Friday, April 30

Listening to Art Critics Can Be Hazardous to Your Art

My Overworked 'Early Spring Road'
Copyright 2010


Today’s blog is about judgments--your better judgment and my better judgment as artists.

What do I mean?

I mean, sometimes you should listen to your inner self. You should listen to your own muse because he/she/it is probably 100 percent right-on.

This may sound a little zen or something, but I’m serious. No one knows you, your creativeness, your artistic talent better than you (even if you’re not secure enough to admit that).

It’s fine to take art courses or watch DVDs about oil painting or listen to your art friends and critics. That, after all, is how we learn. It’s not fine, however, to blindly do whatever another artist, or other artists, tells you to do.

If you do, you have abdicated your responsibility as an artist. You have sold out.

Today’s image is my little acrylic that I’ve been blogging about, it seems, for weeks now.

I have finished this painting at least four times. I have not been happy with the results since the second time I finished it. I listened to what others said the painting needed, specifically:

- Objects are out of proportion, you need to re-draw and re-paint parts of it

- You need to lighten the shadows in the foreground and push back the background

- The sky is flat, you need to add cerulean blue and make it lighter near the horizon

- You need to add chroma to the foreground and, oh by the way, why don’t you add some wildflowers to make it more interesting

- Oops, sorry, we were wrong about that cerulean blue, you need to repaint it--how about cobalt this time?

What started out as an experiment of using acrylic on masonite has turned into a marathon of painting. Luckily, for me, it's a small painting and it's in acrylic.

I am not satisfied with any changes I made except for fixing the proportions of the road signs on the second re-paint.

I wish I had listened to my very own art muse and left it alone!

Here's today’s blog lesson, which I have mentioned before in this blog:

You can't please everyone, you just have to please yourself (from the 1972 Rick Nelson song, “Garden Party”).

Until next blog…

1 comment:

  1. I agree with what you say. It's hard to go against the flow, but that, if an artist has a place in life is exactly what should be done.