Artist Influences and Copyleft

As I am ahead in this crazy World Watercolor challenge, I am spending two days posting about other issues.

One is Copyleft or Creative Commons, or Un-copyright (which is discussed in depth on this page, including links to Gwenn Seemel’s Ted-X talk), and how artists are influenced by other artists (which is discussed in the very good video, above, also by Gwenn.)  Subscribe to her video talks.  They are good!

Because of this great video I am taking a moment to thank the artists who have influenced me in the last two years.  Not the ones who steered me toward good materials or a technique — they get thanked too — as much as those that influenced me.  Gwenn, for keeping it in my head that I might not want to get dragged into realism tho I was doing a lot of it to learn watercolors and Felix Scheinberger, whose chapter on developing your style is perfectly brilliant.  Marc Taro Holmes — you can’t see it, but he has influenced me a good deal.  Pat Southern-Pearce, whose journal style is amazingRueven Dattner, as I borrowed this idea of using colored ink lines.  Sanjeev Joshi, who keeps me loose and playing with layers.

Gwenn is responsible for me looking at copyright two years ago, settling comfortably (mostly) with Creative Commons 4.0, and since, I’ve noticed a few things:

  • Most of my favorite blogger artists do not put their names across their images, and make their images a decent size,  which to me says “I want you to see my work and I’m not too worried about being ripped off.”
  • A few artists I know have been ripped off in various ways — two by having their items created as wall art for a commercial establishment (who immediately took it down, without lawyers, which tells me decorators ripped them off, not the restaurant folks).  A couple have had a person post their art on FB as if she did the artwork.  (Kind of sad, no?)  One of the artists then took to making their images so small, that now I don’t visit the blog very much.  When I want to see an artists blog, I want to see how they did what they did — If I love them I want to study them.  I don’t want to copy them, but I want to look closely at brushstrokes, color mixing, whatever.
  • One of them got so snarky and defensive about the whole thing that it comes across in their writing even still, and is not a pleasure to read.
  • And, btw, all of them had copyrights on their work, for all the good it did.

I don’t fault people for Copyright, and I go back and forth on it from time to time.   I tend to hit copyright when I have a piece in mind for something else, so I am not quite where Gwenn is in her freedoms.

Anywho, look at her book (which you can buy or read online, free) “You Share Good.”

Your Share Good 000

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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8 Responses to Artist Influences and Copyleft

  1. Dan Antion says:

    I love your progressive attitude toward your work Kate. I hope you don’t get ripped off and I am always happy when you say that you might take a photo of mine to paint from.


  2. sandidureice says:

    I always look in art instruction books to see who the author/artist was influenced by. Some are very generous with their acknowledgements and these are the artists I respect. Some artists, and writers, will acknowledge the influence of their students…high accolades to these authors! One of these authors is a Melbourne poet and was once my poetry teacher…Claire Gaskin. In her latest poetry book she acknowledges her past and present students. To give her a plug, my favourite book by Claire is her “A Bud”. As a student I gained a lot from Claire’s teaching.
    When I studied Shakespeare, at writing school, we learnt that Shakespeare took words from the spoken language of ordinary people of his day, and used these in his plays…that it is possible much of what is accredited to Shakespeare was borrowed by him. A radio program also talked about the phrases Shakespeare supposedly introduced to the English language. However, apparently some of these phrases are recorded in writing before Shakespeare wrote his plays. Very interesting. Makes him seem like an ordinary mortal like the rest of us. To give Shakespeare some credit, it was also stated on the radio program, his plays have stood the test of time because they do not moralise but are rolicking good stories that entertain. We are all influenced by the people around us…”no man is an island” – I don’t know who first said this but it wasn’t me! Maybe it’s one of Shakespeare’s borrowings 🙂


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  4. Magpie says:

    I have not seen the video yet, but i think its cool how artists can gain ideas and influence from other artists. My mon is a really good artist, and even though she doesnt draw that often any longer, she has lots of great tips and advice, and is really intuned with the artistic fields. She’s a real inspiration to me. Now to be honest, there’s probably a big difference beetween the influence im talking about, and the influence in your post, but its all really neat. Gwenn’s book looks neat, especially the bear. Btw, did she do that bear?


    • Yes, Magpie — and she is a wonderful artist. Make sure you (and your dad) understand that her books can be viewed for free, or bought for a small fee as a PDF. I don’t think there is a difference. I’ve had family members offer encouragement and that too is an influence. My brother was one when I was little, and so was my mom.


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