I am a high school art teacher (I teach Watercolor I; Acrylic Painting I; Design I; Drawing I; Beg. Art etc...) and find your site very interesting. I noticed that "Erin" signed her name to a painting which is a copy of Van Gogh's "Blue Irises". I, too, have my (Acrylic Painting I) students attempt a copy of any artist's work (and this includes past and present artists). I feel that, as one of the first assignments, producing a copy is an "ice breaker" and gives the student more confidence about painting from the "get-go" and underscores the practice of tinting/shading and color blending etc...and forces them to do a careful visual study as they develop their copy. These paintings usually turn out wonderful, but I am a stickler about a few things. I do not let them sign their names on these copies. I do, however, show them (along with all their other "original" paintings they produce) at the annual high school art show, but on the cards that identify the student, I indicate (under the name of the student) the word "copy". We have four art teachers at our school and we all agree that this is a "must".
Do you have any feelings about this? I'm not trying to be critical or take away from Erin's talents, but we've had some discussions about this in our art dept. and I'd appreciate any input you may have (or anyone else that has come across this topic).