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hmmm... am I stepping on toes here?? etiquette question

So in the painting I have just started it is painted from an image of Jockeys all sitting and leaning against the rail with their backs to the camera. In the photo the sky is basically white as it was an overcast day. This made me decide to paint the whole canvas white with the exception of the jockeys and rail. As I was painting, it started to remind me of something I had seen... yep only ALL of another artist's paintings! haha ugh! Her schtick is high realism with a plain white background -or sometimes all black. So now, I am wondering,  do I continue as I had planned or is that stepping on her "style"? I am sure there other artists that utilize the plain backgrounds... I just don't know the etiquette on this. Is it in poor taste to continue with the all white background as I had planned? I THINK its prob in poor taste...but i'm bummed because it would have been so cool! I think I've answered my own question via typing this out, but good to hear other opinions. 


  • Does she paint horses and jockeys too? If not then I'd say it wouldn't really be an issue. If you couldn't paint on a dark background then we'd all be cursing rembrandt!
  • yep. she paints horses and jockeys too. I thought about going with a black background...but she does that too. haha 
  • I ended up asking the gallery what they thought and they agreed with you @movealonghome said there are a lot of artists that work with a minimal background... so Im safe. phew! 
  • Hmm.. without seeing her work as well it's hard to say..
  • SummerSummer -
    edited May 2018

    I think you are safe.  Coincidentally, I'm working on a plain white sky on a gray day painting right now and I'm trying to mix the colors for the areas of sky that contain the pinks and other areas of the sky that contain the greens so that the sky will look gray.  I leave real black and white to the scientists.  They may have invented real white and black by now, but it isn't available to us right now most likely.  If it is, it will be too expensive for most painters to use.  The point is, that there are real colors in those skies that look white.  If you put your reference photo into an image processor, it should tell you which colors are hidden in your gray sky.  In my case, I have warm pinks and cool greens.  I can actually see them with the naked eye now enough to mix and apply the paint.  Her skies most likely will have other hues.  The other thing that comes to mind is that I don't know of any patent, convention of etiquette or good form, that would keep you from painting high realism with a "plain" white or "black" background because those color choices are so generic to painting in general--imo.  Still, it doesn't hurt to think and ask about these things.

  •  I think (although not sure) that you might have missed something implied in @Richard_P question "Does she paint horses and jockeys too? "  OK now I don't know, but  my first possible misinterpretation of Richard P's comment is still valid.  when I first read his question I took it too mean isn't the way you paint horses and jockey's even in realism unique to you.  just because you both have a white background would someone be unable to tell your works apart? I started this post with greater confidence in my comment than I am ending it with.  
  • Ah ha! @uh_clem I didn't think of it that way! Thanks for all of your input everyone! I think that you are all right as well as the gallery. I mean... in all honesty I painted a commissioned subject on an all white background in realism before the horse racing stuff was even a glimmer in my eye... so I guess Im just as much allowed to use it as anyone else! haha 
  • edited May 2018
    I am really glad you brought this up! might this be related to the artist's curse (sneaky little bugger) in some way?
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