Home » Desktop Wallpaper » IconDoIt’s Homage to Picasso’s Homage to Cervantes

IconDoIt’s Homage to Picasso’s Homage to Cervantes

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I’ve found that serendipity abounds when I keep my mind open and seek knowledge whether for knowledge’s sake or for specific purposes. My experiences today are an excellent example. I began by working on an idea I had for a new desktop wallpaper that paid tribute to my “hero”, Don Quixote and one of my favorite painter’s, Pablo Picasso. I’m pretty pleased with the result and wanted to share it but because I had incorporated the footprint of Picasso’s own famous tribute to Quixote, I thought I had better check out whether or not I would be guilty of some infringement. Enter Part II of my day, when I took a break before embarking on researching this legal question by catching up on some of my e-mail and unread blog subscriptions…

Bruce Carlton posted on his blog, Legal Blog Watch, an article that caught my interest as being particularly apropos, titled : ‘Copyright Abolitionists’ Fight for Freedom-Based Distribution of Artistic Work. After reading the article, I followed two of the links within it, first to another blog, Against Monopoly, and then to QuestionCopyright.org. The central theme of these sites is to educate people about the fallacies of the benefits of copyrights, the resultant harm caused by copyrights, and a call to arms, so to speak, to help fight against expanding of the existing copyright laws which is being actively considered both by US Congress and the Supreme Court as well as by many other countries around the world at this very moment. While I am a die-heart capitalist, I have also always been a firm believer in the open exchange of information, culture and inspiration, but have never been quite sure how to explain why those two positions were not in contradiction with each other. Nina Paley, artist-in-residence at QuestionCopyright.org is far more articulate than I, in both word and picture, and has produced an award-winning, animated short documentary that shows in a delightfully entertaining and informing manner, just how copyrights actually serve more to suppress creativity than protect economic interests. Among the many points makes in this one minute animation titled “All Things Are Derivative”, Ms. Paley also illustrates the difference between “plagerism” and “derivatives”.

All Things Are Derivative ……

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Interesting. But even more interesting was how my research concerning Don Quixote and Pablo Picasso’s painting ended up coming full circle to the very points made by Ms. Paley and the organization Question Copyright. Recently voted The Greatest Book of All Time by the Nobel Institute, Cervantes book, Don Quixote, Part I, was first licensed for publication in 1604, released to the public in 1605, and within six months, several derivative (“pirated’) editions were already in the works. In the intervening years, the great novel has spawned an astounding number of further “adaptations” (another term for derivatives) not only in literature but also in music, film, dance, art, and even social organizations. It is impossible to deny the vital influence that Cervantes book had on Western Culture and how culturally impoverished we would likely be today if the creative heirs to Cervantes imagination had been denied the right to build upon his works with their own imaginations and sweat. What adds to the greatness of these various derivatives though is that not one of them claimed to have been the innovator of the characters or plots their own work derived from, but thoroughly acknowledged Cervantes as the original source and genius, and that their subsequent works were in homage to the master.

It is in this same spirit that I offer my own creative works, where all I seek from those of you who may choose to make derivative works, is that you publicly acknowledge the source (‘attribution’), and send me a link so that I, too, can marvel at what clever ways you have chosen to adapt my work and allowed it to grow and ferment into something bigger and better.

Free Icons of the Day

The following image is a reduced size preview of a 1920 x 1200px Desktop Wallpaper. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the it to your desktop. If your monitor is set to a different resolution, send me a note via a comment below with the size required and I’ll post it for you. As always, my Create Commons license applies (see sidebar for details)


And a generic folders to coordinate with this wallpaper.


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9 thoughts on “IconDoIt’s Homage to Picasso’s Homage to Cervantes

  1. HI Leslie 🙂
    In the few times since I found you in Scrapblog, almost by chance, I have been totally amazed by your postings.
    If coincidence is a fact of life, which I was taught by my father(whose teachings many times were based on Don Quijote) it isn’t,it was a very happy coincidence.
    You have always something great to show me (us), and every post seems to be somehow connected with something happening in my life.
    I agree with you in most….problem in this fast mad world of ours is that a great chunk of the population has not the best intentions on making *derivates*, and another chunk doesn’t even acknowledge your work.
    I was a performer for 33 years and have seen so much of it, is scary.Not even going into the depths of piracy or plagiarism, I m constantly having to show my daughter original versions of songs by Stevie Wonder, Chaka Kan or other less acknowledge (and sometimes less talented) are putting out there without not even a simple mention of the artist…
    In the Uk we had a few years ago a bunch of kids going around with Eternal Flame *by Atomic Kitten*….
    I went to my daughter;s school to teach the kids how “As” was written by Stevie Wonder and NOT by Mary J.Blige, and so on.
    Then with the comings and going of the net, I have come across something a bit more related to your work.
    I love digital scrapbooking.it has become a pain relief therapy and a creative outlet .
    I don’t get much around the net, but enough to be able to say that very, very few people read the TOU, and of those who do, very few really acknowledge the artist… even the designers themselves: I am amazed as how many times I got the same cluster frame in different designers kits, which I thought was the marvelous creation of one person but it isn’t. And try figure out who first created it?
    Well, their designers themselves only acknowledge the name of the people they bought things from in a very, very small print, and don’t really say who made what…..
    I know some people may think scrapbooking a minor art….if an art at all, but this is what I know about these days,and what makes me reluctant to have an opinion in which I can passionate about in the Copyright thing…
    Anyway, I see I’m highjacking your post LOL, so I will think about this, elaborate and then post something in my own blog….of course giving due credit to you 🙂
    Thanks Leslie, for it has been so long (like 4 years?) since I last met online someone who inspired me so greatly…Have a great day, huggzzzz

    • I really appreciate your thoughts on the subject of copyright and readily agree with you that there there appears to be little compliance with a creator’s Terms of Use, whether those terms merely require attribution or go the whole nine yards with a government-registered and approved copyright. I guess that I see the issue from a pragmatic point of view: most artists/authors/musicians/etc. have neither the money nor practical ability to hunt down and prosecute pirates to enforce their licenses or copyrights so posting © or CC notices is more like preaching to the choir (in the same way that gun control laws in the USA are ineffective in reducing possession and use of guns by criminals). At the same time, posting such notice does bring attention to the fact that the works produced and offered to the public (whether for a fee, recognition, or entirely free) have an intrinsic value and the creator deserves respect for their efforts and contribution to world culture.

