I suppose it can last longer, stretch over more hours........................ Our days are getting marginally longer, just a little bit, enough to give hope that winter will end.
I'm so looking forward to getting out in the garden a bit later on in the year, when plants are starting to wake up. I've got "Gardener's Question Time" on the radio (radio 4), in the background as I write this. I love listening to Gardener's Question Time, it's so old fashioned and reassuring. And it's generally civilized too, no heated debates that leave a nasty aftertaste, just differences of opinions about solutions to powdery mildew and what will help a beloved flagging shrub.
(There we go, Eric Robson, the presenter, has just said goodbye in his honeyed mellow tones, so that's GQT finished, I think I'll switch the radio off so I can concentrate fully on this blog post).
Because I'm working on some paper mache sculptures for a deadline, I've only been able to look longingly at the paintings I have on the go, (there are a few). I have made some progress on this painting I showed you a while back, so I thought I'd give it an airing on my blog today.
Sometimes, painting something that is just plain decorative, straight infront of me, is very satisfying. I love the work of Elizabeth Blackadder, because it is quite simply, beautiful. You don't have to think too much when looking at her work, you're just invited to relish the enjoyment of her images. Looking at a beautiful image can be quite a spiritual experience I always think, so in my book that makes it no less valid than a painting filled with deep messages or angst.
"Please note that the photos and text, my creations and my art shown on my blog are copyrighted and may not be copied, in whole or in part, without my express permission. Patterns and techniques shown in my tutorials may be followed but for personal use only and not for commercial reward. Thank you."
I've put this up because a couple of things have happened recently which made me feel uncomfortable.
One, I was alerted by someone that a blogger was using one of my photos of my fair isle as her blog header, and she hadn't asked my permission to do this. She's a journalist, so she'll understand the whole copyright thing very well, but she still claimed ignorance that you just don't do that sort of thing. And why would I want her to use one of my photos as her blog header? It was all a bit strange.
Then secondly, since revealing my paper mache creations on my blog, I've come across someone who says she's inspired by my paper mache work, actually lifting a very distinctive design element and using it on a piece she has put up for sale. It bears no resemblance to any of her other work, and is a copy of my work.
If I was just doing my work as a hobby, (like my knitting and crochet), this would be insignificant, but I'm doing my paintings and my paper mache work to sell, and I am trying to make a living from selling them, they are not a hobby. They are a result of years of developing my style of work, collecting materials, and a lot of time and thought is invested in them. My pieces, even the tea cups, take many days to finish, the figures take weeks.
I remember when I did a paper mache course with Julie Arkell, we were all invited to make creatures just like hers. I found I couldn't bring myself to copy her work, it didn't relate to me, (I just admired it), and I ended up making a Dachshund. If she had thought for one minute that anyone in that class was going to start doing creatures like hers, and then sell them, well, let's say this, it would have not gone down at all well. And I remember that she was not keen on the idea of being a presence on the web, because of the worry of theft of her ideas. She has become very successful and well known without having a website or a blog, which is interesting.
Being inspired by someone's work, and using that to make something for yourself, and your own pleasure is one thing, (and very flattering to an artist who inspires). Being inspired and then copying someone's style to make something to sell, well that is theft. So that is why I have had to put a notice up at the top of my left-hand side bar, explaining that using my ideas in work that someone plans to sell is something I cannot permit.
This is a serious note to end on, but for me, as a maker, it's a very serious matter, and is making me re-think what I show on my blog, infact, to be honest, I'm worried about all this. I do worry sometimes, and this is all a new experience for me. I worry about tackling serious subjects on my blog, I worry about having to say to people that, I'm sorry, I can't give you a tutorial on how to make my paper mache work, when they ask. It makes me feel uncomfortable to have to be proprietorial over my ideas, the one's linked to the work I sell.
I'll see you next week, have a good weekend. Cheerio! Love Vanessa xxx