The short answer is yes, UNLESS you are making substantial changes to the painting.  Then of course it is not the same painting.  That may sound simple, but I get asked that question over and over.  It is good to be aware because I know artists who have had to seek legal help when they copied and tried to sell another artist's work.   Likewise, I know artists who filed a lawsuit against someone that copied their work.

     Another thing many seem to be unaware of is that photography is protected also.  So if you see a photo on social media, etc that you'd like to paint,  you either need to get permission IN WRITING or make substantial changes!  I don't get it in writing however, if I know the artist or photographer well.  Otherwise it's better to be safe than sorry as the old saying goes.  It is easy to know that a photograph has copyright when you see the company name stamped all across it online, but to be safe, just assume all are under copyright unless stated otherwise.

    Now, when I spoke in my last blog of replicating the Sargent painting CARNATION, LILY, LILY, ROSE you must understand that this painting will not be for sale.  It is for my family to enjoy therefore not a problem.  Of course the old masters paintings do not come under the same laws as they are highly recognizable and OLD!  Anything painted before 1924 is considered "public domain" and therefore not copyrighted.  Here's a statement I found online about that, and I quote:

"You may only legally copy a painting that is in the public domain, meaning it is out of copyright. When you're done, the best way to sign your painting is with your name and the original artist's name as in "Jane Doe, after Vincent Van Gogh" to be very clear that it is an honest copy and not an attempt at forgery."Apr 5, 2019

    Interesting stuff, right?  Well, I didn't think any of the master's would mind if we honored them with our feeble attempts at replication, lol, but it is good to know of course!  So, the bottom line is you need to respect the property of artists and photographers by seeking permission to copy their work.  

    Our local art association has said they have a definite problem with members and others who want to display artwork that is copied from other artists.  They refuse to show those pieces and now have added in their entry rules a clear statement "NO COPYING other artists!"  They do have the disclaimer that if it has been substantially changed then that piece of artwork is acceptable, but some seem to think they can get away with it and so keep trying. 

    On another note, I have been given the privilege of judging the St John's County Middle School Art Show again.  This year we have a team of three judges.  That makes me very happy because it's a big responsibility and I like sharing the load.  The county has grown tremendously and therefore many more students with art to be judged.  It really is too much for one person.  And the other judges are friends of mine, one is a newer friend who's the new head of the Arts Counsel for the school system and the other is someone I have been friends with for about 10 years, and he is an award winning artist.  

    Well, enough of that topic.  Moving on, I had a request for a fun little painting of a "Duckbill Platypus".  That was a new one for me! A friend asked if the request came from an Aussie, but no, it came from Canada! Go figure... but I got busy and painted one swimming in pretty blue water.  He was so cute that I named it "Lovable Platypus"  The photo is below and I hope you smile as I did when you see it.  

                                                       Happy viewing and see you soon!

                                                              "LOVABLE PLATYPUS"

                                                                              9 x 12

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