Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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03/19/2009: "The Collaboratinator v. The Collaginator"

Last night I spent close to six hours working in PhotoShop on new images for my upcoming show. I'm realizing that I'm as much of a collage artist as I am a painter. What I do in PhotoShop prior to painting is essentially digital collage and takes as long, if not longer, than the actual painting. I found this article called Copyright for Collage Artists. The artist who wrote it isn't a lawyer but she's studied it quite a bit and seems to have a good grasp. Particularly relevant to my work is the section on Derivative Works.

Now, I do use *some* photos I find online, primarily of figures in mostly common poses. I take those figures and manipulate them quite a bit before I add them to a mock-up with landscape elements from my own photography. Plus, my finished pieces are further removed from the original source photos through the painting process.

Still, some of my figures in the past are still probably recognizable even after manipulation and being added to a landscape and painted in unrealistic colors etc. This bothers me...legally I think it's a gray area but I'm VERY law abiding so now that I'm more aware of copyright issues I'm trying to be more careful.

Last night I came up with 2 new images that I think are strong and have me feeling excited to start painting. I really only have 4 more weeks to go and I have a lot of half started paintings to get cracking on. I also chatted with my poet friend Subi (in Switzerland) and I sent her the mock-up of my favorite new piece and she loved it. She's going to write a poem inspired by it, and wants to collaborate on some more work together. I have designed one of her book covers to stand to was a lot of fun working with her.

Anyway, good things a foot. Speaking of which, have you seen the trailer for Terminator Salvation (shivers with delight)...

So, lots of energy and a positive attitude even though it continues to snow when I'm SO ready for spring. So, good readers, here's a re-post of one of my favorite snow related poems to take some of the sting out.


OUT of the bosom of the Air
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,

Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.

Even as our cloudy fancies take
Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
In the white countenance confession

The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.

This is the poem of the air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,

Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Replies: 1 Comment

on Monday, March 23rd, Heather Bartlett said

The copyright stuff is so tricky. I tend to mostly use stuff I or my family have taken photos of - but what if you've taken a photo of a copyrighted work - say you are at an exhibit and took a photo of a sculpture. Fairey, that artist who did the Obama image, which was a derivative work is now dealing with all the fallout from that drama.

I think some people are much more uptight about how their work is used. Others are sort of free-spirited sharing types.

I also write to say: