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Frequently Asked Questions
I have had many requests from students for guidelines regarding the use of paintings created wholly or partially during a workshop. These come not only from my students but also those who have been taught by other instructors therefore I will start with general etiquette and end with anything specific to my own classes but first I must say this....
Any painting either completed or begun (no matter how little is accomplished) in a class of any kind cannot be used in any competition on any level. This is written in stone whether you see it stated in the prospectus or not. It is a given and applies whether or not the instructor had any input into the project.
Logic follows that if you do a painting in class, then upon returning to your own studio, re-paint the project from scratch, the painting would still be inadmissible. This is really for your own protection and falls under the guise of probable doubt. Any number of people are aware of what you completed in class and very few, if any would be aware that the two paintings were not one in the same. Once the work is on display, you may not be present to defend your position and derogatory remarks can be very detrimental to your future in the art world.
A painting that has accompanied you to a critique by a professional is also a doubtful entry into a competition. Even if after the critique, you make no alterations, there again, an instructor and a possible future juror, not to mention countless others in the room, can entertain doubts that this was 100 percent your work. Myself, I don’t have a problem with this but some other jurors/instructors do and for the sake of your reputation, it’s better to be safe.
Paintings done from photographic reference that was not your own, even with copywrite permission are disallowed by many competitions and at some point this will be will be the norm for all contests. Besides, you would not want to see the same painting, done by another artist, hanging in the same gallery let alone in the same show.
Photographs of mine should be considered on loan to yourself and demo paintings done from these resources to be study pieces. These works, in my opinion, are better kept on your wall where they are visual notes of how various techniques were worked out. I still have my acrylic study pieces from over 30 years ago and if you go into my framing room, you will see some of my life drawings from 20 years back; there to inspire and remind me of what I am capable of accomplishing.
Very few workshop demo paintings leave the class without some input by myself and therefore are not a true representation of your own work. They should never grace the walls of any selling exhibition, be used on any promotional material such as posters or invitations and definitely should not be made into prints.
While you are not free to sell these demo pieces, should you choose not to keep them, they are yours to pass on to your children, give away or hang in an exhibition whose intent is clearly not to sell but to express examples of your interests in life.
Paintings done in class from your own resources, while not eligible for competitions, are yours to sell and exhibit. My sincere wish is that you exceed your accomplishments in class and bloom as an artist in your own right.