Back to that old copying topic.

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Hang on Studio Wall
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I saw this wonderful pastel painting of a Border Collie on the forum by Nicola Monaghan. What hit me (outside of the wonderful skill of the artist), was the colours, shapes etc that made me half close my eyes and see it afresh. Still sitting at my p.c I picked up a brush, pen, pencil hardly without thinking about it. I just had a desire to paint what I saw on screen. It took me about 40 minutes or so, pad on knee, using watercolour and water thinned acrylic to paint my version/style of Nicola's collie. My materials/mediums, paper and size are all different to hers and in no way meant as anything for the gallery (why I'm posting it here) and no further, that should be very obvious to the viewer....so am I copying something or, as I said, just painting what I saw since I had no intention of otherwise? (If Nicola reads this forum I hope she fully understands that and isn't offended) . I know it won't be agreed with, but everything we do that isn't our imagination is some form of copying as unless we start using tape measures and magnifying glasses, where do we sin? Here is my painted version... Jim.
I don't suppose the copying 'is-it-right-or-wrong' thing will ever go away. I don't see any problem with it (but the copyright aspect can be problematical), I read a lot about modern professional artists and copying from something seems pretty universal. I've just watched a documentary about Paula Rego (an artist I admire), her studio is stuffed with objects that she copies in her paintings. She wanted to do a painting of Pinocchio, and got a sculptor/model maker to make his version of the Pinocchio figure which she copied for her painting. OK, she had his permission, but it's still copying. The resulting painting was 100% pure Rego. Photos are reference material, if I'm not sure what something looks like I'll refer to a photo...usually taking bits of it and, on rare occasions, all of it. Nicola's painting inspired you to reproduce it in your own way. I would have thought that it would please her. (??). I'd say about two thirds of the gallery is copied from something, and why not? I don't like the same old photos of celebrities being copied over and over again, but that's just my personal view. I promised myself that the next time this 'copying-right-or-wrong' bus came along, that I won't jump on it....but I have. It's irresistible. Lew.
I am sure, at some stage, we have all learned something from copying other works of art. It's a natural thing to do. I never think the students copying great works in the National Gallery are either cheating or stealing. You just have to be honest about what you are doing.
I think all the answers are helpful, and thanks for that. I'm still not totally sure what "copying" actually means outside of fraudulent attempts to pass someone else's work off as you own. My views are slightly restricted to a certain type/style of painting to a degree as total photographic art is of no interest to me personally (that doesn't mean I don'f fully appreciate the skills of those who paint that way, just that I don't support Manchester United either 😆) . The idea of making something be a micro accurate replica of something else has no appeal at all; pointless in fact. There is also the fact that people commenting (or not as the case may be) on others work is down to personal preference rather than anything carved in stone. I think this particularly relevant on a site such as this with a very wide assortment of readers and contributors. Elsie Higgins can look just the same as the Rokeby Venus as long as she's naked, rear end view, looking in a mirror and with a red curtain in the background. Angels are optional as nobody knows what they look like anyway, but tanning salons are out.. Okay, then, thanks all and back to that "Girl with a Pearl Earring" I'm currently working on. :blush:.........:hehe: Jim.
Im always copying something because I struggle to originate. Always have. once I am inspired I am off, but the start eludes me (except when I am writing). Most of my painting is copied from my own photos, some from someone else artwork to which I add my twist. Can there really be truly original artwork any more??