Monday, September 19, 2011

Finding My Voice

I have enjoyed art as a subject in high school and we had very good teachers. I just never did it very much after high school and that was back in 1987!

With our empty walls, I thought I'd buy some art but I went to several places like West Elm. Nice art work in frames but I was shocked at the prices for merely prints. I decided that I would buy original art work there and then.

How naive I was. I contacted several artists and one whose work I loved but he lived in Australia and did not want the hassle with the shipping and insurance. I could not have afforded his art anyway, he wanted AUD$6,000 for his beautiful piece of work. Which is worth every penny, except that I didn't have those sort of pennies. :)

I thought of reproducing his work. I struggled with this for months because I was not sure of the legal implications so I talked to a lawyer who is also a friend and he said that if I did not pass on the work as the artist's or try to sell it, it was fine. Also, I trawled through websites and found that there were websites selling reproductions from masters of art - and selling them online! What is with that anyway, I cannot understand it. Is it ok to resell art from artists who are dead? If someone explained this to me, I would be grateful.

A few weeks later I bid for a piece of art on Ebay but bidding was fierce and as I was not watching it closely, at the very last moment, the art went to someone else. I was gutted. So I decided to reproduce this one. Not too happy with my version because it is too bright - the artist was Charles Levier and his colours are stark and empty but mine was a bit too pink.

Then I was inspired by Matisse. This took me 2 hours to do and it was completely FUN! It is now hanging in our powder room. Not a great picture, sorry - it is time to upgrade my iPhone!

I put them on my Facebook and I had so many positive comments that I am thinking seriously of finding my own voice so that I don't have to copy other people's work. I am planning on putting aside a time each day to paint, to find my style. Hopefully I won't have to charge so much money so that people can enjoy it and also I can get some happy returns from painting! It is something I totally enjoy, which took me by surprise.

Thanks for looking - I know copying people's work is a sensitive topic and please drop me a comment, I would be interested to hear what others think.


  1. I love your art, you should really keep it up. Don't think you need to follow anybody's style because I can see your style in that painting! I like art too but I think I'm not doing it enough. I think copying is probably not right, but I think because these artists were dead long ago before there was anything such as copyright, many people are reproducing their art. As long as you don't copy the art to sell, I think it's fine.


  2. Yes, it's interesting you should say that because today I found a link somewhere that many artists learn by reproducing work of the masters. However, as you said copyright only lasts for a period of time, 70 years if I'm not wrong - remember when Disney was going to see the end of their copyright over some of their characters like Mickey Mouse? So the artists long gone have their work reproduced and sold but the more recent artists still have lawful right of their own paintings.