I find it absolutely amazing how every artist “sees” their subject differently and translates that vision into a painting. My good friends Joni Johnson-Godsy, Kelly Singleton and I were together last year shooting reference photographs in San Diego. I had started this painting of a snowy egret in February for a show deadline but it was side-lined when my cat jumped into my palette and onto the painting. I put it away and just got it out to fix and finish a few weeks ago. What I didn’t know was that Joni had also started a painting of the same bird from a slightly different angle! What fascinates me about these painting is how different they are in style and execution. I used predominantly warm colors and Joni used more cool colors. Joni painted hers in a more impressionistic style and I’m a realistic painter. I focused predominantly on the egret and Joni showed more of the background. And even though it is very different from how I paint, I love Joni’s painting and can appreciate the loose flowing brushwork! So I urge artists who become discouraged when another artist paints a similar image to theirs to just go ahead and create their painting and don’t get worked up over “it’s already been done!” As long as you are working from your own references and are not infringing on another artist’s copyright, each one of us has something different to bring to the canvas and no two paintings will ever be the same!