Friday, September 28, 2012

The Legal Line

I've spoken of my habit of watching TV talk shows and making quick drawings of the participants in real time, - working on the fly so to speak.  It's a great way to practice your ability to pick out pertinent lines and characteristic shapes to produce a recognizable portrait or at least a telling caricature!  If your wish is to produce an accurate depiction you would need at least one good photo of the person to work from.

To picture a particular event, you'd also need reference material.  Illustrating that process, here are a couple of drawings in which I tried to make visual the tragic earth quakes which struck Haiti and Japan a few years ago. Since I was not there and would have no photos of my own as I do when painting landscapes in my studio, I went on line and found a number of good photographs to use as a jumping off point. These are simple works which can stand on their own or could be developed as strong major pieces perhaps even in other materials.

Picasso said something like, "poor artists copy but great artists steal"!   He meant you (the great artist) make the image your own by interpreting it in your own particular way (in my case here, an almost cartoonish style) taking an idea and doing it better! Use whatever you need for inspiration, take chances in your imagery but be an artist and a craftsman. (or craftswoman)  Make something worth owning.  I know I'm running counter to a lot of current art philosophy but I think an artist should produce something well that says something worth saying with materials used honestly (Yes, the Hand of the Artist!) and with respect for the work and ideas of others.

Following those rules you avoid any legal ramifications.  BTW, everything on this blog is copyrighted! Actually, any work once published on the net has copyright protection. Yes, friends, there are people in this world who ignore those and take work directly - that is they really do steal - using other artists' images as if their own to make reputation or money.  Gee, tell me it isn't so!

"Lots of people know a good thing the minute the other fellow sees it first."   J. E. Hedges

"Xerox copies, Artists create."   C.J. Rider

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