Da Vinci was once asked if when he looks at an apple does he see more then an apple because of his artistic abilities. He answered that only when he takes the time to draw or paint the apple does he really start to see it. Otherwise, it's just some apple. Of course, this is the same guy, according to legend, who originally learned how to draw by looking at an apple and drawing it from 30 or 40 different angles and with that gaining the ability to see. A dubious legend, but then again-this is Da Vinci. Anyhow, it's with that in mind that I continue unapologetically copying others' artwork in an effort to learn. Obviously it's a far cry from the original, but they make good studies. If you don't know the originals, do google Toulouse Lautrec to see the work of a true master.
I know, I know-I need to spend more time working on my own paintings. And I will. I am. Or rather, I'm currently wasting time updating a blog...I will. I love it far too much to spend as little time at it as I do.