Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Emulation or Immitation?

"Man's heart away from nature becomes hard."
  ~ Standing Bear

Sisters
This 8 x 6" alcohol ink painting on ceramic tile was influenced by
the fact that I have three sisters. Each one of us is represented here.
This reference photo (used with permission) is by my sister, Denise Bush.

Among the Aspens ~ © Denise Bush

I sought Denise's permission before posting "Sisters" online. Although my painting is quite different from her photo, I did duplicate some tree details and got considerable inspiration from her vision. Normally, I extract information from various sources, but with this one, admittedly, it mainly came from this shot. She was fine with me posting this painting, but she also replied; "I was also thinking about how I would feel if it got to be a regular thing though, and don't think I would like that. It still starts out as my vision, my new surroundings, my communing with nature and process... a personal experience."  I understand and respect Denise's feelings and her unique creativity. She works very hard at perfecting her craft and it shows. Her photography is truly a very fine art.

I talked a little bit about copyright at my workshop on Saturday and I used this situation as an example. Bottom line: It is not alright to copy other artist's or photographer's work without their permission.  Even if you have permission, it isn't ethical to do so with the intention of copying an exact likeness in form or spirit. Copying to learn however, as my students do, when in my classes or even when practicing on their own, is a different situation. They are paying me to learn my process and techniques and I encourage and expect them to emulate my work. Learning to draw and paint has been done this way for centuries. I practice interpreting the old masters' works from time to time, myself. Everyone has to start somewhere. Just make sure you have permission, give credit where it is due and as you progress, try to develop your own perspective and work from several references at the same time. The more you create, the more you'll discover and grow. Don't get bogged down in imitation. Realize that there is only one of you and your art should eventually and ideally be as individual as you are.

Holiday Alcohol Ink Workshop
Dec. 5th & 6th, 2015
Early-bird discount extended until Nov. 12th,
but don't delay, there are only a couple of seats still available! 


Happy Creating My Friends! 

X ♥  O