All content copyright 2011, 2012, and 2013 by Keith Russell.

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14 October 2011

Ethics 101

I received a phone call the other day from a gentleman who is looking for someone to make a painting from a photograph. I told him I was interested, and we discussed the project briefly, working out a size for the piece (36x60 inches), and a price.

He phoned me yesterday, again and we agreed to meet today so he could give me the canvas, and a downpayment. Over the course of this second conversation, though, I realized that the project was quite a bit different than what I assumed after our first conversation.

It's not "his" photograph! It's a photograph he took, of a painting by a local artist hanging in a nearby gallery. The artist apparently quoted a much higher price than the man was interested in paying, to paint her image onto such a large canvas.

When I see him today, I'm going to turn the project down, and I'm going to tell him why. Just as I don't want another artist copying one of my paintings, simply so that someone can have (something that looks like) one of my paintings at a lower price than I am asking, I do not want my name associated with such a practice, either.

Sure, he will probably be able to easily find an artist who is willing to copy another artist's work. And if that artist can live with the knowledge that they've ripped off a fellow artist, that's their business.

I couldn't live with myself. I want people to respect my work, and that means I must respect others' work, as well.

Although I could really use the extra money right now, my reputation and self-esteem is worth far more!

04 October 2011


Worked on White Widow over the weekend, and had hoped to work on it last night, but the evening had its own way. (Watched Life as a House, visited a neighbor, and picked up the step-daughter from work...) I had hoped to have the spider (except for the abdomen) painted before leaving for Detroit (we're flying up Thursday morning, seeing the Tony Levin Band Friday night--yes!--and spending Yom Kippur with Liora's family Saturday and Sunday), but that was not to be.

I'm still hoping to have this painting done (yes, I'm probably dreaming!) by Hallowe'en.

Stay tuned.