Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's Mine!

Well, it is mine or so I KNOW about my original images (Not this image above and I'll get into that in a little bit). That was kind of a rude title, wasn't it? But it got your attention right away, I bet.

The topic for today is keeping your art original by trying your hardest to use your own original images-photos, drawings, etc.. I know it's so easy to find a very cool picture and paint it but you have to be careful. We, as artists, are always borrowing. Borrowing from this place and that. I don't think there are too many that can paint an animal from memory, right? So, we are always having to look at pictures and who expects you to live in Africa where you could have a handy opportunity to take a picture of a wildebeest. I know we don't have one at our zoo. Anyway, that's why artists usually have overflowing files that they call "morgues" (not my idea). Depressing name but I guess you could look at it this way-dead images, images that YOU don't own. You have to respect the person who created the image by not copying it exactly and putting your name on it. It's just not fair (sound like the sand pile gang?). But it's not. The photographer got the photo of the wildebeest because he actually went to Africa.

Or how about those of you that copy someone else's painting and call that your own design (by signing it, remember?). For one thing it's kind of a rut/bad habit to get into. I know it's hard to come up with your own ideas but you can do it and you'll get good at it-WITH PRACTICE. You know you can copy a painting or someone's photo (I'm not a lawyer here but this is the way it works, I'm quite sure) if you sign your name and then give credit to the original person or magazine, etc. So for example you would put: Your name, after Van Gogh. Then that's okay. If you scroll back in my blog you'll come to the dancers that I drew out of the newspaper. I put that it was someone else's orginal idea. Get it?

Now you get to read about dummy me but I was a young dummy so I can be forgiven. That doesn't mean I didn't have to follow the rules. I didn't know what I was doing when I was a senior in high school. This was in the 1970's (don't count back on your fingers to guess how old I am) when "black is beautiful" was one of the popular catch phrases. There was a fabulous article with pictures. Did I tell you about this before? I don't think so but if I did-please bare with me. Anyway, I painted the painting that you see above of the lovely African American lady. It was quite good, I thought. So I decided to enter it in an art show. To my chagrin it was recognized from the article and rejected. Drat. I missed out on the whole art show and felt quite dumb about the whole thing.

So, get what I'm saying? Remember me when you are tempted to take credit for someone else's idea-IT'S MINE. There. Now you would want the same for you, wouldn't you? Right guys?

Oh, and I should add that this painting is a classic example of using bad art supplies. I mean-look at the yellowed finish all around her. I guess I wasn't too accomplished at putting on finishes either as you can still see the original blue underneath. I used a Liquitex finish and I would sure like to know how to get it off without hurting the painting. I'll have to look into that at another time. For now it's back to the basement it's going to go. Also, I used the awful canvas board and in addition to the stolen image it's warped. Lovely. Just lovely.

Yikes I just read back on this and what a blow hard I am.

How do you feel about this blog? Does it help? Is there anything I can help you with? Please let me hear your comments. I'd love to hear from you.


  1. How do I like this blog??? Oh my, I just found it today, read everything and love all of your tips. I particularly like the idea of thinking about myself as an artist. I would alway tell people that I am not an artist, that I am a painter. Artists after all... create, I copy. Now after reading all of your wondeful ramblings... Heck you are right. I AM an artist. Back when I was in my late teens and early twenties, thrities and forties, I would doodle, and really surprised myself with things I did, saved them for years. Some just popped out from the pencil, some were copies from newspapers, but dang, they were good. Finally when moving again after many moves, I threw them away because at no time in my life did anyone appreciate or even like what I created. So why should I keep all this junk I thought. Since then I have been doing decorative painting using patterns of other artists. Now, I am 67 years old and realize that I can create for the sole purpose... to suit me. Thanks to your tips I will start doodling again and well... who knows? However, I do know that whatever happens, it will be pure joy for me...again. I cannot thank you enough for the inspiration. Joan

  2. Jonesy, I'm so glad you have come to visit and join my blog! This is exactly what I'm trying to accomplish here. Wake people up to realize the talent that flows inside. You sound like you have a lot and it's a life long passion. Yes, you ARE an artist! Keep those doodles going. I have to practice what I preach on that myself. So, I will be doing that also. Thanks so much for your comment. It's so rewarding to hear from new friends!