Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Oops! Painting causes controversy!

Over the centuries it has been standard practice for artists to study other artists work, and the practice of copying paintings has long been accepted as part of the artistic process. A painting that is painted 'after' someone simply means that it is a copy, and not intended to represent the real thing...which would of course be forgery!

The painting above is by a Scottish painter by the name of Peter Howson, an artist I greatly admire and would dearly love to own one of his works. His subject matter and technique are dark, and brooding which as a painter myself this fascinates me... so much so that I decided to paint a copy after Howson in order to investigate his technique.
First of all I began with a smaller blank canvas than the original so that there could be no chance of it ever being passed of as an original, I used a cotton canvas where Howson uses linen, and merrily painted away for a day or two to achieve the finished painting. (Below) It was a technical exercise, nothing more.

Well my wife hated it! She wanted to know why I or anyone else would want to own such an 'ugly' painting! (How do you argue with a woman's logic?) After a time defending it, I eventually gave in and she decided to put the canvas on her ebay to 'get rid of it'.

It was listed unambiguously as a copy, and priced for just about the cost of the materials used to paint it. I even included a link to the art gallery that sold the original painting (which sold for 100+ times my asking price!) thus generating them additional web traffic.
Imagine my surprise then when I was contacted by the owner of the gallery that sold the original who objected to my selling the canvas! Not only did (she?) object, but threatened legal action if I didn't remove the work immediately!

"i own the original of this painting and i am a director of the Art Company Scotland that you have provided a link to in your listing. You are infringing copyrite laws and unless the listing comes off with immediate effect we will instruct legal action.

- nicola-mac"

See this link and read the comments in full below the listing.

It seems to me that the Art Gallery Scotland or whatever it is they are called need to take a little time to think how pathetic they have made themselves appear with this, after all my intent was merely to offer the painting to someone else who might appreciate it, but it seems that no amount of money and profit are enough for this gallery.

Of course if I have unwittingly infringed copyright, or 'Copyrite' as this big time art dealer spells it, I should apologise and remove the item, which I would then sell by other means so what's the difference I wonder?


PTA Transit Authority said...

How absolutely rediculous! Great painting though. Tell your wife that I think it is a wonderful representation :-) Very nice.

The Old Nail said...

Thanks! It seems that it isn't only the bankers that just don't get it.
These galleries make obscene amounts of money selling this stuff but object to my selling a little copy at a price ordinary folk can afford.

I'm afraid it's people with the attitude displayed by this person that have turned Britain into the mean, nasty and morally bankrupt place that sadly it has become.

Jack R said...

For goodness sakes. Don't they have anything better to do. You'd think they'd be grateful for the publicity.