Thursday, 24 June 2010

Waltzing Around the Easel - or how I perfected the art of procrastination!

I have been out of the studio for 5 weeks and now I'm back and have begun the oh so slow waltz around the easel, telling myself I will get back to the studio 'tomorrow.  It's remarkable, but after a week at home 'tomorrow' has so far not dawned!

You will know if you have been reading my blogs, that I have been exhibiting in Dorset in the UK.  It was an open studio event, with around 350 visitors coming to see my work, some to buy, others just to browse, all with lots of questions, many with their own painting stories to tell: all in all it was pretty tiring and I certainly don't envy the gallery owners who have to do it all the time! As a matter of fact I think I deserve a holiday!

Brilliant, there's another excuse to add to the ever growing list!  The odd thing is that I do have a lot of ideas that have been incubating while I have been away and I was really looking forward to getting going with them, but that means tackling those big blank canvasses. It is an inescapable fact a lot of artists will agree with, that  we are supremely inventive when it comes to perfecting this art of procrastination: the urgent calls to make, the dog to walk, the laundry to do, the TV to dust, the fridge to visit for one last snack....on and on it goes, even after the painting clothes have been put on, the brushes have been put out,  and the canvas is on the easel.

Soon of course I will get so disgusted with myself that I will take myself by the scruff of the neck and frog march me back into the studio and close the door!  Apart from anything else I need to replenish my stock, having sold well and left several canvasses behind to be 'aired' sometime this summer at Courcoux & Courcoux in Stockbridge, Hampshire.

So I will get back to work and this time with renewed determination to control the urge to paint bigger and bigger. The simple fact of the matter is that not many people have the luxury of large wall spaces to fill and an artist has to make a living.  Meanwhile, the image below was a work in progress on the easel when I left - needless to say I can't remember where it was leading me - but it is part of the mountain summit series (which you can see on my website) all of which really just have to be large paintings!

By the way I just finished an interview on another blog which is written by Steve Gray in Australia.  One or two of us on there now - follow the link if you have time.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Grrrr ! Someone Copied One of My Paintings Without Permission !

Yesterday I was sitting in my Open Studio exhibition at Dorset Art Weeks just taking stock when a couple walked in to look at my work, clutching a photograph of a prize winning quilt that was based on the painting above!  How flattering - you might think and perhaps briefly I did.  However a small matter of copyright exists on original artwork and at the very least before you use someone else’s idea even in another medium, you must apply to the artist for permission to use it, which may or may not be granted or for which you may be required to pay a fee.

I think what hit me first when I had digested this information was the fact that the quilt maker had won a prize with it in a big exhibition – a prize for something that had hi-jacked my imagination.  Had this person bothered to contact me I might well have given permission provided that the piece was exhibited with full credit to me as originator of the image together with a reference to my web site for further information, but no such approach was ever made.

Obviously with the advent of images on the world wide web, it is more than likely that images will be copied, even if, as I do, you have a copyright notice on each and every page of your site (and blog!). In the Far East there are factories that specialise in copying work and closer to home too, so I suspect that It must be happening to a lot of artists.  But those that copy an image should beware, copyright laws exist for the protection of the artist and can be enforced, and as can be seen from my story, you never know when someone will put two and two together when they see a piece of work and tip off the originator of the piece.

If you live in the UK, both Artists Newsletter and DACS (the Design and Artists' Copyright Society) have information on Copyright and in the US I understand a ‘Cease and Desist’ notice can be very effective - if you are reading this in other countries please do leave your contribution to this blog.  There have also been a number of interesting discussions on this subject on Linkedin.