Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Subject Matter To Paint by Jill Saur

copyright for artists
©2010 Sunflower by Jill Saur, all rights reserved

I've wanted to paint sunflowers for a long time now.  I either paint from live set-ups in my studio, my imagination, or subject matter that I've captured in my photography.  Yesterday, I devoted the entire day, right up until I taught my evening class, to capturing sunflowers.  I photographed all morning in a field, and then I spent the afternoon photographing a special setup that I created in my studio.

Outdoors, some of the sunflowers seemed to have personalities all their own.  There were the flamboyant ones, the shy ones, the ones that gazed down to the earth, and those special ones that gazed up to the heavens.  Indoors, I photographed against a black drop cloth and used a vase that complimented the sunny yellow flowers.  Yesterday, I worked a twelve-hour day.

I've written this to explain the long arduous process that many artists go through to get their subject matter to paint.  It's all too common these days to see paintings, by established artists, being copied and signed by other artists, then sold as originals.  Some people have the misconception that if they just change one or two things from the original, then it's their own.  Legally, if a judge can determine that the latter painting was derived from the original, it is a copyright violation, subject to heavy fines.

There's nothing more rewarding than knowing that your art is the result of your insight, creativity, and hard work.  Copy the Old Masters to learn, take your own photos, and if you see a photo you want to paint, get permission from the photographer.  Otherwise, don't use it.
Also, check out copyright free websites where you can use photos that people have donated for subject matter to paint.  A good one is Wet Canvas.  (www.wetcanvas.com)

Happy Painting! - Jill Saur  www.JillSaurFineArt.com