Finished the peacock's beak and eye yesterday, so I framed it ---finally. I was stuck in limbo about this painting for a long time.
I started it a couple of years ago, just because I was intriqued by a photo I cut out of magazine. I wanted to see if I create a background color that instantly read as "peacock," even from a distance.
I remember being in painting class and realizing that other people were more interested in painting the actual peacock and all of his glorious details, and I wasn't even excited by that. (I also remember getting nervous and second guessing myself because I know I am not into detail, and that I could never become a hyper- realist. Someday I want to be about mood, and the bare essentials.) At the time, it was all about the color for me. Plus I have this thing for chairs. I like to photograph them and paint them and own them.
Anyway, it was a stock photo associated with a quote in Real Simple/May 2007 which read: " Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies for instance." --John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice.
When I stopped the painting it looked like this --- I didn't have much time put into it. I remember enjoying painting something larger. It's 21.5 x 24.
It got put in the pile with the rest of my half-finished paintings -- until last fall--- when I started working my way through all of my old stuff.
However, this time I had to confess that I felt awful about this painting. It wasn't even my idea or my reference --- am I plagarizing??? How did I let myself do that? How would I feel if someone used one of my photos without permission and painted it? Should I just paint over the peacock and erase the guilt??
After numerous conversations with Lin, I decided not to paint over it, but I would
research who the photographer is, and
give her credit on the back of the painting, and
I wouldn't sell it.
So, my thanks go to Catherine Ledner, who is represented by Getty Images. http://www.catherineledner.com/ She is a very successful commercial photographer, living in LA, with a specialty in animals.
And I have vowed that I am only going to use my own references going forward.