I have created a virtual art gallery of my own personal favourite works of art.
This is mainly the work of the great artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh, Dali, etc. I enjoy comparing work and seeing who influenced whom.
As I consider there are lots of good artists on Redbubble, I approached a few to ask permission to include them in my virtual art gallery. Most were delighted and flattered that I admired their work so much. for copyright purposes I keep copies of the emails granting permission to use work. This is uneccesary really, as those whose work I chose are also my friends and they trust me. Still, I like to do things properly and legally.
I’d like to record here the conditions under which I use art from Redbubble for my personal study in my own private folders on my own private computer:
1 – I ask permission first.
2 – I always reduce the images to under 40kb. If they fell into the wrong hands (for example, if my computer was stolen) and someone wanted to print them, they’d have to enlarge the image and it would become too blurred to use.
3 – I never copy anyone else’s art and if anyone can produce evidence to prove that I have accidentally plagiarised them I will remove any offending images from my portfolio.
4 – I am more than happy to send copies of the folders I produce to anyone whose art I have used.
5 – I have a conscience and would not sully it by using art for which permission has been refused. One of the only artists I recall who ever refused permission was Sword of Redbubble and I do not have any of his work on my computer, much as I still admire it.
By openly admitting that I admire other people’s work I suppose I am setting myself up as a target for all those mean-minded people who suspect everyone of plagiarism.
Truth is that as I try hard to be original, what I am doing by studying the art of other artists is actually making it MORE of a challenge for myself to be original, as I am more aware of what others have created in the past and have more to avoid.
If I was ignorant of the art of others, I’d be less likely to worry about accidentally plagiarising someone’s work. As it is, for example, I may start a drawing and think, “oops – can’t do that – Karin’s already done that” or “Oh dear, this looks too much like Deb’s style.”
One lady once did a couple of paintings in what she called “the Dave Edwards style” and I was really flattered. It did however make me feel that if my style is so easily copied then maybe I should develop it more and I am still striving to do that.
I am an honest and transparent person who never deliberately seeks to deceive. All my cards are on the table. I therefore make no secrets of my artistic influences. As a small boy I was sent to live with my Welsh grandparents for a few weeks while my mother was in hospital. My nain (grandma) tucked me up in an iron-framed bed covered with a lovely home-made patchwork quilt. Thus started my love of patchwork.
As my father was a Methodist preacher, I had to attend church four times a week from a very early age. Most of the lengthy sermons went over my little head and I spent a lot of time admiring the stained-glass windows in the various churches where my father preached. Thus started my love of stained glass.
I had a collection of loads of old Sunday supplement magazines and would cut out secti0ns of colour or pattern. I produced a lot of collage that way.
More recently, I visited Barcelona and walked in Parc Gruelle, which is decorated throughout with Antoni Gaudi’s mosaic tiles. Hence my love of mosaic.
I also love Celtic art, having Welsh, Cornish and Northumbrian blood running through my veins and being married to an Irish girl.
So look there if you seek my influences, but please everyone, trust me when I say that I never knowingly plagiarise anyone.
An account of my artistic influences.