What is original art

This post has 147 Replies | 35 Followers
Not Ranked
Posts 14
Points 190
easel1 wrote
on 28 Jan 2010 9:37 AM

Dear Helen,

Anyone who has the following statement in their bio is a friend of mine. "I definitely still consider myself an art student, because I have so much more to learn." Not enough of this attitude in the vis arts! Bravo to you!!! People are so afraid of saying that they are amateurs. . .  amateur in the arts is not a denigration. It comes from the Latin word : "amator"- to love - and in the arts that simply means that an amateur is "a lover of art". Even the best and most influential creators of this and past centuries have never wasted time or energy promoting themselves as artists. Rather, they revelled in being "workers" - painters, sculptors, photographers, dancers, singers and pianists. . . . .  And the result? Their work isn't a copy, an almost copy or anything anywhere near being someone else's idea. If we have anything at all that is worthwhile to "visually" say - that statement should be ours, not someone else's.

Pretty pictures? Oh, please don't get me started on that. You'll never shut me up!

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 58
Points 740
Starrpoint wrote
on 28 Jan 2010 11:07 AM

Margo:

If you take your own photo, your are allowed to trace the arabesque of your own photo until the cows come home. It is your original photo.

 

When you paint from a photo, closely, not simply for reference, you are copying much of the creativity of the photographer. The photograher has composed the shot, and may even have done a lot of post-shot production and darkroom work.

When you work from your own photography, you are simply building on your own creation. It is simply one of YOUR steps in creating the end result, not deriving your work based on someone else's work. That is the issue, is it entirely your own.

The League president, in the original post, thought because the "leader" of the group did the staging, in essence, all the work resulting from the session was derived from the staging of the this person. From her reasoning, the leaders paintings should have been allowed, but the other, deriviative works should not have been.

This is a judgement call, and without knowing more about the painting sessions and the rules under which the league president made this call, it is hard to say what is correct.

Top 500 Contributor
Posts 58
Points 740
Starrpoint wrote
on 28 Jan 2010 11:16 AM

Your teacher is doing her job, and doing it well.

It is so nice to see a teacher really working to bring along other artists, and not simply copyist.

She is so correct!

I work with an artist co-op that holds several open entry shows a year (ea, shows that are open to non-members) We have a juror and cash prizes so many people like to enter.

But we have to stress over and over that derivative works, works based on other people's work and work done in class are not acceptable. Is sounds as if your class could work around this!

The question of what is original work is a thorny one.

As a professional artist I get asked all the time to take a commission to copy someone else's famous work, and often people don't understand why I refuse.

Sometimes they actually say it is because I can't do it. But I don't copy other artists, and that includes photographers, who are artist too, and deserve the same respect as painters.

Top 500 Contributor
Posts 58
Points 740
Starrpoint wrote
on 28 Jan 2010 11:22 AM

I totally agree with you.

To love art is what will make you a master in the long run, whether you are a professional or an "amateur"

Amateur is not a 4-letter word!

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 7,185
Points 51,155
Margo5 wrote
on 28 Jan 2010 11:50 AM

I am not trying to say which way I think this judge should have decided this. I really don't know. I am not in a group that draws or paints models who are staged, but there are questions that come to my mind. I have seen videos and pictures of paint-offs between famous artists who draw, sketch, or paint the same model at the same place and time. Which one of them staged the model? Are they any less professional because they participated in this paint-off? Are their paintings less original? Do they not have to adjust lighting on their canvas because they don't like the particular spot that they were assigned, or the particular atmosphere that the day has presented, or the particular lighting that the moderator set up? They probably don't care one way or the other whether they are able to enter any competition or not because they paint well enough that they can probably just put it in a gallery and move on to the next painting.

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Posts 14
Points 190
easel1 wrote
on 28 Jan 2010 11:58 AM

Margo. . . Beautifully stated! Thank you. I wonder if any of John Singer Sargent's studies sketched in the studio classes of Carolus-Durand would be "unacceptable" as originals? All in all we should spend less time worrying about what other people think and get on wit h the doing of whatever it is that we do. When that is honest and true, that's al that counts.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 58
Points 740
Starrpoint wrote
on 28 Jan 2010 12:29 PM

Margo:

 

"Many have added lines about not being based on photographic works, or any copyrighted works."

What does this have to do with photos you have taken yourself with your own camera? Are you saying that artists don't have a right to base their paintings on a photo of their own? If you transfer a line drawing of your own photo to watercolor paper or canvas how does that go against copyright? Perhaps you need to word what you are saying a little differently.  Do you think that Albrecht Durer should have his paintings taken out of the museums because he used an early prototype of the copy machine to draw the arabesque of his models (he traced the outline of his models onto a piece of glass and then transfer that)?

 

 

 

You can use work based on your own work. These lines are to state that you cannot submit work based on someone else's work.  Again, all the work was Durer's work.

Many people are trying to submit copies of their works to shows, not the originals. Most shows want the original, not a copy.

