There are times when I just can't seem to find that  spark needed to pick up the brush... kind of like having the dulldroms.    Would appreciate hearing what inspires and motivates others to keep going through the tough times.

Many thanks.  

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it is a standard practice when painting in another artist's style or copying another artist's work to sign the painting with 'after' and the artist's name. For example, if I painted a copy of Van Gogh's Sunflowers, i would sign it something like this...

Sunflowers (after Van Gogh) by Michael Beckett

this acknowledges that it isn't a completely original work, and gives the artist credit.

If you intend on commercial use, even if you sign it this way, be sure to check out copyrights etc anyway.

I have never heard that, Michael, but makes sense.I used to own a custom design greeting card business...also did some apparel. I had many copyrights, a trademark....spent money on many that did not need them! They say anything earning $2,000 a month...yes...does. Here is a tip, that I learned. There is what is called Poor Man's Copyright. It will hold up in any court of law, as well as one legally done. You sign the original, date on back...send certified registered to yourself and never open it. The dates and signatures are proof of when it was done! You put the (C)  "c in a circle" by your name. :)

When members of our group do a study of someones work they always put something like "van Goghs blah blah study" or what ever happens to apply. These items are often things that they would only keep at home, using this as a study on technique. :)


Bette-Jane Schnabel said:

OHHHHHH Michele! Art is no longer black and white and you need to just relax and draw! :) Being original is always wonderful, but we all "see something" that inspires us to draw what we draw?  I can't wait to see your new "set free" art! I am betting it is going to be fantastic!!

Hey Michele....this is how I do it....when I come across a picture, drawing, painting etc that I like, I would tell myself, "how would I have done that?" and then I do my twist or take on that piece....I have done that with several of Pat's works...I would look for really simple coloring pages and would do my rendition of those pieces especially when I am struggling for always works for me....when I add MY touches, it pretty much doesn't represent the original piece...I really don't like "copying" things per se because I feel like its not really MY work...its kinda like the "In Your Style Challenge"... an inspiration photo is provided but you do your take or "style" on never represents the original used your imagination and creativity to produce the finished piece...
michele josiane martin said:

thanks kenneth - i like the look of abstracts, especially a loose representation of something.

a representation of the original - very loose - is what i would like i think. still experimenting with things. i suppose i'm there. there is no right or wrong, i guess.

that's where i have trouble :-) also, i want to be absolutely original. copying a picture seems pointless and cheating for some reason.

that's another reason i like abstract work. i'm actually battling in my head, with this concept. that's why i'm stumped, and producing nothing really. i did draw a cat, from thaneeya's tutorials but that is just a copied shape too. i suppose the pattern is mine. and the colours. and the medium. but the shape and idea are hers. what is your opinion on it all?

Kenneth A. Haines said:

Yes it is ok if that is what you want to do! A lot of artists use pictures and post cards to draw from, some end up doing realistic replicas and others end up with an abstract or representation of the original, it is all up tp you as the artist!

Im new in art and Im glad I became a part of this club a week ago. I like taking pictures and downloading pictures that I use as models and modify. Im glad to hear there is no bad art and well, like Bette said , as long as you love what u do. I love it and art is fun.

What art has taught me is:

I have done the very best I could at that moment. It may not be the best I am capable of doing but it was the best I could do at that moment.

In that light, I forgive myself for all the “mistakes” I have made. Sometimes, mistakes are merely a new way to learn. Maybe, the colors were too bold when they should have been muted. Maybe, they weren’t strong enough to stand up to the background. Either way, I learned what was beautiful in my eyes. What I would tolerate, what I wouldn’t, what I truly wanted and which expectation I placed on me.

I learned just because some thought I was great at painting people, giving them color and texture; it didn’t mean I had to. The influence of others has power ONLY if I granted it them. Their opinion was only an opinion, not my entire artistic path. It was all in my hands, always a choice to feel the love, anger, contentment and satisfaction from each work.

There was a strange ache as each painting sold. A jealousy, a craving, a pain, a continuous question if it should’ve/would’ve/could’ve been sold. What would happen to my creations? Weren’t they part of me? Why didn’t this part of me deserve to stay in my life? Eventually, slowly, I learned each painting was only there to teach me something.

It was up to me to give the experience meaning. Was the creation a labor intensive, struggle to get the meaning acrossed and so I clung to it because I worked so hard? Was it because it was one of those easy flowing moments which felt as if I were connected to the source of all creation… but the moment ended and I longed to have it back? Once I realized, each painting was only an experience, I could let myself breathe.

There are no could’ve/should’ve/would’ves. I can’t/won’t make it better. I can’t/won’t be connected to that painting again. I am free to let go of the stories that I make up in my mind of how it would be better. It was my painting, it is finished and it was a perfect (in the sense that it could be no other painting than that one painting at that time)I can freely thank it for allowing me to be in those moments and freely I can let go.

My paintings remind me it is time to pour my love, my value and my appreciation on to me. As I do, I experienced more joy as I create. I no longer ask my work to explain me. I no longer ask them to “make me happy” because I am/can be happy with or without that painting in my home or life. I can discern between what I wanted and what I felt I had to settle for in an artwork.

There will always be artists who are better or worse at painting than I am. I am not concerned with their rank in the eyes of the public. I paint, live for me. Every works in my life by invitation. It is there because I enjoy it (maybe not every minute but most) and it enjoy me (maybe not every minute but most). Sometimes, I have to let go of the works, sometimes they stay. Their presence or absence does not define me, I do.

As in art imitates life and art returns the favor so my favorite creation will always be me.

I will draw whatever I SEE AROUND ME to loosen up. 

then I will usually get another idea from that idea. which snowballs into another idea. 

also looking at other art is cool. reading or viewing art videos on youtube. 

i am doing lots of different things. that makes me happy.

When I draw I first have no idea what I'm going to draw; but when I look at my paper I see light imperfections and shadows or marks and somehow those things are seen as pictures in my mind. So I draw them.

Fascinating Karen. I try and collect pictures of what I like and use them as hints about what to draw. I never know exactly what is going to come out as I begin to draw and sometimes it take a few weeks of hard work before I finalise a single drawing. I use a tavlet and a drawing app called ArtFlow so I can change colours, lines and so on quite quickly. I came back to drawing again after quite a long break, finding it helped me after having a stroke just before I turned 80. It helped to heal me and get me back into art.

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