And sometimes you just have to say “and finished”

Three new pieces which I have been working on for a bit. Each one provided its own challenges, especially trying to decide when exactly to stop and walk away. “Sunset Birches” is oil on canvas, palette knives and was completed in stages, by far the largest of this style that I have attempted to date. “Dancing Hummingbirds” is oil on canvas using knives and brushes. It’s up to you to find the hummingbirds my boys named the painting after. The final one is “From The Roots Springs New Life”. It’s a version of “Family Tree” that I did for my boys, with the boys “springing from the roots” of the main tree.

Sunset Birches Oil on Canvas Palette Knives 36 by 40

Sunset Birches
Oil on Canvas
Palette Knives
36 by 40

 

 

Dance of the Hummingbirds Oil On Canvas Knives and Brushes 36 by 40

Dance of the Hummingbirds
Oil On Canvas
Knives and Brushes
36 by 40

 

 

 

From the Roots Springs New Life Oil on Canvas Palette Knives and Other 36 by 40

From the Roots Springs New Life
Oil on Canvas
Palette Knives and Other
36 by 40

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This is illegal! Buyer beware!

Every once in a while I will google search myself. No, I am not a narcissist, but it helps me keep tabs on how I am managing my art and its publicity. Imagine my surprise today when I found out that I could buy a reproduction print of my own art work from a company based out of Russia.

Did anyone ever contact me from this company asking me to use the image of my work? No.

Did anyone ever ask me if I wanted to make cheap reproduction prints of my work? No.

At no point in time did I give anyone permission to use my works for any reproduction or copying purposes. Now, I obviously have given galleries permission to use my art work for promotion purposes when I have done shows, but I have specifically and purposefully avoided contests or shows wherein I would have given away the legal rights to my work to the companies involved.

So now I have a company in Russia, illegally using my work to make cheap, unauthorized copies for profit. Nice. Assholes.

I had considered at one point having reproductions run of a few select pieces. The company I had discussed this with based out of Toronto came highly recommended by a friend in the business and was a high end facility who makes extremely high quality products. The process to make such a product was very involved, use specialized high end scanners of the original work etc etc. I chose against doing this for the moment due to the inherent costs involved with making a beautiful high quality reproduction. Had I wanted to make cheap low end prints, I am sure I could have, however that was not I wanted for myself, my art or my potential customers.

The fact is, when we buy prints at a low cost, inevitably we are getting what we pay for in terms of quality. I can guarantee you that this company did not scan the original work, but rather lifted the photo image of it from either this web page or my Facebook page (or someone else’s if they decided to share something that they liked with their friends). So, the quality of the image is not there when you buy this way. As well, the original artist likely has no clue that there are reproductions of their work being sold off at discounted rates. The artist (even while they may be credited for the original image-and my name is ANN not ANNA thank you oh so much) receives no proceeds from the sales of these cheap reproductions from these companies. Why should some company in Russia (or wherever) reap the profits from my artistic property when they are illegally stealing what came out of my head, created with my hands.

I am not naive enough to believe that people don’t take images off the net for their own purposes. It’s part of the hazards when you post anything. That said,someone pinning my work to Pinterest, a student using it for a project, an artist using it for their own inspiration is one thing, a company stealing it to profit off it, something altogether different.

So, lessons learned. Always search for your own work once you have put it out there, whether it’s images or words. Google yourself, image titles, or phrases to see just where your work has ended up, who is using it and how it is being used. If you are buying works of art or reproductions, always google the original artist to see if the original work is available (and what it looks like to compare-because if you check out the image in high def on their web site it is a joke and I sure as hell would not buy it even for that cheap price because it looks like a cheap photocopy compared to the original piece). When at all possible, see if the artist is offering prints or reproductions of the piece. Chances are, you may pay a few more dollars for it, but the quality of what you will be getting will be highly superior to some cheap run off version. And remember, yes it’s great to get new art, but it’s also important to support the artists who create these phenomenal images, whether it’s buying the original or copies that the artist supports.

As for that web site, please do NOT purchase any of “my art” from Images2Love as I did not give them permission to use my art for any purpose whatsoever. When you compare th”detailed” image they offer to the original painting, the run off is truly crap in comparison. This is artistic theft plain and simple. If you are interested in my Northern Lights Shoreline, contact me directly.

Thanks

Annie

Northern Lights Shoreline Prints are illegally being reproduced!

Northern Lights Shoreline
Prints are illegally being reproduced!

