...Not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at...

The Pink Panther Returns

So while painting yesterday, I found myself thinking about the following:

I like to paint and draw people. That's my absolute favorite subject because people (no matter who they are) are fucking beautiful.

The problem I run into is wanting to paint or draw famous people on occasion--and this desire probably just stems from easier access to some damn fantastic photos of famous people (as opposed to damn fantastic photos of average joe shmoes which are probably fewer and further between).

Say I get a hankering to paint, um, John Lithgow (good Lord, I have no clue why that was the first person to pop into my head because I have no real desire to paint John Lithgow, but we'll run with that for now). The only access I have to painting him really (other than stalking him or trying to get his permission to feebly paint him) is from a photo. And photographs are their own pieces of art.

So I run into the dilemma of whether or not painting from a photo is art-theft. I mean, the photographer has taken the time to make light and color and composition and positioning etc etc etc beautiful, to skillfully maneuver those things around one another to capture something about a person. And then I'm going and ripping it off it seems. Or am I?

This is where I'm stumped.

John Lithgow be damned.

What do you folks think?



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