"When Feathers Fly"
What a fantastic day. The sun shone brightly and, as I have really been painting flowers non stop this week I decided to paint one of my favourite subjects. A Rooster, who may have seen another chap trying to take his lady! Whatever the reason behind his posturing this guy was really ruffling his feathers when I caught him on camera. For a brief moment, he did look a little embarrassed to be caught in action. About to start an argument but he continued regardless of my being his audience. There was so much noise and he really did look as though he meant business. But eventually everything calmed down. It was amazing to watch. So of course I just had to paint him.
While I worked I thought about the fuss this rooster had been making. I have to confess I hate arguments. Luckily I rarely see any these days. If I do, I have the age and wisdom to quietly walk away until the dust settles. But what should I do when I open an email from an artist telling me they have been accused of copying me and in the next breath the very same artist is accusing the artist accusing them of copying me, of copying me too. You couldn't make it up!
What did I do?
I walked my dog!
I wonder if there is too much March Madness in the air at the moment?
I am seriously not belittling the artists involved but goodness, there are enough subjects to paint and no one owns them. And many fabulous styles too. For the record, I do not own " Loose Painting" as a style. Neither do I own cockerels as subjects or horse racing scenes or kingfishers. In fact I have been warned that a new " Kingfisher Craze" may hit the scene once my new book is released and if it does I will be thrilled. Lets' all paint the fabulous little birds!
Back to the argument though. Two wonderful artists fell out over a situation that is so very sad when this art world is big enough for all of us. Lets ' share our passion for painting. I hope this is helpful advise but if anyone suggests you have been copying another artist instead of getting irate and wanting to knock their lights out, how about taking a long hard look at your work and try to see why they may have jumped to their conclusion. Perhaps they have a point in that your work does look similar to someone elses' and just maybe thats' a great reason to adapt your style a little, to look more unique. If you look similar to a great artist you admire how about taking the comments as a compliment.
The day someone tells me my roses in watercolour looks as beautiful as Blanch Odins' I am going to be over the moon. But I know I am a long way off from my goal of ever being that brilliant!
Please. Please be kind. Please bring out the best in everyone around you in any way that you can. Encourage others to enjoy painting and love what you do as an artist. Making this world a better place is something we can all contribute too.
My goal in life? I have learned over the years that taking time to think about a situation always works best. I want to be known as the most generous of teaching artists and if I can, the most kind. That is one hell of a goal to reach for but I am working on it.
How about following my lead!