I am really upset to post that one of my digital paintings has been stolen by an artist in the UK, who has not only stolen the digital copy of my painting, defaced my artwork and removed my watermark *and* signature, but is only claiming ownership of the original painting AND to add insult to injury is holding art classes to teach other people how to paint MY painting, the next one is on Saturday April 9 in Bristol, United Kingdom:(
I am SICK AND TIRED of people stealing my photographs and artwork. It is NOT ok! It is ILLEGAL! I am not a nasty person, I do not like having to be heavy handed to protect what is LEGALLY mine and I do not like having to take legal action, but ENOUGH is ENOUGH! Any and all people found illegally using my artwork or photographs will be named and shamed and legal action taken and I recommend other artists and photographers do the same thing.
The first offending artist’s website is http://www.paulbryantart.co.uk/ and my Meerkat painting can be viewed on his ‘Classes’ page
The second artist who apparently runs classes with Paul Bryant as listed on his “Events and Shows’ page is Carolyn Stevens and she is also culpable as she has a painting displayed on the ‘Gallery’ page of her website that is a derivative of my original photograph and painting. Her website is http://www.colours2canvas.co.uk/
Both of these artists have broken International Copyright Laws. It is illegal to take an image off the internet and use it anywhere you please. It is illegal to remove the copyright and artists signature from any artwork. It is illegal to claim another artists creation as your own work. It is illegal to publicly display or sell any derivative artwork created from a copyright artwork or photography without written permission from the creator.
Paul Bryant is also guilty of false advertising as he is claiming that my painting was created as a result of his one day oil painting class and that a similar painting can be created by anyone attending his oil painting class. News for you MR Bryant – my original is a digital painting created with Corel Painter XI, a wacom tablet and my computer – good luck teaching your students how to recreate it!
This artist has not even got the talent, experience or creativity to develop and teach his own unique instructional classes, but rather has become a “Certified Instructor” or copycat teacher of a painting system as taught by a world wide franchise system (that by the way I have nothing against).
Legal action has been taken and the head honcho of the art instruction franchise has been notified. I would expect both of the artists in question to have their “certified Instructor’ status revoked immediately and other legal requirements met without delay.
I suggest other artists reading this check the offending websites immediately to see if any of your landscape, seascape, floral or wildlife art has also been stolen, as past experience with this type of thing clearly shows that one painting or photograph is rarely stolen in isolation.
The image below on the left (click to enlarge) is the digital image of my painting showing the clear, unmistakable Copyright watermark and my signature. The smaller image below right is the digital image stolen by Paul Bryant, and clearly shows the editing that he has done to remove both my 2009 copyright and name from the Meerkat’s chest AND my signature from the rocks on the right hand side of the painting. I also have screen captures of the offending website pages that have been taken as legal proof of the infringements.
And a link to my original blog post for this painting in September 2009 http://michellewrighton.com/2009/09/meerkat-wildlife-painting/
Original Meerkat Sentry digital painting by Michelle Wrighton ©2009
The digital image of my Meerkat Painting Stolen and defaced by Paul Bryant