Here I find myself in this familiar place again, my studio chair to be exact. I have been sitting in this place for a long time now, staring at my pictures, not satisfied but not dissatisfied either. I am stuck in a rut, painting the same old stuff for the appreciation of others. I am not appreciative of my work because I know this has been done before, it’s been done bigger and its been done better. So why am I trying to do the same, but better? Isn’t that setting myself an unachievable goal? I don’t know.
Picasso once said “Good Artists copy, Great Artists steal“. At the moment I am copying my predecessors, I am taking their ideas and subjects and repainting them through my eyes. How boring is that!? Maybe what I need to be doing is brutally stealing their ideas, taking them for my own, and standing on the shoulders of giants, to go one better.
I have always looked at the great masters and their ideas fondly, almost like a young girl would do so idolising her mother as she wears a beautifully elegant pair of shoes, knowing she would never be able to wear them as they do not fit. I think its time to wear that pair of shoes and make them fit. Wear them with pride and the confidence that they are my shoes and I can wear them better than anyone else has done before. After all, if any of the old masters were alive today they would be the first to steal each-others ideas, and pass them of as their own. You just have to walk into the National Gallery to see that, Turner stole Claude’s ideas, as did Monet with Millet, Manet and Courbet!
As many have said, is anything really original anymore? The answer is yes. Yes, because you are original. No-one can paint the same thing twice, no-one can paint something through the same pair of eyes. All I have to do now is paint something to allow other people see what I see through my eyes.