Friday, 23 March 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 12

"Emily's Tree, Doncaster Park, Ste.- Adèle", inspired by Emily Carr
Blog 12

Thank you for reading my blog. If you have followed my blogs over the last couple of weeks you know that we are preparing our house for sale. Despite all the decluttering and packing, I was still able to be creative almost every day. This week, however, with the painter painting most of the rooms in our house, the house was in chaos; furniture was standing everywhere. To avoid having to pack twice, I tried to stay on top of putting it all in boxes until late in the evening. Some nights, I went straight to bed, while on other nights I just managed to add a couple of rows to my temperature shawl.

Saturday afternoon, I actually went into my studio for an hour because the tulips that I had bought were luring me in with their beauty. I hope that I will manage to finish the painting by next week.

I also sat down to finish some teddy bear figurines that will be part of a game, similar to “Don’t Worry”. They have not been touched for far too long because other things were more exciting. Right now, sewing the heads to the bodies seems like the perfect relaxing project. At this point, it is not very creative but exactly what my restless hands need while watching TV.

So where do I go from here? The next couple of weeks will probably still be very exhausting. I could just give up under the pretense that I am just too busy before we move. Then I could add that I will probably also be too busy once we have moved. There are always reasons to stop, but like with physical activity or healthy eating, the important thing is that you start again where you left off.

As for this week, I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about a subject that always comes up when I am teaching: painting from photos found on the Internet, a calendar, or even copying a painting from another artist.

my version of Emily Carr's "Odds and Ends"
While it is a good learning experience to copy another artist’s .
painting to learn from their techniques, it is important that you see it as a study. It is someone else’s intellectual property. They figured out the composition, the use of colour and texture, and they should be credited for it. When I took several painting courses studying the masters, I took my own photos and created paintings in the style of the studied artist. Later, when I taught the “Painting like Famous Artists” courses, we worked from photos of an original work. These paintings will never be for sale, and I clearly identified the fact that I copied an original on the front of the painting, stating both the original artist and the name of the painting. Even in this case, you can legally only copy a painting that is in the public domain, which means that they are no longer copyrighted

When you take a photographer’s images for reference photos for your own paintings, you will be fine as long as you just keep them in you house. However, the correct approach would be to contact the photographer and ask for permission to use the photo. This is absolutely necessary, if you want to display the artwork in an exhibition. Otherwise, you could get in a lot of trouble for copyright infringement, except if you are using photos that are free to use like material that is in the Public Domain.

I always encourage students to use their own photos as references. It makes a big difference in the energy you bring to your painting, if you have experienced the surroundings. You remember how you felt when you were at the spot, smelled the flowers, or watched a person or pet dear to you.

When I take one of my photos for the first class of my “Acrylic Landscape Painting” course, I do it for two reasons:

1) I do not know if every student would bring a photo.
2) I like to show to them that even when we work from one photo that every one’s finished painting will be different. We are all unique individuals, and this should show in our art. This does not mean that we are not influenced by other artists, but rather that we can incorporate some of their techniques into our own work. However, f ten artists (or students) are painting a subject, you should get ten different works. Your temperament, your mood on any given day, and certainly you skill level will influence your work. That’s why you can even paint the same subject repeatedly, and your painting will not look 100% the same.

To prove the point, here are a couple of set of my paintings from painting parties I lead:

Speaking of painting parties, there are still spaces for the painting party I host on April 15, from 1:30pm to 3:30pm at 1270 Kinsella Drive in Cumberland, ON, K4C 1A9. We will be painting the peonies. The price is $35 per person. The registration deadline is April 8, 2018. The maximum number of participants is 12. For this event, I need at least 8 people and a pre-payment by e-transfer to or cheque payable to Kerstin Peters to reserve a spot.

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