Saturday, June 28, 2014

Words of wisdom from artist John P. Weiss

Be sure to read the article at the link at the end of my comment.
I have seen a lot of paintings by artists whose work screams "I took a Richard Schmid workshop." In my opinion, if a painting looks like a Schmid, then the artist has no voice of his or her own. You can learn a lot in workshops, but if you ...don't develop your own style, it's a real shame.

I may have told this story before, but years ago, I took watercolor classes with Katherine Chang Liu, who at that time was doing only watercolor. She now does abstract acrylics. She was a fabulous watercolor artist and an excellent instructor. Back then, one particular student of hers was very good technically. She literally copied Liu's style and subject matter and started putting it in shows and selling it. People who couldn't afford a Liu bought one of her works. It was quite apparent that she was merely a copycat, but she was proud that she had nearly duplicated Liu's style and subject matter. That prompted Liu to change her style and subject matter and move onward and upward. Out of curiosity I did a web search on both of these artists. I found plenty on Liu, but none on the other artist. Go figure.

Another story about copycatting. I was watching a show some years back where the singer Pink was being interviewed. There were teenage girls in the audience who were dressed in Pink's style and who were saying they wanted to do what she was doing and be successful like she was. Pink made a very impactful statement to them, which, from the reactions on their faces, hit home pretty hard. She said, if I had tried to copy any other artist, I wouldn't be where I am today. There can be only one Pink.

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