the years. You will be much missed by all the people you have helped around the world.
Enjoy your retirement and the extra painting time!
You are most welcome Richard! And thank you for your kind comment and compliment. Very much appreciated. Best of luck with your work!
You are most welcome Richard. Thanks so much for your kind words,…and yes, I will be enjoying the time I have left here in this world…with loved ones, in the studio and just appreciating being alive.
Thanks Scott for all the times you helped me out with some tecnical problems. You were accurate and always fast in your feedback.
I wish you all the best in your further painting career or whatever you do.
Mark V C
You are very welcome Mark! Great to hear that my responses were helpful, accurate and fast! And thanks for your kind best wishes.
Thank you Scott for your expertise and dedication! I wish you all the best going forward or back or looping around—“hello, farewell, hello” indeed!
Hi Sarajo,…You are most welcome!! And yes, I expect to be looping around quite a bit:)
Have a very blessed retirement!
I juste have to Say, you’re the part of the succes of golden artist colors, i have apreciate how you answer me at the technical support, i think golden have not only one of the very best acrylic you can find in the world but the customer service to! Not to mension the website, justpaint, and all other thing that make golden unic
When a person a Friend, Ask me to chose acrylic paint i Always recommand golden, beacause he won’t be desapointed except for the high Price in Europe
Golden is not perfect but Always try to do the best, that one of the most important thing
Good Luck for your New life!
Hi Julien,….Thank you so much for your kind words and compliments. Very much appreciated. We promise to continue to work as hard as possible to make the best products we can, help artists with their questions, concerns and issues,..and to do the research and testing necessary to back it all up. We certainly know we are not perfect,..but our aim is high.
Thank you Scott! I will miss your help and insight. Thank you for your time generously helping me and others. Enjoy your time with your family and the new adventures in life. God bless!
Hi Laura,…You are very welcome! Thank you for your kind words and best wishes.
Thank you so much, and I enjoyed your letter about your retirement. I too used to email with you about questions on the Golden paint products and remember all your excellent help over the years. I lived in Hamilton, NY, from 1988 – 2002 and knew Mark and Barbara well and used to pick up my Golden Paint orders on their front porch in Earlville. We have stayed in touch a bit by email, and now I am living in northern CA, Santa Rosa, and still doing art and projects around the world. My work these days tends to be more temporary outdoor installations that are bio-degradable and changing over time, but I still use Golden paints and gels for my indoor works and gallery-type pieces. Anyway, my best wishes for a happy retirement and say hello to all at Golden Paint for me,
Hi Jane,….You are most welcome. It’s great to hear from a former “local”! Thank you for your kind wishes and happy trails to you.
Loved hearing this story of your history with Golden. Thanks for that, Scott, and for the help you and the Golden tech team give to fellow painters – including those of us who don’t even work in acrylics, but other mediums! Such a generous and knowledgeable company. Happy travels in all that lies ahead for you. Koo Schadler
Hi Koo,…You are very welcome,..and it has been great to work with you over the years. Your contributions in the realm of egg tempera have been significant! Happy travels to you as well!
Such a great story and history! Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful retirement and thanks for your part in making this company what it is today. Now go have some fun and do something silly. 🙂
Hi Cathy,….You are very welcome! My pleasure. And yes,..I do plan on having some fun and I am sure some silly things will be there for me:) Along with some serious art making!!
Hi Scott –
thanks for all your help and patience with questions from this newbie. And graciousness! Whatever you do next, and wherever you are headed, those you encounter will be very fortunate. Godspeed.
Hi Anne,….You are most welcome! Thank you for your kind comments and best wishes.
Your contributions to Just Paint will be missed! Best of luck in your retirement.
This is the second retirement of valued Just Paint writers recently. I so appreciate Just Paint and the quality of information here. Here’s hoping that this continues with new journalists!
Hi Lori,…No worries, our Material Specialist team will continue to be there doing the testing and research we have always done, along with answering your questions on the phone and by email,..and yes, continuing to write great articles for Just Paint!
Ah Scott…. so good to read your thoughts and so sweet to have shared so much of my journey at Golden with you. Retirement is its own unique venture, as I continue to discover, but the one you are now leaving….well….you made it special for so many of us in so many ways. Thank you for your friendship and for the depth of feeling you have infused into paint with your touch and even more amazing eye for color. Safe travels in life my friend…sending much gratitude and love
Sarah!!! – Thank you so much for your kind and sweet words. The feelings are mutual, and I hope to see you sometime in the near future.
Thank you, Mr. Scott Bennett.
I’m sorry I’m late with this news. You don’t know me, I’m just a silent fan. I am a long-time reader of Just Paint and I have become familiar with your name through your writings.
I once wrote to Golden in 2021 via email about some technical questions about Golden products, and it was Scott who answered me. It was a long email and I had a lot of questions, yet he patiently wrote down a long and thorough reply. That experience plus JustPaint. org, left a lasting impression on me of Golden’s rich technical expertise and generosity in sharing their knowledge freely to the art world. For me, that was the culture of Golden that I admired.
I truly appreciate your work. You have made a significant contribution to the art community. It is a good legacy to be proud of.
Congratulations on your retirement! I wish you all the best.