I was wrong.

This morning I wrote a post - which I have deleted commenting on the similarity of one of my pieces to a quilt I had seen on the SAQA. Well I was wrong. I received an email from the artist who assures me that her piece was in no way derivative of mine. And I believe her.

In writing a reply to her I realized that much of my blog post was not  specifically about her piece or mine for that matter. It is more about appropriation on the web and how easy online sharing enabled piracy.... either intentionally or not. I also had the benefit of reading Kathy Loomis' insightful posts on appropriation. And this instance has proven it true- No one can own a shape, a color, a technique or a composition.

There was a wonderful article in the NY Times about Bob Dylan's art. http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/26/questions-raised-about-dylan-show-at-gagosian
It is clear to me that his painting are replicas of the work of many artists and photographers, but most people were not aware of it until very recently. The internet has exposed us to so many images and it is now easier to see when an artist has copied another's work.

Even though I was mistaken about a piece of art that resembled mine, in general I am being more careful- which is a good thing and a bad thing. I have been reluctant to put any of my new work up on my blog since I would like to have the opportunity to show it before it influences anyone else's work out there. And certainly the Quilt National requirements of not having a piece in public makes me less likely to share my pieces here... which I think is a bad thing. And I am talking to more and more artists who are reluctant to post work for the same reason- which is a pity.
The medium that allows interaction can actually kill it.

It has taken me years to develop my own voice, and during that time I was reluctant to look at any quilting venues, any books since I did not want to be unconsciously influenced by quilt artists. Instead I looked at modern art, and have been influenced by many artists that range from Ellsworth Kelly to William Anastasi, and Oiticica.  So I will stop being irritated and just keep working harder to be faithful to my voice. But I will be quieter and more private and that is a shame.

Once again, my apologies to my quilting friend. If nothing else I have lots to chew on including crow.