Amidst claims that Susan Heron of Blue Heron Art has allegedly stolen some of the images on her products, several local artists have come together to share some warnings that this local artist may be using others work as the basis for what are labeled as "original digital paintings." The backs of her cards, which we have pulled from our shelves, clearly state these are "Original digital painting(s) by Suzanne Heron, Victoria BC." Although she does claim in a recent Facebook post that it is her practice to give artists credit if they are "the basis her for art," we have not yet been able to find any instances of credit given that addresses where these images may have been taken from on the products themselves, or on the listings on her website.
In the process for signing up for the Sooke Fine Art Show, which her work has been also been pulled from, applicants are asked to be sure they "understand the requirements for original, non-derivative artwork" which would likely include digitally painting on top of someone else's image and labeling it as original without credit.
“I made an assumption that permission was permission,” Heron said in this article by Times Colonist. As an artist, claiming ignorance after being reminded that laws vary and need to be confirmed frequently is neither logical nor convincing.
Her Facebook page does say she is working to address these issues, but publicly, Susan Heron has not been particularly forthcoming about which images may have been sourced or stolen, who from, or how long this may have been her practice. We never want to hope for the worst, but until things are openly addressed from both sides, and a thoughtful and fair solution can be found, we cannot in good conscience stock work from someone who claims original work but has been derivative. We, too, rely on the integrity of the artists we work with, and as some of us are artists ourselves, we understand the work that must go in to ethical production. It is our responsibility as individual artists to insure we are interacting with other people's work in ethical ways. The Good Planet Company has very high ethical standards that we are always working on improving, and we apply those standards both globally and locally.