Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Nothing's New in Art

I read some comments by several artists on an art board that stated they are reluctant to share an idea for fear of others stealing it, that they, for example, "wouldn't paint a baby lying in a flower because that style and subject has been done by someone else very successfully." I don't think she meant it quite how it sounded, but it is reflective of some people's opinions. The problem with that belief is that there is very little that hasn't been done already one way or another. So often what seems like a new idea is really a variation of a theme, just with your own unique way of representing it. Who came up with the idea of painting images/faces/pets on rocks? Who came up with graffiti? Materials may change, the way it is done might be different, but the human compulsion to make a mark using universal images/ideas hasn't changed through the centuries.

I loved seeing these Petroglyph's in the Valley of Fire National Park in Nevada

These date back to Prehistoric times and were done by the users of the Valley, the Basket Maker people and the Anaszi Pueblo farmers. These petroglyph's were in the Mouse's Tank Trail in Petroglyph Canyon. If you click on this link you can see more examples of the petroglyph's.

Markings on River Stones
I used to keep this on my coffee table, but most of the stones are sold now.
I might have to get back to doing a few as I quite miss my bowl of stone faces.
Do I worry that people might steal my idea of painting faces on stones?
While I have done a mega google search for anything like mine and came up empty I don't doubt for a minute someone somewhere painted a face on a stone, just not quite like mine :)
By the way these are faces of real people, some I know, some I don't. The guy with the fag hanging out of his mouth was my old painting pal George whose mouth never lacked the presence of a ciggie. The guy with the beard and glasses is Chuck Close.


The Lone Beader said...

I agree. It's all in the presentation. ;) And, sometimes I think I'm crazy for showing my works in progress because someone might steal the idea, but then I realized they would have to be very ambitious to do that! LOL

And, I love your painted river rocks! I would love to have one in my collection! :D

JafaBrit's Art said...

oh my lone beader they would have to be beyond ambitious. They would have to not only have the skill to actually do it, they would have to be very persistent. On top of that, there is the creative mind behind the work that just can't be copied.

I really must get back to doing some river rocks one of these days.

Anonymous said...

...if we never painted of love or ambition or hurt...would those feelings cease to exist...I think not..."share in the world" is my attitude

I like the spirit of your blog very much....I followed a link from Sarah Elizabeth Condon's site.

Best regards...Mete Sarabi

Casey Klahn said...

Seems like a two edged sword, this subject. I completely agree that it's all been done before, and yet the realm of possibilities for variation is almost endless.

This computer runs on a binary code, I'm told. That means sets of two.

I like being a painter/pastelist. Talk about being from the stone age. But there still are new things to be said, even with the landscape.

JafaBrit's Art said...

thanks for droppy by Mete :)

Casey I never cease to tire of painting faces and yet they have been done for centuries. So why do more? Easy really, because like so many, I paint from an inner need. I agree about variations having endless possibilities and thank goodness.

Margot Potter said...

This is an interesting topic. I agree that we should do what we feel, even if it's been done we can stamp our own uniqueness on it. I don't however like people who steal my ideas and don't add a bloody thing to them and then pretend they dreamt them up...they suck.

I love to see people make something fresh and exciting though...that's gold.

Rock on and I hope tomorrow is shipoopy free!


JafaBrit's Art said...

I don't blame you margot, copying another person's work is NEVER kosher, and if they do use a specific way of doing something that another person came up with I do believe in giving credit where credit is due.

JafaBrit's Art said...

thanks I will try and work on the shipoopy day lol!

SSB said...

I love your painted rock faces. The first time I saw it I at first thought it was a magazine clipping. You're very talented. Mine look like stick people. Lol! My kids draw and paint better than I do!

JafaBrit's Art said...

I like stick people :)

Erik said...

I think it's a brilliant concept. I have seen faces painted on stones before, but never like you do.

Your work is very recognizable and if someone attempts to steal the idea, they won't be able to pull it off like you.

Art is art because of the artist...and you are an artist.

emm said...

Great post! Focusing on what's been done is like looking back, I can't imagine what I would do if I had to be original, takes all the fun out of it.
I like your rocks, it's really cool to see someone's actual face. When I was I kid I would paint imaginary faces on rocks and leave them as surprises for people. Your's are the best!

Bill Evertson said...

Interesting post. I arrived in NYC in 1979 fresh out of grad school armed with an art degree and no money. One of the first jobs I interviewed for was an interior decoration firm advertising for artists. The pay was decent, but I was supposed to visit galleries, look for what was hot and copy it. Turned it down and worked for a moving company instead. Of course they fired me after the unfortunate incident where I pulled into a gas station and destroyed the overhead canopy because the truck was a little too tall.

JafaBrit's Art said...

thanks erik, I like what you said, "Art is art because of the artist...and you are an artist."

I try to be original emm, but dang it just when I think I have come up with something I find out it's been done before LOL! I think that is so cute you painted faces on rocks and left them for people to find. I bet they were adorable. I love children's art.

wow bill, I figured that went on, yikes! Too bad about the unfortunate incident.

Shez said...

Good post,..... the present, is the past with a thoughts!!
Sounds like you had a good trip Corrine, some great photo's. Also congrats on winning the completion, you must have been thrilled, loved your wall...."Jaffa Girls Do Rock", and you're an excellent example. Way To Go!!!
Your river rocks are wonderful, love seeing them in the bowl there.
Your blog is always a good read, thanks.

Undaunted said...

My friend who has an art degree said to me that in a lot of ways I am at an advantage because of not having an extensive knowledge of art history - she says this because once you know of everything that has been done it is difficult to come up with something new and it can be frustrating. On the other hand, I don't come up with anything new either because everything under the sun has been done before, but because of my lack of knowledge it feels "new" to me, so it's more exciting. Does that make sense? Yay to ignorance! :o)

I'm not worried about people stealing my ideas as such - more that they might steal my ideas and then do it better than me!

I love your bowl of rock faces!

Lynette said...

That is just amazing how you can put the likeness and personality of those faces on the river rocks!

Sian said...

Wow! These are absolutely stunning! I love them.

cynthia said...

"variations are limitless" - I think Casey has that right on! There's one thing about out right copying someone's work, but each person puts their spin on the technique or medium. It would be like saying an ancient potter figured out how to make a bowl and that form is now copyrighted and no one else should make a bowl...ever.

I love your painted rocks. My mom used to paint on rocks in the 70's but she made these little painted critters. She would look for just the right rock for the shape of a certain body. I still have a pig she painted. It's very kitschy, but I love it.

ckw said...

I beleive everyone should share all they know and how they know it- and the application of one human's experience will always make each creative work be like the snowflakes and fingerprints that are all one of a kind and unique-
luv your painted rocks
petrigliphs on lanai island hawaii my fav- got to go and hike and look for the pregnant lady- never found her but found lots of others-
thanks for your inspiration

Rosa Murillo said...

I absolutely adore your painted rocks, they are so well done, and even though it may look easy you need to be VERY GOOD at painting a face to get away with painting in a rock! with all the curvy surface going on. I admire this of you, this and many more things. thanks for posting all your work and sharing with us, thanks, it's so inspiring.