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Posts 9
Points 120
Lise King wrote
on 28 Jan 2010 1:32 PM

Someone already had said that you can trace your own photos that you physically took yourself until the cows come home... Therefore, I think it was understood...

It is the work that other people have created that is a no no...Confused Others peoples work can only be used to inspire us or kick off the process of creativity in ourselves, and steer away from the essence of the particular piece that belongs to someone else....

Have A Great Day!

Lise King

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 7,185
Points 51,155
Margo5 wrote
on 28 Jan 2010 1:52 PM

 Lise,

I think you need to qualify that your are only talking here about competitions.

If that held true about everything, then North Light books would not have been able to put at the beginning of their book Painter's Quick Reference Landscapes (2006 North Light Books), which clearly states on page 2 second line: "All rights reserved. It is permissible for the purchaser to paint the designs contained herein and sell them at fairs, bazaars and craft shows." And professional (or more likely amateur) photographers would not be able to sell or give written permission for their photos to be used in a painting.

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 200 Contributor
Posts 261
Points 3,195
on 28 Jan 2010 1:58 PM

Thank you for the kind words.  I only said it because it's true, and not only about art.

If I can switch tracks slightly, my own view is that, for a contest or a juried exhibition, it's probably better, as starpoint suggests, to explain what is allowed and what is not, rather than to rely on labels, such as "original."  For selling work, the legal rule may be a little different, but maybe not - as long as the artist and gallery tell the public what's going on.  For personal pleasure, such as a painting I did for myself as a lesson to improve my work, even if i copied something, it's in my house for my private use.   If someone asks, "Did you paint that?" I say "Yes."  I usually explain where I got the reference unless their eyes glaze over after  the "yes."

This is such a great thread.  It's really made me think about myself and my work.

Thanks to everyone for participating.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 58
Points 740
Starrpoint wrote
on 28 Jan 2010 2:06 PM

I do Agree with you Helen.

 

It is important that it is clearly stated what it is that is displayed, sold, etc.

Now I do sell prints of my work. I don't think this is wrong, because people know they are prints. But never would I try and convince people that a print is the original.

And I have copied from others. Especially when I am trying to learn a new technique or use a new material, I might take a class or workshop or simply copy something from a book. This is my own, personal art, but not to be displayed as mine in a gallery or sold as such.

I do have my students copy from the masters to learn. It is a good way to understand technique history and such. But even then, I pick something in the public domain and explain just why I am having them do it.

I also am a photographer, and have shared both photos for artwork and photo reference with other artists, with the understanding that this will result in art.

That is ok, It is understood, but these works would not qualify for a competition where part of the judging is on how well you composed a painting.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 5
Points 130
carve wrote
on 28 Jan 2010 2:57 PM

The author of a book owns all rights to it, as expressed in the copyright notice, which states the rights the author is "selling" you.  When you purchase that book, you do not automatically  purchase the right to reproduce any part of it you want except for "fair use"--educational or personal use.  Some, but not all,  authors of instructional books extend the usual purchaser's rights by giving them the right to make and sell works from the patterns therein--usually stated in the copyright notice.  This is merely saying that the author will not sue you if you sell the works made from the patterns.  It does NOT say that those works should be accepted universally as original art.  It is simply an agreement between the author of the book and the purchaser of it.  This works equally with people who sell you patterns or rights to use their photos in your work.  It is a legal agreement, saying " I will not sue you if you use my stuff ." That does not necessarily mean that the work made with such a release is "original" --simply because the author gave you permission to use it. 

That is a different matter entirely.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 9
Points 120
Lise King wrote
on 28 Jan 2010 3:11 PM

LOL yes! Yes! I am talking about the competitions. Oh my Lord, I cannot keep up... I am multi tasking and trying to keep up with this forum...

It has been very interesting to learn and see how people perceive what qualifies or not.  But the best description was from  Starrpoint and Helen which would alleviate allot of the misunderstandings when people apply for an art contest... The brough up very good points...

Have A Great Day!

Lise King

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 58
Points 740
Starrpoint wrote
on 28 Jan 2010 3:22 PM

Thanks, Lisa,

Anyone or any group that puts on a competion venue should state clearly what is and what is not allowed.

And people,

Read the prospectus. If you do not understand what they want, call or write them and ask. Sometimes groups use wording that is non-specific or easly mis-understood, so don't be afraid to ask for clerification.

I expect a lot of e-mail next week when the Renaissance's new prospectus hits the website, for clarification, etc.

We are doing a spring show for color complements, and I know there is going to be a lot of questions!

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 7,185
Points 51,155
Margo5 wrote
on 28 Jan 2010 3:39 PM

OK, Starrpoint, you've got my curiosity up. What is Renaissance (and I am talking about the one in particular that you mentioned in your previous forum entry - I am just waiting for someone to jump in and give me a definition of Renaissance).

Sounds interesting. Just the combination of "spring show" and "color complements" sounds like an art party to me.

  • | Post Points: 20
Page 9 of 10 (148 items) « First ...  < Previous  6 7 8 9 10  Next > | RSS