Wax Bloom

S.G. Chipman's Drawing Blog

Wax Bloom

UKCPS Rule Changes

March 5th, 2008 · 4 Comments

Nicole and Katherine have talked about this at length, and there is an interesting thread on the matter on scribbletalk, but essentially the UKCPS has added two new rules this year to be eligible for their annual show:

  1. If you posted your work-in-progress on a forum and accepted and acted on critiques or advice on the piece, it is now considered a collaboration and is ineligable.
  2. If you didn’t take the photograph you are working from, the piece is ineligible.

Most folks are understandably up in arms about the first one, as lots of us rely on feedback via the web for our growth as artists. I think the rule is a bit draconian, but I see the point. If I did a drawing without any direction, and lost to a drawing that had been massaged and directed by the denizens of the wetcanvas forums, I’d feel a bit cheated. It levels the playing field, so to speak.

The second rule introduces a bit of a grey area for me, as it considers every photograph a deliberate work of art. Consider these scenarios:

  1. Joe Artist tears out a page of a magazine that bears a photograph of Queen Elizabeth II as taken by Annie Leibovitz and proceeds to do a wonderful colored pencil recreation of the photo. He crops the photo and leaves out some of the crown jewels, but the lighting and major compositional elements remain.
  2. Frank Artist does a drawing of his daughter from a snapshot his mother took on a sunny fall afternoon. He too crops the image, makes some adjustments and changes the dimensions of the canvas to suit him, but the similarity between the photo and the drawing are obvious. Oh, did I say Frank Artist? I meant me.

So a snapshot of a little girl versus a carefully thought out, prepared photo session with a monarch. Is there a difference? Is “Jump!” ineligible simply because my mother pushed the button on her point-and-click rather than me?

What are your thoughts? Is there a difference between an Annie Liebovitz photograph and a Joyce Chipman snapshot in relation to it being used as a resource for your own art?

Tags: Thinking Out Loud

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nicole Caulfield // Mar 5, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    It is more difficlut with portraits as it is with wildlife art. I recently did a drawing of Obama from my friend’s photograph that he took at a rally here in NH. & I have to say that although he is an amateur photographer his photographs are great and I’ve decided to keep it out of exhibitions even though I have made major changes to the image. I’ll just keep the pieces I did from someone elses photo out of exhibitions and enter the ones that are from my own photos.


  • 2 S.G. Chipman // Mar 5, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    That certainly seems to be the safest course of action for show pieces!

    Of course, it also means I can’t enter commissioned portraits unless I take the photo, which is a rarity. Ah well, perhaps I’ll move into the still life scene! :)

  • 3 Katherine // Mar 5, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Thanks for another perspective – I’ve linked to your post from my blog

  • 4 Jeanette Jobson // Mar 6, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Throwing yet another element into the mix – what if you use a number of reference photos with bits from each, creating a whole new image not resembling the others? Would that too be classed as ineligible because the references are not your own?

    Will this reduce the posting of potential show pieces on blogs and forums for fear of being seen as seeking input?

    There seems lots of room for interpretation and discussion on these policy changes and I believe they will be far reaching into other exhibition norms in the future.

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