CONUNDRUM — Where does one draw the line?

A musing by Susan G Holland

Did you see it with your own eyes?
Did you see it in your own imagination?
Did you dream it? Did someone else dream it and you used the dream?
Did you copy it or trace it? — -What did you trace it from?
Did you make your own drawing and then trace it?
Did you make a drawing and then use it to make a new drawing?
Did you take a picture of your drawing and then trace it?
This kind of question comes up, and becomes even more complicated when you are using digital means to take a picture of something. What happens inside the digital programming?
Is it still original, the work you are doing? Is it still yours or did the camera steal it from you? And can you conscientiously steal it back from the camera, changed?
Can you change it in a digital program like Photoshop and still have it be yours? Or does it partly belong to Photoshop now? Or the programmer who invented photo editing?
If you paint a picture of the ‘photoshopped’ image of your own drawing, it is still original?
If you superimpose one ‘photoshopped’ image over another one, is it a collage? If it is done digitally, is it original?
What if you took a ‘photoshopped’ image of your original painting, and glued it to a different canvas? Would the glued construction be legitimately original art?
If it was a printed image of another person’s work, could you glue it onto your work, and still call the work original? Would you be breaking copyright laws?
If I put my signature on your painting, is it yours or mine? Anyone know for sure??
Or are we still feeling out where the line is drawn?
Some steps in the procedure for the painting(s) produced by SGHolland ©2016
Am I in trouble for playing with media and processes like this or can I call these images my own?
Art Court anyone?

Originally published by SGHolland at