The last two weeks have been miserable. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to reclaim my artwork. Most people know better than download or print images off websites, blogs, Facebook… But some people do it knowing they’ll never get caught and others do it for personal gain. Whatever the reasons are and whether or not someone gets caught…wrong is wrong!
In the last two weeks I've had 9 images stolen off my blog. And these are the ones I know about!
A website stole 7 images from my blog. The website said: “Elegant Negative Paintings by Brenda Swenson”. They offered free downloads of my art. What people didn’t know is this..they would be downloading more than a free painting. They would be downloading a virus! I was horrified! After a lot of work and filing countless reports for copyright violations the 7 paintings were removed.
Two weeks ago I was emailed by a so called teacher in Long Beach, CA named Moira. She was going to teach her students my approach to negative painting… She thought I'd be flattered she had printed my artwork to share with her students. What? I asked, why she printed my artwork? She has a copyright posted on her website. She obviously doesn’t want people taking her artwork. Why is it okay for her to download and print mine? She was pissed off that I questioned her. The conversation went downhill after that.
She had never met me in person, attended a demo, a workshop, watched my DVD, read one of my books. And she was going to teach my technique? Really????? She attached a photo of her prep-demo. She was using Cadmium Red Light, Sap Green, Lamp Black, Raw Sienna and Ultramarine. She had no idea what she was doing. Why would I want her to associate my name with something that she was doing all wrong?
My blog has always been a teaching tool. A way to share knowledge, experience, tools, techniques…and life experiences. It’s my connection to a bigger community of artists’, students and friends. I love the conversations I have with you and the opportunity to share the gift of creativity. Just because I shared this information “FREELY” doesn't mean anybody has the right to take it from the site! My lessons and my artwork are to remain on my blog. Not to be downloaded and/or printed. I thought having my signature on my artwork and/or having my copyright posted at the top of my blog would deter people. I was wrong….
I have never wanted to put a watermark over my artwork. (1) a watermark looked like I was paranoid and (2) I don't like the look of a watermark over art. Unfortunately this will change.
It’s NOT OK to download images or print images from my blog, website, Facebook, Instagram…period. If I have offended any of my followers I am sorry. If the tone of my post or my language seems harsh please know I’ve been through a lot of angst in the last couple weeks. It makes me very sad…