SOLDI don't know about you but I'm always entranced by the shadows of trees on snow. Well, actually the shadows of anything on snow. So after admiring other artists' work I decided to do a few studies of them myself. I know it's not a unique subject, but seriously, what is? Nudes? Cups & spoons? Apples? Kids at the beach? Pets? Mountains? Crashing waves? Flowers? Nope.
The thing is, every artist has to explore (or should I say 'gets' to explore) all these subjects on their own terms. So if you sit and worry that artist 'X' may get upset because you're 'taking' their subject... just get over yourself. And his/herself, too. If you think your art can only be valid if it is completely and utterly unique, well... good luck to you. Well! I'm thinking about these things because I'm reading "I'd Rather Be In The Studio" by Alison Stanfield. I have been a hand-wringer, searching for 'my' style. And actually, though you can copy other artists, if you paint enough, your own style will come through. So I'm seeing now, my paintings do absolutely have my 'hand' on every one. And that's a good feeling. :)