Kendal responds to collector's
frequently asked questions
The topics in light gray are presently being written.
Kendal, how long have you been painting covers?
I launched the Bevil hand-painted cachet line September 8, 1990, with General Chennault being my first issue. Presently, I've painted covers for about 23 years.
Prior to your hand-painted line, how long had you been
in the FDC hobby?
A very short period, if at all.
You had collected first day covers?
No. When I painted my first cover, I had no knowledge of what a cachet was.
You must have had help.
I did. Much help. Let's call it mentoring. After attending Sam Houston State and Ringling Design in Florida, my wife, Janice, and I walked into an apartment complex
in The Woodlands, Texas. Upon completing my application, the receptionist, having realized I was involved in communicatin arts, asked if I would be interested in doing some work for a friend of hers. She gave me his name and that night we were at his home being introduced to the world of hand-painted first day covers.
Who was it?
How soon did you begin painting covers?
Immediately. From that evening's visit Julian was desiring to hire me to paint for his line. You have to realize, the idea of painting envelopes is unusual. Then to paint the same illustration maybe 100 or more times was mind-boggling. The first issue I painted for Julian's line was the Space Station hologram #10 issue. I wish you the best in trying to find one. The instrument he quickly recognized as a valuable tool in the cachet painting process was my airbrush. Remember, this is the late 1980s. The airbrush was just coming out of it's glory days as the major painting technique for album covers and I had used it extensively in my field. Little did I or Julian realize at the time how ideal the airbrush would be for painting envelopes. I utilized the airbrush with my first FDC issue and I've never set it down.
Was the Space Station issue successful?
Yes. It consisted of a simple but detailed silhouette mixed with a soft airbrushed sky. It was clean and well executed. Looking back it was humurous. I recall painting these envelopes with my airbrugh in the small living room of our apartment. I'd be happy to present that issue for my subscribers today. It was well recieved by Julian's collector base and the beginning of a warm and profitable relationship for the both of us.
How many issues did you paint for Julian's line?
I'm not sure. Some of my collectors would know. Many have gone back and collected those issues in the Pugh line I had my hand on. I remember the Hollywood Movies set of four with Stagecoach, Gone with the Wind and a few others. I believe though I inked those and I'm not sure if I painted them. Early on Julian set himself up with an airbrush and did a remarkable job. I would ink some issues and he'd paint them using markers and the airbrush.
What finally brought you to launching the Bevil line?
Janice and I had moved to the Beaumont area, a few hours out of The Woodlands. I was painting for Julian, and one day he called and said now was a good time to start my line and he recommended an upcoming issue which he thought would be ideal- General Chennault. I reluctantly agreed. Chennault was to be released in Louisiana, and I lived near China, Texas. With Chennault having flown for the Flying Tigers over China, Julian had the stamps flown in to my local airport and I drove them quickly to the China post office for an unoffiical.
Did all go as planned?
Pretty much. Remember, I had only painted covers. I simply picked up envelopes from Julain, painted them, and handed them back. I still had no inkling of a what first day cover was, or the whole concept behind a cachet. Here I was picking up stamps at the airport, and looking back on it now, I have fond memories of my mom and I sitting at the airport restaurant affixing stamps on envelopes as fast as we could. I then drove out to China in the nick of time. When I got inside. I had no idea what to ask for or what I was doing. Little did I realize I wasn't the only cachet painter at that little airport making a mad dash out to China. And they were a faster driver than I as well!
Who would that be?
Louis Hamilton. And she was so gracious to lend me a hand. She had another kind lady with her, who I believe was painting her covers at the time. Can't recall her name. The P.O. clerk asked me if I wanted to use the four bar or the magenta colored double-ring dater. Like a newbie cachet painter, I said, "Whhhaaaaat?" Louis suggested I do both. She assisted me in showing me how to use the cancels, how to make sure I let them dry properly without smudging the ink, taking me all the way through my first trip to the post office to cancel covers. A wonderful experience. Good memories.
At what point did you resign from your conventional job
to paint cachets?
With Julian's assistance I launched a small marketing campaign. It was a simple flyer illustrating the Chennault cover and I provided FDC collectors an opportunity to subscribe. The response was incredible. I had a small notepad on the wall in my cubicle at the Beaumont Enterprise. The top sheet had hand written "50". The sheet under that had "49", etc, all the way down to "0". I had decided when I received 50 subscribers I would resign from the paper. When a collector would subscribe I would very quietly come in to my cubicle and rip off a sheet. One monrning I walked into my cubicle and my ad director and a higher-up director were standing there staring at my pad on the wall. I heard one say, "It's not shopping days left 'til Christmas". When I reached my goal, I did resign. I've painted cachets full time ever since.