Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of . . . ?

Because of other commitments, I don't have time right now to put together my next post on the Royal Regulations of 1772.  But I was surprised the other day by a strange conjunction of events.  The first was that I received a copy of a magazine published in Barcelona that carried a couple of my early illustrations of Catalonian Volunteers in Nootka, British Columbia in the 1780s.

I was contacted by the magazine, Sapiens, at beginning of this year about the illustrations, but had quite forgotten about it by the time the magazine arrived through my home's mail slot earlier this month.

I remember painting these pictures for Parks Canada many years ago, and somewhere I have the black and white photos of my much younger self posing for the various figures (even the drummer boy) using costumes and props borrowed from an friend, a longtime historical illustrator, when I lived in Connecticut.

Then, the other day, I was looking online for something about Spanish colonial soldiers and ran across this, a military miniature based - I believe - on my painting.  I'm not offended in the least, and perhaps a little flattered.

I used to paint military miniatures myself many years ago, and even got to point of modifying figures, building up clothing, hair, equipment, etc. on similar or even nude figures.  And then one day I thought, "You know, you should really put all this effort back into illustration." So I set the figures aside and eventually found my first publisher.  They say that "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," which is nice, but I sometimes think that you could substitute "laziness" or "lack of original ideas."  To their credit, the sculptor did modify the pose and equipment a bit. Here is the link to Girona, the manufacturer.

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