Blog / 2013 / The Unexpected Generosity of the Public Domain

August 1, 2013

A while back, I made this piece as part of a miniseries to prepare a larger series.

girl in a tree, rainbow design
Gwenn Seemel
Queer Queen
2012
acrylic on panel
10 x 10 inches
(For more about the making of this painting, go here.)

It differed quite a bit from the work I’d created before, making an impression on someone who’s known me since I was a teenager: Gail, the mom of a high school friend. In fact, Gail contacted me about doing her own version of Queer Queen in stained glass.

stained glass
Gail Duffy’s piece

As someone who doesn’t copyright her work and who believes wholeheartedly in free culture, I told her I was flattered by the idea. I encouraged her to enjoy the work however she wanted, asking only that she send me a photo of the result. Instead, Gail sent me the work itself!

stained glass
detail image of Gail Duffy’s piece

Now and again, people do versions of my art. It’s one of the many lovely consequences that come with having confidence in the uniqueness of my voice and releasing my art directly into the public domain.

That said, this is the first time that I’ve had more than an image of an artwork find its way back to my studio, and it’s a whole other kind of experience. It’s a physical representation of how sharing begets more sharing, and I find myself very moved.

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