“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

4.03.2008

Bridgette's Weeds?


This bothers me quite a bit. This is a small painting I've been working on - a portrait of some weeds that grow in my front yard. They will eventually be all white & less pink, but I'm bothered because it looks so much like Bridgette Guerzon Mills' Grow. It wasn't on purpose - I just realized it one day when checking her blog at Contemplating the Moon. I'm assuming I just absorbed it without realizing it - it also kind of looks like the poppy next to her name on her blog. Let me make it clear here that I am NOT asking for Bridgette to tell me it's okay - I just want to talk about how we do absorb ideas from each other & are influenced by each other & at what point that influence crosses the line. I was talking about this with a friend of mine who asked why I couldn't have my own "flowers", and I told him that wasn't the point. There's just so much similarity & there's no way I could feel good about selling this piece. I feel just fine about keeping it - hey, it's done in the colors I like! - and using it as reminder. Of what, I don't know. And maybe when it's complete & the weeds are white, I will feel less uncomfortable with it. That I don't know either.

So when is it over the line? When does it become plagiarism or copying, even if inadvertently? That's such a tough question.

Boy, a serious subject for today! I've agonized for several days about whether I should talk about this or not, and finally decided I would just throw the question out there. Again, I'm NOT asking for Bridgette's okay on this, and I'm really not asking anyone to tell me it's okay, that the 2 paintings are different enough, because I've decided it's a little too much of a coincidence. But I'd love to hear feedback from y'all about the whole ethical part of it.

Bridgette - thank you for the wonderful work you do. And thanks for being such an inspiration - maybe too much of an inspiration!

2 comments:

  1. Funny, one of the first photo transfers I did looked similar to her style, not one in particular, but I was also instantly fearful of the whole plagurism thing...but then I got use to the fact that since first seeing her work, I knew that is the feeling I wanted some of my pieces to have, so....its a style, how we each handle it is up to us. There is also another artist that I had never heard of or seen, but someone remarked on the similarities of our pastel landscapes and I was a bit traumatized when I saw how alike they were, but then when I focused ont the differences, not the sameness, I was ok. I think it is alot like writing, I read somewhere that there really is only X many plots in literature, it is how it is handled that makes all the difference! I like your weeds

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  2. one of the most inersting things i have realized blogging is how much more connected, similar, "on the same wave-length" we can be... miles apart, counries apart, lives apart... yet, still we are unique.

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