Monday, October 24, 2011

Jean Haines

Original oil painting  28x22"
by Susan Roux

I'm sure you remember the post I did a short while ago on modern-day pirates where Hugo Diaz Mapi was selling images copied from other artists. This post was carried by several other artists (thank you) in hopes of getting the word out. Copied art is a real problem and unfortunately it strikes many artists. Usually the pirating has been going on long before the artist becomes aware of it.

Artists are kind people as a whole. We move from our soul and we pour ourselves out for all to see. It's a complete exposure and when you come to actually know the artist, you can clearly see them in their work. We're often so involved in our own creative process that imagining other artists aren't moved the same way, seems unfathomable. Why would a creative person be satisfied copying another's work when so many of our own ideas want to explode out of us? Because of this we're probably far more trusting than we ought to be.

 I recently came upon a post by Jean Haines where she's being affected by a copying issue. Her post is very well written and I recommend you take a few minutes to go read it. It's about an encounter with a personal collector. Imagine her surprise meeting him at an opening and the conversation turned to copying! He was very concerned about original art he had purchased from her at a lofty price, that was now being mimicked by another. How original was his painting now?

I'm certain it was an interesting conversation, though not one you're expecting at your art opening.

As the UK artist points out, the problem with copying hurts more than just the artist being copied. Though there may exist an ounce of flattery involved, the effects carry on to representing galleries and buyers. Does this raise the value of your art or is it cheapening it? A good question that I'm not equipped to answer.

What do we do about it?

I've stopped posting high resolution photos of my art. It's too bad to have to resort to these changes, when there are so many artists out there interested in seeing work up close. Sometimes I add detailed clips to offset this, but I know for myself that when I find art I really like, I enjoy scrutinizing every inch of it. For that I apologize. Haines is taking it a few steps further. Her art has been evolving in a new direction and she'll be eliminating images of it altogether. It's really a shame to have to resort to such severe measures.

We spend so much of our art life getting as much exposure as possible. Art inspires people. It can have a very powerful effect on viewers, even to the point of changing someone's life. It's impossible to know how yours has affected others. So how terrible is it that an artist is moved to stop exposing any current work? It really saddens me. I hope I never get to the point where I want to hide my art from the masses. I'm not blaming Jean. As her career escalates, she feels it necessary to protect herself and her buyers.

I don't know what the solution is. Perhaps there really isn't one. Copying an artist's work to understand art with intensions of improvement is one thing. Copying art with intensions of sales is a whole different ball game...

How are you dealing with this problem? How are you protecting yourself from the few unethical ones?


  1. Une peinture qui ne manque pas de caractère tout comme toi ma chère Susan... j'aime tes "coups de gueule"!...
    Une belle lumière et un merveilleux mouvement dans ta dernière oeuvre.
    Je te fais de gros bisous

  2. moi aussi , en peignant les copie les GRANDS.. mais en toute modestie et ,c'est la meilleure manière de comprendre les artistes..
    par contre , pour mes propres créations, je prends les modèles dans la nature.. elle est inépuisable!

  3. The light and values in the skirt are beautiful! Luckily, I haven't encountered this copying issue! (that I know of, anyway!)

  4. I read Jean Haines' blog--shameful. I think you've come up with a good idea--low resolution and a detail clip.

    Lifted absolutely glows.

  5. Since I don't sell the stuff I do, it would really bother me if someone was copying it and making money off of my ideas. That said, my art is not really collectable so I'm fairly certain there are finer artists to target. It breaks my heart knowing artists are pulling work out of their internet sites. For some of us, it is by and large the only way we get to see art we love and enjoy so much.

    Your latest lady is gorgeous, Susan. I think I remember another artist saying something about lower resolution images to help avoid this. I don't really know how that works, but I so hope and pray that it helps.

  6. I love this painting. It is a shame others would steal an image to pass as their own. I've tried lower resolution with copyright signature shown. While I'm not well known or collectible, I think we owe it to other artists to make the process hard. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Thank you for your words of encouragement and how funny your post is on pirating and mine was on borrowing someone's wonderful article on Zorn's Pallette, but before I would go on, it was imperative that I give him ALL the credit for research! LOL

  8. This is a beautiful work and such a shame to have it demeaned in the way copying does. You've written about this issue thoughtfully and I will certainly read the Haines articles. Thanks for your comments and visit to mine.

  9. Your work is detailed and beautiful! Someday I will have one of yours:)
    I am sorry this copying is happening so much to artists. I know as a writer, people take liberties and copy our work and use it without permission but it is nothing like selling an artwork as yours and it is a fake.

  10. It's a shame this does happen. I'm bad about not posting low res photos. It's a good reminder for me. Another great painting by the way. Such a beautiful way with light!!

  11. Gorgeous light, especially on the skirt. Just lovely.

  12. I had someone copy a painting once. I found the painting on their website, it was in a foreign language and they did credit my name on the post, but that's the only thing I could read. It was my exact still life set up, so shocking! I think it was a student/young person and I was actually more flattered than anything else.

  13. Thanks Diane for sharing. Here is her blog post about the incident if you're interested in seeing.

  14. Wonderful figure work! Interesting post on pirates too. Shiver me timbers. Thanks for the visit to my blog.

  15. Susan, This piece is gorgeous...what wonderful light! Obviously, copying is not a new issue and not just the problem of artists. I have a site on Etsy and just yesterday I received communication from one of the Chinese art factories that are so famous for copying art off the internet. I immediately reported the communication to Etsy support and they will close down this site. Part of the responsibility is with the purchaser. Don't buy fake jeans, fake watches, fake drugs or fake art! There is no easy answer. About all we can do is post low resolution photos and have confidence that our skills and techniques shine through in our works and make those copies pale by comparison.

  16. Thank you Carol. It's been an overlooked part of the equation. The buyer involved! None of the copying would be an issue if no one purchased the copies...

  17. Love the filtered sunlight through the fabric, Susan!
    The piracy issue is sickening and saddening. Technology today is both good and bad. Piracy weighs in as a bad factor.


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