Once upon a time, I was talking about a certain well known wildlife artist with one of my favorite dealers. Mr. Dealer said “Yes, I’ve heard all the stories about how The Unnamed Artist Whom We Are Discussing copies ideas from others. Frankly, I don’t see how you artists keep coming up with new ideas.” And I replied, “Getting out in the field. It’s the best way I know of to stay fresh and keep the ideas flowing.”
My recent trip to Freezeout Lake was just such an inspiration. I normally (a) do not paint birds, and (b) do not like painting subject matter in soft or flat light. Yet the impending snowstorm sweeping down on the Rocky Mountain Front, combined with the sight and sound of a blizzard of snow geese, was the imagery I most wanted to capture right after my return (go figure).
Now, certainly, copying a successful painting idea that has already sold well for another artist probably has more surety as a sale. But I’m not here to make oil reproductions of someone else’s ideas – I’m here to push my own boundaries, even if it’s uncomfortable (which is frequently) and without guarantee of a sale.
What do you think?