The first time you hear it, it’s great. Even the third time and the seventh. But after twenty-two times? This little song has become the annoying repeating track in your head while you wheel the trash to the curb or go to pick up your mail. Come On! Can’t you guys play anything else? They’re playing it in Walmart. And if it comes on the radio now, you change the station. You’re embarrassed that you actually downloaded the cd. The Pop Song.

Did the music change? Did the lyrics change? Nope, still the same little song. It’s just become Common.

So let’s say you’re a painter. You’ve just had one of those wonderful experiences where the painting painted itself – you were in the flow. You nailed it. Great composition. Values and color are perfect. You know from experience that this is likely to sell easily. All your painting friends assure that this one is as good as sold. And you’re considering making a print of this puppy. Scan it and print on demand… No telling how many you can sell…

Now let’s say you’re a collector. You’ve been around art. You’ve bought quite a bit. You’ve developed a good eye. You see a painting in a gallery window – great composition, values and color are perfect. Well done. Price is within your comfort zone. You go inside – and there’s the same darned image hanging on the wall! One of them is a reproduction and it makes no difference which one. As a collector you don’t spend buy an image to have what anybody else can have, too. Imitation may be flattery, but reproductions are the kiss of death. For all you know, Walmart may have some of these in their dorm room furniture aisle.

Disappointed and shaking your head, you walk away without spending a dime. What a shame that such a good painting was cheapened by mass production. It became Common.

But then, those Pop Song artists make a lot of money. And ol’ Thomas Kinkaid made a boat load on reproductions.

Would you be embarrassed to have a Kinkaid little-cottage/castle/lighthouse-with-a candle-in-the-window hanging over your fireplace? Or are you actually downloading Ke$ha doing “Tik Tok”?