Wednesday, November 28, 2012

On Line Critiquing

A few years back one of my students from out of state asked me if I would be willing to critique their work, either with images sent via e mail, skype,  or by phone. I was curious about doing it especially seeing that I do really enjoy teaching and have been doing it since 1999.
Due to my hectic schedule, and my age (not sure online critiquing was really do-able, (I was a little slow to adapt to the computer years back), we did  not follow through with it.

Recently I had another fellow painter and collector ask me the same question. Seeing that it is my slow time of the year, no plein air events taking me all over the country, and I do think highly of this person and their abilities,  I accepted.

I have spent a couple of hours at the close of each evening prior to calling it a day and must say I have thoroughly enjoyed it. As artist's much of our time is spent in isolation, and anytime you are given the opportunity to chat about art, of course we jump at the chance, even if it is online.  It is always challenging to do a thorough critique and give a good honest break down of what one thinks would be of benefit to help that piece as well as learn for future pieces, especially without evoking any hurt feelings. Verbalizing has never been my strong point unlike my dear friend Craig Bleitz, that man can talk circles around just about anybody I know and intelligent circles at that, no BS, however when it comes to expressing my ideas about what makes fine art it is easy to get rather passionate and fired up.

I'll even go so far as to drop the original image into Photoshop and rebuild, correct, alter, and enhance things on a separate layer. In the end we can compare the original right along side to the newly revised piece and make some good statements about what may help or hurt the overall painting. Gotta love Photoshop, just another great tool we have at our disposal.

I am gratefully to have this opportunity knowing full and well that teaching in any form always makes us think in more depth, always testing ourselves and digging deeper for better insight and understanding. Irving Shapiro told me many years ago that he always took as much from each of his  students as he gave to them.
As you teach others, you learn as well, what a great thing!

1 comment:

Eric Bowman said...

I;d hate to have you critique my work 'cause you know what your talking about and I'd probably get my feelings hurt(I'm such a wuss!). However, I do get them all the time from our 7-year old. She actually has some good input and surprises me sometimes -- Usually the only addition my painting needs is a princess, a fairy or a horse and it's ready to enter the OPA national...glad I've got such sophistication in my corner, but maybe I'll let you coach me next summer in Easton if it will help me win best "garden-scape" (wasn't that your specialty? :)