Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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Home » Archives » February 2008 » Imitation is the highest form of...? Plus...Haiku Madness!

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02/14/2008: "Imitation is the highest form of...? Plus...Haiku Madness!"

Yesterday a reader in Martha’s Vineyard sent me a link to the work of pastel artist Teresa McCue who does landscapes in a somewhat similar style as mine. I loved them but a few were *very* similar to what I've been picturing lately for my new show and some are very close to photos of the wetlands here that I was planning on painting.

And that's one of the dangers of looking at other people's art. It can give you "ideas" but if you already wanted to work a certain way and then you see someone else is already doing it…well, if you do it anyway, where's that line between what is your own and what is someone else's vision? Know what I mean?

If you’d never seen the other artist’s work, there would be no danger of appropriation…and yet we need to see other artists work in order to stimulate our own imaginations. Am I wrong?

Oh, someone just delivered a dozen (13 actually) long stem red roses to me from Aaron! They are absolutely gorgeous, similar to the ones he got me last year only these came in a big red vase with a pretty heart design on the front and different accent flowers. I told him not to send me any this year to save money, but who am I kidding? Everyone *loves* to get a big bouquet of flowers delivered at I right?

So, in honor of Valentines Day (a holiday I can finally celebrate without bitterness), I'm writing 3 Haiku's, Japanese verse that follows (more or less) a 5 7 5 pattern of syllables.

Part I:

Glow-in-the-dark stars
Shine fake illumination
on a life alone

Part II:

Early sunlight beams
through heavy gilded curtains
Morning comes too soon

Part III:

Splendid afternoons
holding hands through snowy fields
kisses that melt ice

Please feel free to post some of your own!

Replies: 14 Comments

on Thursday, February 14th, friend said

one kiss in the car
and almost my valentine
think what could have been

on Thursday, February 14th, Emily said

I like your haiku, Elise!

Here's another one...

Our 15th Valentine’s Day

We both get home late,
decide to just scramble eggs—
oh! they melt in our mouths.

on Friday, February 15th, Howard said

It's funny you should mention this Elise because I came across the same thing with my work a couple of days ago. The actual artwork looks more like rip off from Francis Bacon ala my hollow men, but the artist statement that went with it had parts which could of been lifted right from my own statement. I'm kind of left wondering if there is anything I can do at all.

on Friday, February 15th, Elise said

hi "friend"
thanks for the haiku, i really like it.

And Em, is that really what :Dou did for VD? nice!

on Friday, February 15th, Elise said

Hey Howard, I think that your situation is a little different in that it sounds like someone is copying your work, which sucks. I'm not saying this other artist is copying me because she has probably never even heard of me. i just don't want anyone to think that I'm copying her!

on Friday, February 15th,">Rob Roys said

The Stranger has an article about this very thing!

If you find that you think your work looks like someone else you either need to push harder or accept it. The only thing new under the sun is YOU.

Sorry no haiku.

on Friday, February 15th, Elise said

Thanks for the link to the article Rob. I'm working from home today and I actually have a *ton* of work to get done so I'll read it tonight. As for the haiku, how about a zombie themed one?

on Friday, February 15th, Howard said

Here's a link Elise

The whole idea of the business suit is hardly my own and that's not really what I'm having an issue with, but if you read the statement underneath with the reference to "power ties" I'm almost sure it was lifted from my own work.

on Friday, February 15th, Elise said

Yes, I see the similarity is striking. Of course, after reading that article from The Stranger, it's feasible that this guy was struck with a similar reaction to the business suit etc. though it would be quite the coincidence.

What I find odd is that someone selling art online is using a psedonym, so you can't even look him/her up to see what the rest of their work looks like or where they're from etc. So, in that environment with no personal accountability, I could see it being more tempting to lift ideas from other artists.

Or am I missing something?

on Friday, February 15th, Howard said

Yeah that's a bit odd. Other artist on the site usually have some personal info but not this one and it's the only one posted since last November, It might of been a one off. It's still odd to just happen to come across something like that on the net without even looking for it.

on Friday, February 15th, Joan said

Oh, valentine's day
I go to the game alone
and I love it

that did happen and we both enjoyed it. :)

on Friday, February 15th, Elise said

Hi Joan! you *both* enjoyed it? Was your hubby playing in the game?

Nice haiku btw

on Saturday, February 16th, Joan said

Hi Elise,

No hubby was not playing in the game. He was home with the kids and I had a nice break. So great to watch the game without being pulled and tugged and shouted at repeatedly by the 3 year old.

12 years ago, I was concerned I would scare away my "new valentine" with an over exuburant celebration. Well, he was a bit overwhelmed but he's the one who stayed home with the kids this year. Times sure change, but not the love.

I see I need to ammend my haiku to fit the 5-7-5: "and I love it MUCH."

Happy days to you, my friend.

on Monday, February 18th, Elise said

Have you really been with the hubby for 12 years!???


That is impressive.