Regular readers know that I have certain motifs that I do over and over.  Happily in art, redoing the same things over and over demonstrates an artist’s artistic health (rather than the opposite).  One of my compulsions that I may have neglected to display finds an iteration above.  The landscape is based upon a favorite published photograph that, for some reason, I like to draw and redraw more times than I can keep track.  It’s not my published photo, either.  It’s someone else’s.  Perhaps I have alterred it sufficiently well to beat a court case should the photo’s owner ever magically recognize the source of the drawing.  Well, they say that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and I have flattered this photographer (whoever he is) A LOT.

It used to be part of the artist’s career path — particularly in 19th century France — to first study law, then abandon that in a bohemian moment to take up painting.  Given the impulse one feels to make copies of other peoples’ work, perhaps we should bring that career trajectory back.  However, though I am not a lawyer, I do believe I could persuade a jury that the photographer only owns his image and not the scenery itself — and truly it is the scenery that I have explored — and transformed.

Well, enough about lawyers.  The salient point here is that sometimes you feel a deep attraction to a thing.  I cannot tell you what intrigues me about this favorite scene.  And distorting it and changing it interests me even more than merely drawing it.

But why ask why!  Sometimes you must just give way to these impulses.  Feel the pull of the thing, and let it captivate you.

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8 thoughts on “Compulsions

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