Tuesday, August 11, 2009


...And another good thing about joining and Artists Guild are the fringe benefits. One of them would be the occasional free critique sessions we have. I'm sure most artist guilds have these. A critique is a great way to get an idea of where you stand with your work and helps you to develop thick skin...you'll need that if you ever show your work anywhere! There is always someone who has a comment to make about your work...don't get mad, listen-think about it-catalogue it in your mind-and use it to do better work.
I had an art teacher in a design class back in college who would rake you over the coals if your work had a problem...people dreaded turning in work to be critiqued in that class. That teacher was tough if you had problems in your work but there was one very important thing...he was honest and didn't mind telling you if you screwed up. That tends to make most people mad and maybe even walk away from art. You just have to suck it up and keep your cool. In a half an hour you'll see what they saw and maybe realise you could improve your work so hang in there and listen to what's being said. Humble pie...it will keep your feet on the ground where they should be. I can't impress upon you how easy it is to just get mad. Art is very personal and it's like someone pulling your heart out and stepping on it when the critique gets ugly. Just keep your cool long enough to let your eyes and ears teach you.

We had a great turnout of about 40 artists from beginner to experienced. Artist James Armstrong did a great job of critiquing the work. James teaches at Santa Barbara City college as well as having his work represented by various galleries
My friend Becky Gomez's work under fire, hahaha. Becky is a very good artist and is also a participating artist in our Studio Tour. Becky always has a great presentation with her work which is also important in a critique...frame well or you'll hear about it. If you get a chance to get your work critiqued go for it. You can only learn from the process.


Mick Carney said...

Wise words.

Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Mick,
Critiques really are helpful and much needed I think. Wetcanvas is good for that and I've learned a great deal from that site.

Now that all of the vacation and critique session is done with it's time to get back into the painting! hahaha...