Bring on spring and the warmer weather please…

Cabin fever is in overdrive here as a result of those last blasts of snowy winter weather. I got sick of looking at snow and it shows in this next painting. It’s not finished yet, probably in phase two as there a number of things I want to play with, add to, edit and revise, but I hope you enjoy the burst of colour as much as I have been while playing around with this. I will post more pictures when it’s actually finished.

Sunset Birches (phase 2) Oil on Canvas Palette Knives

Sunset Birches (phase 2)
Oil on Canvas
Palette Knives

Therapeutic Creativity (Creative Process)

It’s funny the number of conversations I’ve had with people recently about stress, health, finding a balance in life and all the ways we try to offset the potential negative effects, the coping mechanisms we put in place to try and make our lives rich and livable.

Some friends and colleagues find their zone in running or exercising, for others it’s yoga or Pilates. In speaking with my sis, meditation came up. She’s gotten to the point where she can zone out and meditate in public places, even on a plane. And I thought “How cool is that! I should try that!” Now for anyone who knows me (and can stop laughing at me long enough to keep reading), there are still waters in me somewhere, however they tend to conflict with my Tigger like bouncing. Combine that with two very energetic, rambunctious, boys under age 8, a full time teaching career, which I love, my dogs, my art, my….fitting in time to just sit and train my mind to slow down and relax, well, hmm. Sure, you can lecture me all you want on the whole “You have to make the time” and so on, but there’s the reality that rears its time consuming, “Would you like a shower or meditate today?” ugly head.

For me, it came to a point where two different doctors told me that I had two different masses growing, which in essence would kill me in one of two ways, neither of which was going to be pretty, or treatable. And breathe. And breathe again. And panic. And cry. And oh shit (add more expletives-very creative ones). And breathe. How does one go through testing, still be a parent, try to keep a household running and a career going, all the while there is a gigantic very ugly elephant (not the cute pink candy box kind) hovering over you in the corner? Then, came the conversations about meditation. Then, came the epiphany.

While I may seem to be organized chaos in motion, bouncing all over the place, there are very deep, very still waters inside me. In my own way, I do mediate. I do zone out and lose focus on everything else, allowing a sense of calm connectivity and peace wash over me, letting the “noise” from without go.  For me, my therapy, my healing, my rescue comes when I paint.

Art is therapy. The creative process is therapeutic. It calms, it heals, it allows you to channel emotions, frustrations, fears, anger, all those things that we can’t look at face on. It’s interesting because since I have started painting, I have tried to explain to people that a good painting session is when I get into the “zone”, where I don’t think, I just do, I just am and it all flows. People have asked multiple times, “What were you thinking when you painted this? What was your plan? Your process?” The explanation that I wasn’t thinking anything, that it just came, seemed somehow insufficient and I have had a hard time trying to put to words the channelling process that just spontaneously occurs on occasion. When the spirit moves me, for lack of a better phrasing, the directions this takes me are sometimes never where I intended to go but somehow my spirit or soul knows what I need more than I do in that moment and we just go there.

Using art as therapy isn’t a new thing, but I do belive that it is something that should be promoted more. Instinctively, I have encouraged and nudged some of my students in this direction. When they’ve been angry or troubled, I’ve actually given them the canvas and paint and said go put it all on there. Use your brushed, your fingers, scratch, slash, blend, smooth and most of all PLAY. The results have been phenomenal as you can actually see someone else’s soul on the canvas-their moment in time where it all came to being, right there, in front of you. It is breathtaking.

Does it have to be paint? Nope. I know people who lose themselves in clay, in the movement of the wheel-in wood, the grains, the stains, the textures-in dough, the kneading, shaping, rising. It’s all the rhythm, the movement, the passion, the emotion and the soul. The moment where you can let go of everything and allow the immediate to immerse you and take over. The end result isn’t as important as the process. Whether you like it or hate it when you are done, it is what it is.

So go forth, let you inner child out and the calm peaceful vibes in. It’s therapeutic and good for the soul, yes, but more importantly it can be just plain fun.

Some examples of “Hmm…and where di this come from?”. Enjoy.

 

Fire DancerOil on canvas SOLD

Fire Dancer Oil on canvas SOLD

 

"Indomitable" 36 by 48 Oil on gallery canvas

“Indomitable”
36 by 48
Oil on gallery canvas

 

Torn-SOLD Chicago

Torn-SOLD Chicago