Sunday, May 9, 2010

Capricho de Venezia

Capricho de Venezia, watercolor, 12x16" (30x40cm.) I did this painting from my sketches and photographs after my last trip to Venice, Italy.

Today, a word to the wise painter: Paint only from your own sketches, photographs, notes. If ever you decide to copy from somebody else's painting, for some practice exercise, give credit where credit is due. Acknowledge the original artist in the title of your painting, and keep the painting for yourself. I recently was witness to a very sad story. I will not mention the artist or the gallery here, only the event. A couple of months ago, I was visiting a gallery in Southern California, when I noticed a painting on the wall that caught my eye. I had recently seen that same painting in a museum. How could that be? For a few minutes I couldn't remember where I had seen it, since I have a habit of visiting art museums often, then I looked at my notes. I also have a habit of keeping notes on paintings that strike me. I found it! The painting on the wall looked almost exactly as F. Luis Mora's "Morning News", hanging at that very moment at the San Diego Museum of Art. It was unbelievable to me, such a flagrant copy. The turn of the century hats, the New York Times, the other man carrying a box on his knees, every detail was there, only this copy was less luminous, the brushstrokes insecure. The next day I went back to the San Diego Museum of Art, to confirm my already certain suspicion. I then called the people in charge of the gallery and told them what had happened. Then I learnt that the artist of the copy had won a third prize award for that painting over the weekend, with high scores on originality!!!!!Needles to say, she eventually had to take the painting down.

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