      My own experience and observations has been that those who have either used my work in it’s original form – or made derivatives from it – without attribution – have for the most part used it in a manner that produced no special benefit to them other than an ego-boost. I also have found that even without having posted my Creative Commons License those who wanted to use my work or a derivative for a commercial use have contacted me for written permission and where my work added a direct or indirect financial value to their own product, I have found people expect to pay a fee for it and are willing to do so. So, basically, I’ve decided to pick my battles and simply not worry about unauthorized uses that don’t cause me any actual harm to my pocketbook or reputation.

      As to your examples about Stevie Wonder/Mary K. Blige, etc. I don’t know if what you’ve observed is due the difference between the licensing and enforcement laws in the UK as opposed to in the USA (in USA, Joe Blow Nobody might get away with a very limited release of a Stevie Wonder song without crediting Wonder, but someone with the sales of a Mary K. Blige would be sued and restrained before the offending CD even hit the stores (as would her producer and record company). I suspect what you’re seeing with your daughter and her friends has more to do with both her age (where most kids are not into actually reading the liner notes on a CD-insert to learn the name of the composer, lyricist, or back-up musicians) as well as due to a generation gap such as I had experienced with my son when he was a pre-teen & teenager, when it was virtually impossible for him to imagine that anything he thought was “cool” (or whatever the slang was at the time) could possibly have been generated by anyone older than God (as all parents were considered to be).

      That being said, I think it’s great that you were willing to introduce the kids at your daughter’s school to the history of certain songs and awaken their interest in learning more than just what Mary K. or Brittany are mouthing and wearing (or not wearing as is perhaps more accurate)!!!

    • Cool! I’m really looking forward to seeing how you use them. It’s really quote an honor that you’d consider “polluting” your wonderful collages with my work! And given your and your daughter’s affinity for Toulouse (or “TL” as I like to call him 😉 ) I have a feeling you’ll really create something spectacular!

      BTW, I’d like to include a link to you in my sidebar so my readers won’t feel so out of the loop and can be treated to your delightful works. If that’s okay with you, let me know which URL you’d prefer people be directed to.


      • Of course you can include my link, it’s an honor to be listed by you! 🙂

        Regarding the music copyrights and all I have written, maybe because my English doesn’t reflect much what my mind speedily thinks….I was talking about the general population attitude to many things.
        I know in the CDs the real author is listed, though in very small print which most young people and some adults rarely bother to find,but in TV programs, in radio, in some written publications the real author is rarely mentioned.
        And I think you are lucky (and also much more of an optimist in the subject I can ever be) that your experience with your work is such a good one…
        I had a time last year in which I had to spend 2 days taking down all 3 years of photo posting of my child, because someone was claiming the work their own, and I am a bit disappointed with the general thing of TOU and designers attitude at the moment….

        But I understand and I’m with you in many things, of course it wouldn’t be possible for us to create if we did not have the inspiration and also I don’t forget the techniques that many authors have given us as gifts…
        It’ just that lately I have come across so much disappointments on this subject, maybe that makes me confused and reluctant..

        As for me *polluting* my pages with your work…ohhh no!!!!! if anything, I will be given them enrichment, I love your work!!!
        I’m so, so glad to have found you 🙂

  2. I have been enjoying following the conversation between you and MrsPeel. This has been long discussed at the Scrapblog.com forums. It is something that will probably never be resolved. Discussions like these are perfect for at least raising awareness. We are continually having this battle at school as to what is acceptable use and what teachers should be able to copy. As a fourth grade teacher we show them that we can’t just use people’s ideas without identifying the source, but I don’t think it has crossed many elementary teacher’s minds that artwork is something that should be attributed too. In this time of Right Click Copy ability, stealing is just too easy to do. My daughter’s jr. hi teachers have them creating these great animotos where they take photos from the internet, but I have yet to see anywhere in her instructions to attribute the photos to a specific site. These educators are primarily concerned with stealing words not images. Articles like yours hopefully can open their eyes. I will be sharing this with our librarian. Thanks for your insights as an artist.

    • You and Mrs. Peel bring up a really great point – about how School Teachers tend to view plagerism as only applying to words. Back when I was in grade-school (early 1960’s) we made collages from magazines all the time and did paintings to mimic Manet’s pixelated (before pixels existed!) style but were never told to give attribution to the source. I imagine it’s because they felt this was just the work of little kids that at most would get displayed on their home refrigerator door. But you’re right – this is the perfect time and occassion to instill some basic ethics into a child’s mind so they’ll learn to respect the works of others whether it be words, pictures, music, film, or whatever.

      When you discuss this with your school librarian (and maybe the teachers as well) you might want to direct them towards the links in my post above where they give an excellent explanation (in very accessible terms) about the difference between plagerism and derivatives.

      Below is a link to view this wonderful, animated film created by Nina Paley that brought the whole subject to light. The award-winning film itself is solely entertainment (kids will love it) but became controversial because of the music it incorporated. The history of that is explained on the sites mentioned in my original post.
      Sita Sings The Blues

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