What is your take on copying for the sake of learning? For me it seems perfectly fine if the artist is dead. If he/she is still out there breathing, I feel a little more apprehensive about it even tho’ copyright laws allow it for personal learning experience and so on. But I did it anyway. Some of the artists in a group that gets together on the First Friday to play, decided to copy a painting by Campay to see if they could recreate his unique applications to a painting and then create their own painting using his techniques. They had visited a gallery and saw his work. My mother bought his book filled with wonderful paintings. Anyway, intrigued, I asked if I could join them.
Here is my copy of Campay’s Still Life with Lemons.
My canvas proportions are off from his. (This is big for me lately, a whoppin’ 24″x30″) I copied it in acrylic paint and India ink. I was rather pleased with it but I don’t think I am ready for forgery. Yet. (just teasing Mr. Campay) What have I learned is this – his “loose-ness” is hard to recreate when you are “tight” in trying to exact a copy and I imagine has to come naturally. His compositions are just wonderful. The whimsey portrayed is sheer delight. And I know he used more than acrylic paint, I just don’t know what. His paintings (from the photos) have texture, this copy does not.
I cannot find this painting on the web, but here is a link to his website where many wonderful paintings are waiting for your perusal.
Here is my take on his style which is really just my limited understanding of his style. This building stands on a corner in downtown Rome (Georgia).
This painting is also acrylic and ink, done on a 24″x36″ canvas. I struggled with the sign post in front, I am debating on what to do with it having wiped it clean a few times now. I also struggled with creating a loose style, my tendency with architectural subjects is to render them as precise as is possible. And this makes Campay’s work all the more intiguing. At one point he was an architectural draughtsman and renderer. Although there is more going on in my painting than Campay’s, his is so much more dynamic in it’s simplicity. More experimentation on my part is needed.
Postscript: As I look at my painting on the computer screen I can see that it looks far from finished. I can see that I need some variation in the pilaster to the right of the signpost. This isn’t how it is in the photo I worked from but I can see that it would improve the painting. I feel also that the warmth of the sun doesn’t come across as much as I would have it. I guess looking at a painting electronically helps bring out errors the same as looking at it in reverse or upside down!