Saturday, 22 October 2011

Horse Racing Paintings

 I have made a decision regarding my new collections of horse racing paintings.  

Recently at a gallery opening I met a collector of my work who now owns several paintings of mine covering various subjects. The discussion arose as to how popular some of my  subjects now seem to be getting. Cockerels are amongst many artists collections as a favourite subject so I don't claim these as mine nor should I.  But I have a defined style especially when it comes to a sense of movement in my work and my horse racing paintings are classed as unique.

The collector explained that he had noticed my work is  being copied  by a particular artist who may have originally felt they were learning from me. But they are also sharing and selling online pretending the paintings/style are their own idea and creation. This isn't ethical or wise.  Their effects cannot result in exact copies but the appearance of their work screams of my influence.

I listened and completely understood. If you pay thousands of pounds for a painting you want an original piece of art. You may also be able to afford to take legal action if you feel the painting you purchased has been copied. Which is the situation my client felt able to do as a lawyer and in the legal profession. I hadn't fully taken in this side of the complicated issue of copyright. The owner of an original piece of art has rights too. We had such an insightful conversation and I am really grateful that we not only met but took time to think about how copying artists can really effect other artists,galleries and art buyers.

It isn't just art that is being copied as actions are also. I do understand the artist who is so desperate for a sale that they eagerly watch what others are exhibiting and race for their brushes believing if they too paint the same subjects they will be successsful. But they are missing the point. It is the individuality of an artist,the one who paints new subjects or finds new ways to paint old favourites that  gets attention.

I have alway encouraged artists to create their own work. I have felt strongly about  those who consistently paint from photographs that they have found online that could easily be painted by many other viewers of the very same image. I have shared  and advised new artists to learn from as many books and workshops as possible to help them grow and gain more technical experience. However once you learn to depend on copying as a constant way of working it is very hard to let go of the "crutch" and find out what you are truly capable of as an individual.

I love originality. I love seeing what every artist of all levels is capable of , bringing life into a composition drawing from their own creativity not others.

What you paint does depend very much on where you are in your art journey so learning from masters or artists who are far more experienced than yourself of course is only natural. But there is a obvious line between copying to learn and copying deliberately to pass off as your own work ,style and sell.

I will not be sharing future paintings from my horse racing collections as I believe it isn't fair to the collectors who wish to purchase my original art. I know this is a sad move because my new paintings have far more energy and life in them than ever before as they have evolved with my style. But I owe loyalty to those who are looking forward to seeing and owning my new work.

I am joining and following the advise of experienced and established artists who show very limited paintings online. Whilst I am very generous with my teaching and techniques which I adore sharing and will continue to do, my main gallery work will now be kept in the galleries. This news will come as a blow to the particular artist who will now have to depend on their own ideas for new work or they can continue to repeat and copy their previous "copies".

It is a shame as I am very excited about where my new collections are heading but I am aware of an area of my art life I am moving into that warrants serious decisions.

Original art needs to be just that.




yelpazesu said...


Lynx said...

I can quite understand why you are taking this action, but isn't it a shame that one individual has caused you to do this?

Copying someones work is a compliment, in that they obviously really admire that artist's work. However, trying to sell their copy as their own original work is immoral and I hope they read your article, realise who they are and feel ashamed of themselves.

I, for one, will miss seeing your future horse racing paintings, as they were so unusual. Thank you for sharing all your work with us - I always look at your latest blog as soon as it is flagged on my blog page.


Susan Roux said...

It's a sad realization when an artist needs to resort to "not" showing her art to the masses. We spend so much of our art life trying to get as much exposure as possible. A few select individuals spoil it for everyone. I posted about one such character awhile back. It was easier for me to blow the whistle because it wasn't my own art he was copying. You can see the post here:

Sadly ever since this post, I've reduced the size of the images I post. It's really a shame when those who are interested in our art and being penalized because of a few unethical ones.

I've really enjoyed viewing the recent change in your art. I find the direction your style is evolving in to be very pleasing. Keep following your creativity. It's leading you in a good direction. I'll miss seeing your progression. Best of luck.

AnAis said...

It's incredible...
How can a person act in such a bad faith? :(
Learners like me who try to learn of your fantastic art could be the real loosers...
Anyway thanks for sharing :)

Jean Haines SWA said...

Thank you Yelpazesu

Jean Haines SWA said...

Hello Lynn

To be fair I had already been advised by galleries regarding my larger pieces and collectors items.

This won't prevent me from sharing and inspiring on my blog as I receive so many wonderful messages letting me know how much my writing and painting is enjoyed.

It has just given me food for thought about what I actually share here and certain paintings possibly do not belong online.

I know we all come across this situation from time to time and I have listened to other artists interesting views. Many do not share online at all,others only showing limiting numbers of their work to represent what they do but no more than that.

I always wondered why until recently!

Thank you so much for your reply.


Jean Haines SWA said...

Hello Susan

I found your blog post fascinating and will share it here on my blog.

It is incredible how many artists do indeed have no creative talent of their own. Needing to copy others to gain the attention they desire.

I watched one on facebook and an art site a while back happily explaining how they had painted their piece, delighted in how they chose the colours and explaining how they created their result from step to step. Their work was wonderful and the feedback and praise they recieved was well deserved.

Had they been telling the truth.

They had copied another artists demonstration and perfectly shadowed their every move.

I believe some people have no conscience. As long as they are getting praise and andulation they don't care about any ethics!

Well done on bringing the con artist to light and thank you so much for your reply.

Its only my gallery work I will keep private from here in,the rest of my paintings I will share happily and anyone who wishes to enjoy it may. That is the whole point of being an artist.Sharing the passion we feel when we create,

No one can deprive the world of that!

Someone who creates is a true artist. Someone who copies cannot hold that name!


Roy The Artist said...

Indeed very sad. I am always surprised by 'Artists' copying exactly, and selling on, not just for practice. I for one have not done that, because I see the techniques and want to apply them to my own work and subjects! (You know I have been hugely influenced by you Jean)To the extent that I am now working in A mix of watercolor and acrylic, using ideas that sprang from you, and others. One thing to keep in mind Jean, they can only steal what you have created Not what you have yet to create

Brotesdeternura said...

It is unfortunate that we can only enjoy your art through this medium to be thousands and thousands of kilometers, and can not attend your shows, or workshops, we have to deprive us of your wonderful work for people who have no talent and behaves inappropriately. I understand that the deeply admire your paintings and taking at face value all your advice, many times our trials are being "influenced" by your style, it happens with the "Grand Masters" forever, but from there to copy a scene then sell it, there is a big difference, and it's lack of integrity in their actions. I respect your decision and the time I'm sad about it, as the world once again shows us that the good people of truth often must leave their generosity by people who are not worth ...Once again, congratulations on your beautiful work.

martinealison said...

Je suis vraiment désolée de ce qui vous arrive... Gros bisous