You know, nothing beats originality in our creative processes, but then again, what’s a little petty larceny amongst friends? About 10 years ago, I and a friend were traveling in Amsterdam, and in a gallery, the owner was repairing a wonderful painting that turned out to be a forgery that was most likely painted in the 1930’s. My friend bought the painting, both because it was a really good painting, but also for the story that the gallery owner told. Was it true? Could be, but even if it’s not, it makes a great story to tell people who come to the house and ask about it. We returned to Seattle in time to see a John Singer Sargent show at the Seattle Art Museum. Actually we saw the show 4 times, but who’s counting? Anyway, Sargent’s painting, A Street Scene in Venice was there, and I said, “Damn I wish I’d painted that!” My friend said, “Well, why don’t you?” So I did and made him buy it.
Artists can learn a lot from copying works by their favorite artists from the past (and really, they should be WAY from the past!) and as long as you don’t try to sell it as the real thing, you most likely won’t get into trouble. So far I have copied 4 Sargents, 1 Whistler, 2 Vermeers, and a George Inness.
Till next time,