Monday, May 23, 2011

May 26--Final Critique and Class Potluck

You're invited to our final critique and class potluck. This will mark the end of our current session, so come ready to show your work from class and anything else you want to share with us. We'll have our usual class potluck brunch, too. Bring along a dish to share. We always have such interesting food! 

First, let's talk about what, in my opinion, a critique is meant to be. It's not necessarily a detailed analysis of each painting done one at a time, although in some instances that may come about. Instead, I prefer it to look at a body of work. This gives us a chance to see the progression of ideas through several paintings, noting things you're obviously enjoying and doing well, as well as the spots that have challenged you and may need more attention. This is why it's unwise to bring only the paintings you deem successful or finished--sometimes there are gems of information in those pieces that make us squirm. I see my role as supportive, helping you to grow and move on in your pursuits, whether you're a professional or amateur painter. Even two or three paintings will reveal a lot, although more are welcome and definitely reveal even more about your art journey. Don't hesitate to bring along work I've seen, and even pieces that have been viewed in previous critiques, framed or unframed, if you believe they will help illustrate your progress as a whole. 

What you won't get at one of my critiques is criticism. By that I mean no one is there to pass severe judgment or find fault with your work, disparage or denigrate what you're doing! I look at a critique as an opportunity to help you find the "point of friction." That's the place where, as you let the clutch out the gears engage and the vehicle moves forward. Finding this place takes a critic that you trust, someone you know has your success in mind and wants you to move forward, but understands that this can be complex and requires an artful touch. I don't want to grind the gears or fail to get you into gear, if you understand the metaphor.  

It's easiest if your paintings are ready to lean against the wall, already taped on a board so that you don't have to laboriously remove a lot of packaging or tape them up to view. We've found the Clearbags are great for transporting artwork, and wonderful to view paintings you're holding in your own hands, but not that great for the critique because of the reflections.

I think it's a good idea to spend some time
thinking back over this session, as you prepare your paintings, to analyze which classes seemed to inspire you most and why.  This session has been so fractured by various intervening events (the classroom not being available, my son's wedding, etc.) that it's hard to recall what we did back in March, so here are the topics we studied:
  1. Rocks Under Water
  2. Stylized Negative Trees
  3. Jigsaw Painting
  4. Ten Minute Challenge
  5. Be Inspired by: David Lloyd (interiors)
  6. Seascapes
  7. Mapping Movement
  8. Memory Painting
Of course, you can review the classes here on the blog by simply going backwards. Please feel free to bring anything you would like to have considered as part of the critique, in any medium.

So please come prepared to share some food and talk (AND see some of my art from 11:00-12:00, while we eat). Then we'll take time to look at one another's paintings. I'll be your critic, not the class as a whole, and each one of you will have time to show your own work. The cost is just $25, payable at the door, however please let me know if you plan to attend. Thanks. 

See you on Thursday,