Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Crimes Against Creativity

As an artist and a former race tracker and now getting fairly ancient, I have a lot to say and a lot that I'd love to share with the world. But I hesitate for fear of being misconstrued as negative. I don't want to be a downer. So, I've been posting only about travels, accomplishments, finished work, goals and other neutral pursuits. Lately I've been rethinking that rosy persona. Wondering if honesty about some of life's career challenges would be helpful to some of my readers. Hmm...

So let me drop this bomb on you: there are so many dear humans who blithely go through their lives without an original thought in their heads. Ever. There, I said it. Furthermore, these humans are perfectly fine with stealing my ideas and blatantly copying my artwork for their own financial gain. I can't begin to tell you how frustrating and demoralizing this is. After this latest episode, I'm going to get a bit more vocal about the matter and perhaps my experiences will help some of you arm yourselves against these thieves.


All last week I worked on the program cover for the Palamountain Scholarship Benefit. With the recent passing of Anna Palamountain, I wanted this year's artwork to be a poignant yet loving tribute. I think I achieved the feeling I was going for. I'll post the image after the organizers give me the okay.

Passion and heart...something the copycats are devoid of.

I revisited a spot that I had plein air painted last year to see if I could improve. The image on the left is the older piece on paper and the right is new and on panel. I do see progress but I'm still pressuring myself to rush when there is so much to consider and process. While that incessant conversation rolls through my brain I have to remember to apply the same "passion and heart" to landscape that I can so easily translate into my equine paintings. It seems to be about depicting a sense of place, but not just a physical place, and not just technique. Using all of the senses is vital of course but it's also feeling the soul of the environment. Acknowledging a unique identity. Listening to the ghosts who whisper the secrets of timelessness.

Waxing philosophical,


Karen Thumm said...

Good for you, Sharon! Go ahead and speak out against the "artists" who steal from others. The more this problem is addressed by us ethical artists, the more we can hope to educate and prompt the clueless to pursue their own creativity.

I do understand trying to keep posts positive, but this is an increasing problem that needs to be addressed loudly and often.

Collectors need to know, too, whether they're buying a copycat or a true creative original.

Sharon Crute said...

Thanks Karen. It's become such a problem for me that I had to close my studio to everyone except clients and close friends. And I put a gag order on my hubby, instructing him not to discuss ideas/plans with anyone. Accessibility on the internet seems to be providing a "free for all."