using parts of magazine pages in my paint and collage canvases for sale

by Patricia Mortensen
(Dargaville, New Zealand)

I use portions of magazine pages for my collage pictures. I don't cut the pictures out, I use portions of a complete page and randomly paste on canvas. Then I paint, do mono printsing in the gaps, blob, stamp, add my own papers I have painted, collage textured stuff here and there, rub on crayon, pastel etc,use phrases out of context etc and in the end you might see parts of a bookcase, high heeled shoes, a hot air balloon or the likes but not be able to say that came from 'whatever' magazine. I make and sell a limited amount I'm certainly not in business on a large scale. Am I infringing on copyright issues, and if so what do other people do? Great to find this site will keep it on favourites. I don't actually have anything to show you at the moment, and actually will have to learn the whole process of loading on anyway - but I will in time. Thanks in advance. Patricia Mortensen, Dargaville, Northland, New Zealand.


as far as I know images from magazines and other such publications always have a full copyright on them , so it is fine to use them for artworks, collage projects etc that are for personal use but I would caution against using the images for commercial purposes.

In my opinion commericial use is any use that brings in money ..however little .. so even display on websites which have adverts on them for the purpose of earning income can be deemed as commercial use ...

It is a bit of a mind field so if in doubt always try and use your own photos or images especially advertised as copyright free and fro commercial use avaialble ..

I am no copyright expert by any means, but for my personal experience I would not use any commercially printed magazine images if I intend to sell/display the artwork for profit ..

Hope this helps

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Jul 10, 2011
magazine pages for collage painting
by: Anonymous

Hi there - I am interested to see that others have wondered like me about magazine pages - I guess because all the craft/art type magazines suggest you start with magazines that we all set off not worrying too much. I do now do my own photography and I am working on doing it onto different types of paper but it is not quite the same. I don't want to compromise the style I have which seems to attract good comment and because I feel a bit stymied it has sort of led me off in other directions, good for as well,but not instead of. Thanks for your responses. Regards Patricia Mortensen, NZ

Apr 22, 2011
magazines and images
by: Karen

Thank you so much for asking this question and for your answer Milliande. I've been doing some google search to try to find an answer to this very deliemma. I had hoped that if the image was altered enough, as Pat describes, it wouldn't fall into copyright issues. I know any book pages and images that predate 1923 are in the public domain, so use of those are perfectly fine. I'm also curious if all countries have the same copyright laws. If you're magazine is say from Britain, does it hold you to the same as US copyrights. This should definitely be an interesting thread.

Apr 22, 2011
I agree
by: Palma


I,agree that images from publication will more than likely be copyrighted. I often wonder if we alter them beyond recognition of the original image, who can tell where it came from?
If you are selling your work, try to find copyright free images on the internet and use them.

There was an interesting discussion on the Ning site about an artist called Nadia Plesner,who created a non-profit painting to raise awareness and she included in her work a painting of a Louis Vuitton, handbag ALMOST identical to the original one . They are suing her :

Here's the link if you'd like to read more about the story.

Apr 21, 2011
Magazine pages for collage
by: Patricia Mortensen

Thanks Milliande. Darn it - I guess i knew that, just hoping someone might say its ok if they are nearly obliterated. Oh well - it will inspire photography of everyday things for me and so far most of what I have done has been gifts or parts from our own newspapers we publish (Kaipara Lifestyler, Northern Farming Lifestyles and Go North West Visitor Guide). I will have to take a chance on the few that I have sold which have been at local art exhibitions. Your website is amazing and I will learn to become more involved as time passes. Thanks for response.
Patricia Mortensen
Dargaville, Northland
New Zealand.

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