A few weeks ago I had a request from a collector in California for a commissioned painting similar to River of Hope only larger. River of Hope is 24x30 and the commission is 40x50.
Painting larger means more planning, more product and more time. It was a challenge to see if I could recreate 20+ layers and come up with something similar in color and texture but I enjoyed the process. I felt like it went very well.
I finished the commissioned painting (River of Hope II) over the weekend. It is currently in the curing stage—must cure before it can be packed and shipped.
Talk about perfect timing. Yesterday River of Hope sold to a client in Massachusetts. Now there will be a River of Hope on the East Coast and River of Hope II on the West Coast.
Hmmm… Perhaps there’s a message in this….
Check out my abstract art and photographs on Pixels.com where you can purchase greeting cards, prints and phone cases of my artwork and photographs. Note: Out of respect for my collectors, my original artwork is not available in prints. I assure my collectors they will have a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork and never see a print of any original they have purchased. However, greeting cards of original artwork are available for purchase. My photographs are available in various print applications and sizes as well as greeting cards and phone cases.
Click on the link below then click on one of the galleries to view images. Select any image and click on it to see what options are available. Happy Shopping!
What is cloning artwork?
It is taking a finished painting by an established artist and duplicating it as close to the original as possible. I have seen this trend become more and more prevalent, and it’s a subject that concerns me.
I believe there is a way to teach art where interested beginners can experience the joy of painting and try their hand at it without having to clone artwork.
Being a full-time artist right now is tough with so many galleries closing, fewer venues to exhibit in, and a down economy resulting in reduced artwork sales. Many of the galleries and artists are holding “Follow the Leader”, “Copy Cat” and “Paint Like Me” workshops; painting parties; and, of course, teaching private lessons. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against galleries or artists who are trying to survive during these hard economic times and I certainly don’t see a problem with teaching art classes where students learn how to paint. We need those classes to encourage and train new, emerging artists. It’s very important and vital to the advancement of art.
It is not my intention to judge or be offensive to anyone, but I do feel cloning warrants some explanation and consideration. I am not a fan of what I refer to as “cloning artwork.” I have no problem at all with teaching techniques, color, balance, style, etc., but to encourage a room full of people to copy original artwork seems like it has the potential to open the door for undesirable consequences. Two of the major downsides that may result from cloning artwork are loss of individuality/identity for the artist and a decline in sales by flooding the art market with “look-a-likes”. Naturally, given the opportunity, some people will purchase a lower priced “look-a-like” piece of art from a beginner rather than the original from the established artist because they don’t want to pay the higher price of an established artist. If they don’t understand the quality of a painting and what goes into the whole process, and they usually don’t, flooding the market with look-a-likes drives down prices.
It’s economics 101.
The only justifications I see for cloning art work are profit and/or ego. Although profit is nice, I personally have chosen to weather this slow season and refuse to clone my work. And for me to indulge in an ego trip would prove detrimental in the long run.
My inventory is limited and I am by no means a prolific painter. My style is different and I prefer to keep it that way. The number of paintings I produce within a given year varies depending on my creative flow. Often the demands of life reduce my creative output and I may only get one or two paintings done in a given year. Then I’ll have a year where I produce 15-20 or more. How productive I am depends on how the creative juices are flowing, my energy and available studio time.
In high school, I had an art teacher that, after two semesters, I could honestly say had taught me nothing except how NOT to be a creative individual. His method of teaching was to place one of his own paintings on an easel and have the students copy it. He would walk around the room and correct anything that didn’t look exactly like his work. He would even go so far as to take the brush out of a student’s hand and paint over what they had done to show how to make their painting look just like his. At the end of the year, all we had was a classroom full of identical paintings and boy, was he proud of them. What could that teach us, though, about the process of truly creating art?
Contrast that with another art teacher I had in high school, as well as the professional artist who became my mentor. Both of them always gave their students the opportunity to do their own work. They were exceptional artists themselves, and yet not once were we assigned to copy any of their artwork. We were allowed and encouraged to develop our individual style. To be creative. Experimentation was encouraged. What they offered was instruction and guidance, but to select our own subjects with the freedom to do our own work. Individuality was not only allowed, it was of the utmost importance to develop our own style.
I have seen that continually over the years: a true artist develops his/her own style and technique. That style becomes their identity, allowing their artwork to be recognized by collectors.
Sadly, there are also artists who choose to copy another artist’s work instead of intentionally developing their own style or identity. I have been to several art shows where I can immediately pick out copied artwork and recognize which artist they copied. While I believe it’s perfectly fine to do such experiments in private and then remake what you’ve discovered into your style, I believe copying outright is as destructive and deceptive as cloning.
The truth is, all art is made out of other art. We build on those foundations, but only by transforming them into our own.
I have personally experienced having other artists try to copy my artwork—not clone it because I don’t teach others how to copy it myself—and then they have had the audacity to show it in the same venue or exhibit with my work. This is a practice I neither appreciate nor encourage any artist, beginner or otherwise, to do. I want to be an individualist with my art and I expect the same from other artists. Some say I should consider it a compliment that someone likes my work enough to want to copy it but it’s difficult for me to feel that way. Since I paint from the heart, expressing my inner emotions and feelings, It feels more like an invasion than a compliment. Maybe it would be different if they weren’t in the same area and trying to show in the same venues, but I seriously doubt that would change my opinion.
I think it’s worth bringing this to people’s attention. At the very least, it’s worth the discussion of how to truly create art.
It’s been a good day in the life of this artist! Ingrid H. added two of my artworks - “Joy Unleashed” and “Afternoon Joy” - to her art collection. Thank you for making my day, Ingrid. I am thrilled that these paintings have found such a loving, appreciative home. It was a pleasure doing business with you. I sincerely hope that they will bring you years of enjoyment.
Technology is moving faster than I am these days. I have been busy the past few days/weeks trying to get up-to-date with some of the art sites I am exhibiting with and I think I may be halfway through…or not! Everyone talks about how an artist needs to send out newsletters/updates once or twice a month. Well, as you can tell, I haven’t managed to meet that “suggestion”. I have difficulty finding time to even write on my blog. One reason I don’t send out consistent newsletters is because I’m not as prolific as some artists, so I don’t have as many “new” paintings to introduce. My paintings usually take a while because of the process of layers and then I hit spells where the creative juices slow down and I get stuck on a painting. I have to let it sit for days/weeks/months while I study it to discover if it is finished or where it is going next. So, my theory is…why send out a newsletter if you don’t really have any news.
As for internet artist sites, some sites and links have just disappeared without notification but others are thriving, moving forward and adding features that I have yet to master and/or take advantage of and the requests to join new sites keep piling in. I have to remind myself that exposure is good, but it does come with a price. . . time, and precious time at that. The more sites, the more time it takes to update and maintain, the less time in the studio painting. When you take website and page updates, studio time, and add in day to day life, there are days I wonder if I can juggle it all. I guess it does, indeed, require balance and time management . . . something I struggle with, especially the older I get.
Blog written, now to move on to the next order of day.
Do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do!
Have a great day!