Monday, April 13, 2009

Question for my blog friends who paint with oil...

"Big Boy"  is another subject for my ASAP .  [Art Saving Animals Project]  He's oil on 6x8 RayMar.  I apologize about the glare because he was wet when I took the picture.

So the SPCA has told me for the third or fourth time they want to officially launch the project these week.  

The contact person asked me if I could paint duplicates of a couple of paintings that are already sold [remember all the money from sales goes directly to the shelter] because  a couple people were  interested in buying Bingo and Kayla.


I told her I wasn't exactly a Xerox machine (nicely and not sarcastically) and if I could try different poses and colors.  She was hoping I could get it as close as the original.

So my question.... I don't know if I can do this.   Any suggestions on how I should approach this request?   I don't even know if I recall what colors I used.  Pretty bad huh? 

Oh and another thing.. when I do these donation pieces, I do them with enthusiasm.  When she asks me to duplicate my painting, the spark on painting something new is gone and I think it will actually feel like work.

What do you think of  either asking for a portion of the sale price  on duplicates or asking her to have potential buyers of duplicates referred to me?   I don't want to bite the hand that's giving me free publicity....

31 comments:

Stephen Dell'Aria said...

I would tell her you can give her something as good or better then the other paintings but that you really can't reproduce them by hand. I would also let her know that creative control has to originate from you the artist, otherwise the paintings will fall apart. Keep in mind, this is what I'd do, others may be very comfortable with her request.

Paulo J. Mendes said...

Sheila, although I'm not an oil painter, I had requests in the past for duplicate works, and always refused, as I know that it would turn a creative and pleasant work into a sparkless routine that would consume your motivation and kill your passion.
As Stephen says, it may work well with others, as everybody has their own approach, but if you don't feel comfortable with the idea, my personal opinion is that you should always keep your pieces unique: Explaining this gently will be less harder than facing 3 of 4 requests of the same image when you really wanted tho use that time to create something new.

Dave King said...

That is unquestionably, without doubt, no argument, the best animal painting I have seen - ever!

Manon Doyle said...

You can never do the exact same thing twice. The only advice I can give you is to have prints made of your work if the client wants one of your earlier paintings.

James Parker said...

Ow, Sheila...requests like that could lead to painful problems. As admirable and gratifying as charitable work is...your time is valuable and limited...and there should be guidelines as to how much time you can allow. Personally, I think it was a bit cheeky of them to even ask you. I kinda agree with Manon on the prints, but that can be a problem, too...cost and unsold prints. Good luck.

Michelle Burnett said...

I took a painting workshop from an artist who said that he was asked all the time to repaint something that he had already done for another client.

He said he would agree, but always vary it a little, which in his case was landscapes so it was a little easier to change. Maybe you can have a different pose or even a reverse/mirror image of the previous one.

Nancy and the fatties said...

Sheila, I agree with the wise counsel of all the artists here, number one, this is a gift. Number two, don't ever let anyone tie your creative hands on a project. You are the artist. You might see if they would like a nice copy of the previous paintings or a print if this individual has her heart so absolutely set on the exact duplicate of a work rather than trusting in your artistic vision to create something unique for them. You can get fairly inexpensive prints made for her at walmart.com. ; ) I offered a donation painting last week to a fairly nice charity in Dallas and the lady who solicited the request wanted me to drive a very long distance to deliver the painting to her. I have a rule about donations, they can come to me to pick up the art! I think sometimes people forget that artists are not factories or machines.

jennifer woodburn said...

This is a beautiful painting Sheila! I love the composition and your brush strokes.

Charlene Brown said...

If you (or the shelter) can get a good deal with a printer on short run (like 1 or 2) high quality reproductions, they could be offered - at a price not much less than originals. But try not to get involved in selling cards or any reproductions where large quantities must be ordered. By the way, I have yet another Passion for Painting award waiting for you on my blog -- and I've changed the thumbnail a little so it says 'Painting' rather than 'aintin'

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

Tough one. I can't duplicate a previous painting exactly, nor would I want to. And as you said, it takes the spark and joy out of the painting. Offer to do prints or similar paintings.

Dana Cooper Fine Art said...

Your cat is beautiful Sheila! You came back from your trip with a real spark!
I would say no to repainting the originals and you are right, it will never be the same. What about doing a print on canvas? There is a gel medium that you can then go over it with to make it look like brushstrokes.
Somehow I lost you again...what's up with that?!

Niall O loughlin said...

I enjoyed looking at your art, greetings from Ireland

suzanneberry said...

hey there! amazing painting, just beautiful! asking for a duplicate really isn't a "nice" thing to do to an artist but it's for a good cause. so it's understandable, however, impossible. i would suggest prints, but they don't bring in the same as the painting. each piece is unique for so many reasons, not the least of which is your process and state of mind at the time of creation. i would just ask them to commission the pet portrait they're looking for or keep watching your work for the next masterpiece available. great to hear from you. chat soon. suzanne

Edward Burton said...

Wonderful painting, Sheila! I really like the way you cropped it.
I'd say, like the rest a lot of the previous comments, to not do a copy, but to do a slightly different version or have prints made.

Christine's Arts said...

Hi Sheila,
I think her request is flattering, but she doesn't understand the work involved. A donation is a freely given thing. Not something you ask for and/or expect.

Dean H. said...

Always tell them that each painting is "one of a kind". You can do something similar, but there will be differences.

This takes on the feel of a commissioned artwork once the subject, color, etc. is dictated. In which case the painting should be higher priced and you should be entitled to some profit for yourself.
That should be agreeable to everyone all the way around.

Paintings by Irit Bourla said...

They must know that no 2 are alike.
Who needs the presure?
I like the idea to have prints out of the originals.
Good luck Sheila i see something big going for you.

suzanne cabrera said...

Great question. I agree with what most have already written. I think you are already being very generous with your talents. If doing a repeat (which will inevitably lose what made the original special) is not of interest to you, don't do it! And don't feel bad!!!

pencilportraits said...

Wow, Sheila, your art is like that of an old master, absolutely fabulous

Abby Creek Art said...

Beautiful painting, Sheila...it has a lovely feeling to it.

I would highly recommend investing in a good Epson printer (email me if you would like details!) That way, you can print archival prints and cards if you want...and you have full quality control.

Also...you can have your original images printed on canvas. You can order one at a time so there is no wasted expense.

It's a wonderful compliment when someone loves your work so much...that they want the same thing! Congrats!

r garriott said...

First of all, This painting is absolutely stunning!! Your skills are building from painting to painting.

One of the hardest, but most necessary, things an artist needs to learn is how to say "No, thank you for thinking of me, but NO I couldn't possibly. No". Go with your comfort level. Practice in the mirror. NO NO NO. I wouldn't do duplicates, either. And if the shelter wants duplicates/prints/whatever, they should find the monetary funds to market those themselves. You've already given them a huge gift, and frankly, they are looking a gift horse in the mouth!

Here's a thought, though; perhaps the shelter could set up a donation center at a site like CafePress.com. Your images could be uploaded and printed up per order, with all money going to the shelter (though it would be nicer for you if they'd do a split). CafePress prints images on posters, t-shirts, cards, mugs, pillows, even pet bowls!

Just make sure you don't get roped into running this for them, too!

Tracey Clarke said...

Plenty of good varied opinions here, Sheila, which always happens. There isn't a wrong answer to this question. If it happened to me, I would use another photo if possible. As for prints, look into Imagekind or fineartamaerica if you are having interest in certain images. It is affordable. I know several artists who have had great success with these sites.
Or say no.....:)
Beautiful painting.

L.Holm said...

Hi, Sheila - sounds like you're getting lots of good advice. I'll weigh in strongly with R. Part of your agreement with the shelter was that they could use the original image however they choose...including making prints if they choose. Your time is valuable. You're being very generous giving them the rights and the work. They should foot the bill for duplicates.

artbyakiko said...

Hi Sheila, I love your Big Boy!
I had similar requests before, and I did produce something similar and my clients were happy. I don't usually paint the same thing twice in the same fashion, but I did those paintings because my clients were willing to pay for them. Wouldn't have done that for free...
I think artists need not only creative juice but some incentive. Maybe you should ask something you think is reasonable in return.

Cathyann said...

Sheila, I agree with everyone especially Liz and R. You gave theme the rights to a specific image...It is up to them to use that. If they were shortsighted enough after your generous offer and suggestions, well...uh..
Scott Christensen says it best,
" there is only one original"
Now..This image is amazing. What a jump in technical and emotional content! Lovely. It breathes.

dominique eichi said...

Well first this painting is fabulous. Second it seem you might have to write down what you will do or not with descrpitions . I don't know if you remember but Karin Jurick on DSFDF had just a few rules at first but then she added more .... and more and made adjustments these are needed.
Do not let them take advantage of you because your starting with a gift like all good marketing tools that is very often the way business is done . So now a revision needs to happen.
Let them make a copy with 40% going to you you need to establish that you hold all copyrights even if they sell the original, or sell outright a new painting establish a price ahead for size if you want. Well you got a lot of ideas here . Where all proud of you and we know many blessings are coming your way whatever you decide.

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

Sheila - this is a wonderful project, and wonderful paintings! And what I would do is take your image and send it to a printer (or Staples or Vista, or whatever) and get some printed out on nice paper, and send her those, really - you can't duplicate a painting easily, and why would you want to? You already DID a good job on that one - on to the next challenge!

Jeff White said...

keep in mind that this is a trade off: while you are getting free exposure, they are getting free paintings which the profits go to their cause and your time (which can translate to lost income). You have other things to do with your life as well besides crank out the same picture over and over again. Us artists aren't photocopiers and you should be up front that these are one-shot deals. In the future maybe you should negotiate with the organization to do limited-edition prints as well of the piece. The organization would negotiate with the printer on the quote and they would pay for it, leaving you to only donate your time and effort of the painting. That way everyone benefits a little if the image is a hit. And don't do it any other way...

Mary Paquet said...

Perhaps you need a written contract with the shelter that states that they can sell the originals, but I suggest you keep ownership of the image. (You might like to sell prints or cards yourself. These are wonderful pieces.) The shelter should agree to refer all requests for similar paintings to you. Then if you are contacted, you can talk with the client and agree on a commissioned piece. You can also tell the client that these are "originals" so no two are alike. Let's talk about what I can create for you.

Love this painting. You have mastered your fine art craft so quickly. I love the textures and the exhuberant strokes. Your love of animals is so evident in each piece.

Congratulations on having the problem that more than one person wants the same piece of art!

David Larson Evans said...

This is a beautiful painting Sheila! Always do what feels best.

Gwen Bell said...

Shelia, this is wonderful! Will you paint me one? ;P
Your painting skills just get better and better. I love everything about this piece.
You received a lot of really good advice here. You're a smart cookie so just trust your gut (and say NO)