Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

NO NO!!!!!

The Rogue Speaks:

I posted this last week, so many of you have already read it, and since this is "N" week, here it is again!!

While viewing an art exhibit and sale here in Brunswick recently, I was shocked to find a familiar subject displayed.  I immediately knew that the subject was not an original idea of the artist.  Over  twelve years ago, one of my students brought to class a photo that he wanted to paint.  After having explained to him the rules for copying the work of other artists, I allowed him to paint from the photo strictly as an exercise in class.  I explained to him that due to copyright laws, he could never offer his painting for sale.  It was the same subject of the painting which I saw recently.

Over the centuries, many aspiring artists have been seen  in well-know galleries around the world, sitting in front of famous paintings, studying and copying them, not to sell, but to study the techniques of the artists and hopefully learn from them.  Very few of those artists have actually tried to pass their copied work off as original, and those who did, never got far for obvious reasons.


Still, some artists will keep trying to pass others' works off as their own originals.  Over the years, I have been frequently asked to jury art into exhibits, and I think I can spot a copy pretty quickly.  The artist who painted a close-up of a buffalo stampede, or a tiger, for example, was asked point-blank just how close she had gotten to those wild animals.  She hemmed and hawed, and never really answered the question.  Her work was not accepted into the exhibit.

Another artist who kept trying to display copied works, even after having been caught early on, was told that she could no longer enter her work into competitions unless she could prove that the subject matter was original.  The work she copied?  Straight out of art "how to" books!

Some artists think that they will never be caught.  Don't count on it, ever!  Someone, somewhere, sometime, will recognize the piece, no matter how obscure it might be.  While glancing through art for sale on one day, a painting caught my eye.  It was a lovely piece, painted by a skilled artist, but the subject and composition looked very familiar to me.  A copy of that piece had been offered for sale by a Sunday painter, a ham-fisted artist who was a new member of our guild.  The board of directors of the guild was informed, and soon discovered that this artist was making a habit of copying the work of others.  I had never been on's art space, and it was by shear accident that I found that piece.

Obviously it is not only in the art world that plagiarism is a NO NO.  Life is filled with examples of dishonesty and theft.  We read about it every day.  There have been unscrupulous bloggers who have stolen articles from others' blogs and posted them as their own, and this very morning I read an article in our paper regarding a minister who had been taking his sermons off the internet without giving credit to the original minister who wrote them.  What happened? That stealing fellow was promptly fired!  I guess he had forgotten one of the commandments by which he supposedly lived.

No matter which of the muses you follow, stay true to the concept of honesty in your life.  Avoid the embarrassment of being eventually found out as a fraud and a cheat.  It can happen!!

This post, "NO NO!!!" is in honor of the letter "N" for Jenny's AlphabeThursday.  It wasn't until I went to Jenny's site to link up that I realized that this week's letter is "M" but fortunately, I DID write an "M" post, which I did link up.  So you knew already that I'm a ditz--oh, well!

p.s.  Once again, Blogger is stopping me from adding photos to my blog, so please look in my right sidebar for an example of a famous painting that has been copied many times!!!!


noexcuses said...

Hey Judie! Great post! It is heartbreaking to see this happen! What is up with today's morality? A good reminder to all of us, whether we write, paint or make music!

lissa said...

I don't know people do it, it's not as if they couldn't create original art, skilled as they are. I guess profits is sometimes too great for some people.

have a sweet day.

p.s., strange that you couldn't post photos, have you check your picasa page? that is where your photos are kept. perhaps you went over the limit? that would one reason you couldn't post.

Jo said...

and art theft happens in so many forms ... not just painting ... it's amazing to me that there are so many people in the world who think nothing of stealing art, or illegal downloading, or taking credit for someone else song, or photo ... thanks for adressing the issue!

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

Another one of the many things learned in kindergarten and forgotten in adult life....

EG CameraGirl said...

I don't understand how people can feel good about themselves after copying someone else's work. Guilt is not a nice feeling.

Leovi said...

I am aware that some painters have copied my photos. So I have copyright on the sale of his paintings?

Sandy said...

I had to send money to picase, $5.00 or something like that, to add storage for the year.. might be your problem with photos?
Thanks for your visit to my blog and your comments.
Happy Valentines Day

Gattina said...

Many "Sunday" artists copy, but they change a little bit so that it doesn't really look like the original. I don't like to copy, besides the fact that it is not honest, a photo copy machine does it quicker, lol !

Ames said...

Happy Valentine's Day Judie!

My father painted, mostly landscapes. We had a Florida mural down our hallway all the years I grew up in that house. I was sad to paint over it when it came time to sell his house. But he never painted another persons original art.

My daughter has the last painting he ever painted hanging on her wall. It is a painting of a cat licking it's butt. Oh well, he was no van Gogh, but at least he painted what he saw.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

It is so sad that they are missing out on using their own imaginations.

Karen S. said...

Oh shucks, that's the worst thing ever! BUT on a happy note- it's great catching your post, while I'm trying to catch up from being behind in my blogging. I can't believe how quickly our hours go lately- and it's Brrrrrrrr down right rotten weather in my neck of the woods- imagine if I had a hot white sandy beach leading to a pure blue open watered wonderland just waiting for my toes! Lucky you!

JJ said...

Judie: This tightens my shorts! It is like a cancer in my classes. Students do not understand that they are stealing someone's idea. I fail them outright, and these thieves will fail in life. I don't blame you for bieng hot about this, and I commend you! Let me know where the work is beng presented, and I will personally go there and say a word or two.

Tracy Cook said...

You have a well thought out blog thank you

Lola said...

I know someone copied the plot (and who knows what else) from my first novel ...

Still rankles even now ... Grhhhh!

Such a pertinent N post, Judie!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Not only are those folks stealing from the artist, but they are denying their own talent and ability to contribute...

I have no patience for plagiarism in any fashion.

Great post!!



Karen S. said...

Now, with N being Jenny's letter this week, I had to N my way in- and slant it toward the mantra that I'm beginning (well if you must know mostly just in my head) but can you believe it, those mean and NASTY weather folks are at it again- drawing up more plans for more (I won't even say it) so you might find my N post this week kind of notorious and natural coming from N-innesota!

Sue said...

I particularly love this post, Judie. We all need to respect one another's work, for what is art without integrity?


Lmkazmierczak said...

Well said! My N effort:

Scudds Harrison said...

Very good post, Jodie! A big NO! No! to plagiarism!


Jenny said...

While I think that there are actually no 'new' works of arts...everything is based on something, somewhere...I really dislike when someone copies straight out.

For heavens sake, people. At least change the pine trees to apple trees or some such creative input!

Hope you're feeling a bit better Judie!

Hugs and A+

PS. I used to teach painting classes and I was always shocked how everyone just copied mine...I always said, "Make it your own, make it your own!" but no-one ever listened. Sigh.