Monday, February 15, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - Copying from a Master (living or dead)

All artists must have an abundance of art magazines. It's one of the rules.  ( I have piles and piles of them in the studio,the living room...on my bed stand...the kitchen table) However, the instruction manual for becoming an artist doesn't say what you are supposed to do with all those magazines once you have looked through them over and over and over and over again. Here's a suggestion that is both fun and rewarding.
 A few artist friends I haven't seen in a while got together for a painting day.  I wasn't sure what I was going to paint,  going out in sub-zero winter weather wasn't going to happen, so I brought some of those old magazines and decided to have fun copying from a master.

There are so many ways to learn from this exercise.  Look for a painting that stands out to you and try to find the reason it does. Then have fun painting that reason. Make the painting your own and not just a twin of the original. However,  always give credit to the original artist in your title of the painting. Always say  it is your copy from the original artist's work.  Artists have been copying each other since artists first started drawing.  So don't be shy, have a copy  party with a few friends. At least you'll have a reason to tell your librarian/wife why you need all those magazines.

One of my favorite contemporary artists is Clyde Aspevig. Lucky for me there was one of his paintings in the magazine.


Faith Te said...

Hi, Mr. Yesis! I love your blog. I just received the Sunshine award yesterday and I chose you as one of my 12 nominees. Please come to my blog to accept it.

Celeste Bergin said...

Well, you did a wonderful copy there! What size is it? I am amazed that yours looks so close to the original.

Shirley Peters said...

What a good idea for a party! I am looking for something to do with my ex-student mates.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

A great idea and one I think is extremely helpful in understanding how to construct a painting.
A friend recently apologized to me for 'copying' my 'idea' and painting a painting of a similar subject. I hastened to assure her that "it's all been done", which it has. The only thing artists can do while painting the same stuff that artists always have painted, is make it their own somehow. Her painting was her own setup and her own work. It really had nothing to do with me.
Another artist whom I greatly admire and took a workshop with, wrote to me in an email that she'd been in a thrift shop and seen a prop that I had just painted and posted, and didn't buy it because she thought I wouldn't want her to!! I said to her, that she ought not to let me or anyone else stand in the way of what's in her heart as a painter.
So, I'm glad you brought it up!
I know what my friend means because I'm continually influenced by artists on the internet and in publications and I do feel like I'm "copying" in a way but, I have to do whatever I'm moved to do in my work.

dyan said...

You are a fabulous artist, and I love your "copy." But, can a person sell a copy? I seem to learn the most when I am copying--it turns out to be my best work, but then, not sure what to do with it, if I can't sell it.