Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I should really be in bed instead of overthinking things

So I was looking at the work of Gretchen Gammell, who is an artist I greatly admire, and I sort of know because her mom was childhood friends with my mom. Her work is seriously fantastic, and I think if I had the money I would buy one of her paintings for my mother, who would love it.

I think to look at her new stuff, perhaps every 6 months. This check in, her latest stuff is really good, and there were a series of portraits, one of which really spoke to me, if it wasn't sold already, that would be the one that I would buy. This is one of those, "I wish I had painted that" sort of things.

I think I'd like to paint a variation of it as a self portrait. I'm trying to decide how that would work out ethically. I mean, it would be part master study, and part homage, but I'm afraid it would just look like plagiarism. A great fear of plagiarism was instilled in me at college. I was terrified of not properly citing my work, of thinking that I had thought of something myself and writing it down and then realizing that the idea had come from somewhere else, of not being sure that enough of an idea was mine and not making it clear where the components had come from.

We had strict policies about academic honesty, and I was still prone to anxiety freshman year when I had the scariest (and most awesome) Prof ever, who banged on a table (not with his shoe) and yelled at us on the first day of class, just to get wusses to drop the class. Then on the last day off class he gloated about the five who had dropped at the beginning. He made quite an impression. They missed out on a hell of a great class.

So I am torn about this painting that I want to do. Even if I never sold it (a distinct possibility) it would still bother me. Of course Gretchen's work (see I don't really know her, but I know enough to be on a first name basis) is nothing like my own would be, even with her influence. I love it, but her style is not my style, by a long shot. It would be the pose and the subject matter that would be reflected.

It makes me think of that exhibition just at the SAM about the roots of Impressionism. The had a bunch of paintings that had been basically copied, but by the impressionists in their own style. I guess when artists plagiarise, it's called a study.

And my drawing instructor did tell me that I needed to do more studies. Of course he told everyone that. But that doesn't make it not true.

No comments:

Post a Comment