Sunday, September 28, 2008

. . . were a dope

Lousy photo, I know. . .

. . . a stupid, gullible idiot? That's a rhetorical question. . . it's not a question at all, in fact. Just the fact, ma'am, just the facts. But first, a word about the painting above.

When I was a kid, I was forced to take piano lessons. . . in fact, none of us six kids escaped the torture. My parents had purchased a spinet and a set of music encyclopedias and by God, we were going to learn to play. Even my three brothers had to participate, some for very very brief periods. Once a week, with our 50 cents or dollar, we would head off to Mrs. Johnson's house for what I'm sure was torture for her, too. This whole piano business didn't sit well with us. . . we would have to take time out of our busy schedules, especially in the summer, to endure 30 minutes of incomprehensible instructions in tunes we had never ever heard of. If Mrs. Johnson had helped us play songs by the Beach Boys or Elvis or the Beatles, we may have been more successful. As it was, "The Flight of the Bumblebee" held no attraction for us. Who ever heard of a freaking bumblebee playing the piano, anyway? However, Mrs. Johnson was about 132 years old at the time and I doubt she'd heard any new music since maybe the Roosevelt era. . . Teddy Roosevelt.

Although I took lessons until maybe my sophomore year in high school, it was apparent to me, and should have been apparent to everyone else, that I had absolutely no musical talent. I hated the lessons, the practice, and everything associated with piano. But I was the oldest, and a girl, and it seemed like my obligation to my parents that I learn to play the damned thing. In retrospect, I now appreciate how dear those 50 cents and dollars must have been for my parents to shell out, and how ungracious I was about the whole thing.

But here's kind of an interesting thing: when I was living at home, and things got stressful, like I was fighting with my mom, or I had a big paper due, or I didn't have any friends, or whatever caused me to have teenage angst, I would go into the "big living room" (as opposed to the family room) and pound on that piano until I felt the problem had resolved itself, or at least until I felt better.

Years go by (see the calendar flipping many many many pages. . .) We have no piano. I have nothing useful like that on which to take out my frustrations. Until yesterday. . . feeling very stressed, angry, put upon, betrayed, insulted, and fearful of the future, I was COMPELLED to paint, just like I used to be compelled to pound on the piano. and this is the painting that resulted from the compulsion.

As part of being a stupid gullible idiot, perhaps one of the factors that proves the truth of the statement is that I am posting my art on the internet. Please don't misunderstand. . . I don't think my art is all that worthy of being copied. But browsing around the 'net, and then having a subsequent conversation yesterday with someone who is knowledgeable about this, I am stunned and amazed that any artist puts work on the internet. There it sits, for any unscrupulous jerk to copy and market and sell. And I'm just a tiny microscopic amoeba in the ocean that is the art world. And maybe it's just the amoebae that get copied. Screw it, guys, have at it. If you want it, take it. I give up. Just go for it. Copy. Plagiarize. You have my permission.

I have much more to say. . . rants are building up inside. . . but I never know how far to take it in a public blog. Some are about art. . . some are about personal relationships. . . some are about professional and business relationships. I feel like sharing it would be helpful, not only to me but to anyone else who encounters these situations. I bet there are reasonable people out there, some of whom my actually read this blog, that would be willing to make suggestions to help me resolve my issues. But one must be careful, right? Don't burn bridges; don't puff yourself up with righteous indignation, because you just might be the one behaving irrationally or unreasonably (but I don't really think so.) So for now, that's all I have to say.


Holly Olinger said...

Don't give up so easily. Put a watermark on your wonderful pictures. I love reading what you write and seeing what you've created. Head up, girl.

Mary Buek said...

Holly, you are so right. You might have been able to tell that I was seriously pissed yesterday but it's all good now. Life is just too short for seriously pissed. Head up, indeed. Thanks for your comments, please visit often. By the way, I stopped by your blog and I agree with everything you say.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Mary. This is beautiful! Hey, I'm thinking just keep your images really small. Only big enough to show up actual size in the blog picture (and not enlarged when you click) and only at 72 dpi. That's all you gotta do. Then anybody who wanted to copy it would have to do it from scratch. And if they want to go to all that trouble we don't have a lot of control over that.

I'm sometimes guilty of putting pictures on my blog that are larger than necessary instead of going to the trouble to resize them. It's laziness on my part, and invites theft.

A watermark is a help too, but not really necessary if the picture is small to start with.

Mary Buek said...

So, Martha, here's the story that got me crazy on this topic, as told to me by the art rep, as told to him by someone else, so hey, perhaps somewhat embellished in translation: A gallery owner was walking down a street in SFCA and saw art in a window of another gallery that he knew was not original, because he had the originals in his gallery. He found the faux artist, who was a single mom with three kids to put through college, who claimed she had no other skills to sustain her. She painted copies, she didn't just download them from the internet. She told him that it saved her a lot of time not to have to come up with the inspiration for the paintings. And, you're right, there's not a lot anyone can do about that.