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Sunday, January 18

stealing inspiration

There is a lot of chatter on show artist boards and list serves about allowing people to photograph your work. Some folks get all knotted up about it. Post pictures of cameras with lines through them or just signs that say "no photos". This strikes me a a tad pompous, actually. As if our talent is so Louvre-able that hordes are itching to steal our work.

Let's be real. The way I look at it, take a picture and go try to do what I do. I can't even reproduce one of my own collage for a customer. It's pathetic, really. And, to be really honest here, if your work can be copied from a photograph, made and sold, you're doing something wrong. It shouldn't be that easy.  You need to up your game.

I think it is a real problem for photographers and 2d artists because, apparently, there are cameras so sophisticated, they can take a photo of a photo and then reproduce it at will. That would stink, I agree. Those artists should have as many of those obnoxious little signs all over the place as they wish.

But let's also be real about "theft" of intellectual property. There is nothing new under heaven Horatio (or something like that). It's all been done somewhere by someone. Did that great idea come directly from your brain with no input from the outside world or did you notice something interesting in a gift shop in Idaho one day on vacation and that image percolated in your brain for 2 years to be born as an aspect of your own work? What do you think?

I shamelessly stalk the web sites of artists that do what I do. I steal from them. They inspire me. This, for instance, from the Uncommon Goods site:

Sweet, isn't it? It is a collage made of papers, but totally unlike what I do. What did I steal from this artist? The idea of incorporating the writing right into the design. Of course, I think I will need to practice an interesting "font" that I can do and I will probably write it on tracing vellum and weave it into the papers. And my designs are abstract. They don't presume to mimic a seaside as this one does. I don't think I can do that very well. But had I not run across this, I probably would still rely on using computer printing on vellum over handmade paper bits and placing them, static, into the design.  Like this:

This artist inspired me, so I "stole" from her.   If you are truly a creative soul (and I believe almost everyone is) you will, every day, see something that gives you a little tummy thrill when you see it. You will either envy it, buy it or copy a bit  from it. And all of our little ideas will live on, sometimes in a completed work of our own or in little bits in the works of other people. I can live with that. I kinda like it, actually.

So, if you run into us at an art show this year, feel free to pull out your camera. I will not draw a line through you  :)

Saturday, January 17

what I don't know

I have been a bad blogger. Now, it is true that life during show season gets crazy, but that's not it. Facebook has become a release and a habit. Random thoughts are so easy to post there, the need to elaborate on them forgiven. It occurs to me that I am feeling the absence of thought and reflection. So, I am back.

Show applications are coming in already. I actually missed the 1/10 deadline of one of them but they are extending it for me because I have done it for so long. So, deep breath, camera at the ready, pencils sharpened. Off I go.

It is so cold. The body wants to be still, be covered, be resting. Our old house has little drafts that come on from places I cannot track. The furnace never stops running. My studio is too cold to be usable and the space heater barely touches the iciness of the air. They say we are due for a moderation of temperature. Please?

So, I have been hunkered under this blanket, often with a dog on my lap and the remotes for various devices at my side, doing little. But I think. And it occurs to me that I have been unable to make sense of the world lately.

I don't know why Israel and Palestine can't work it out.  I read up on it but the complexities elude me. I want them to just stop.

I don't know how our politics got so hateful and punitive. What happened? Do people really research before they vote? Apparently not. And I don't know why.

I don't know how to use my time properly, dividing it between art and work and home. That inability is what anchors me to this chair, under a blanket, remotes at the ready. The cold is  just an excuse.

I don't know what direction to take  in art. I love collage, I get a lot of positive feedback, I get into some pretty competitive shows with it, but sales are disappointing. Of course, when I compare with friends we all seem to be in the same ballpark financially, so it may not be the work, it just may be that art sales have flattened. It is a discussion we have over and over and over...

I don't know how to be a healthy vegetarian. We use too much dairy, pasta and rice. I need to work on that.

I don't know why people kill in the name of their god.

I don't know why kids send naked pictures of themselves from their iPhones. I remember being embarrassed if a button on my shirt slipped open.

So, I have obviously been pondering things. I blame the weather and this comfy chair and the lack of physical movement needed to switch from TV to Roku to Netflix. But I need to blame myself, too, for my willingness to hunker down and let the world spin without my active participation.

My family surprised me with a late Christmas/early Birthday gift of a beautiful Canon Rebel. Photography is a love of mine. I'm not good at it, the complexities of the technical aspects sometimes paralyze me, but I have a "good eye" and I like what taking pictures does to my creative side. I need a creative outlet that I pursue for joy, not just profit. I will be sharing my  journey on my other blog (also neglected far too long) "Morning Lens".

Hello again. I will be back. Hopefully on a regular basis, as we wander toward Spring.