:D :D :D :D
i got a comment from doug, a very kind daily blogwatcher, who suggested maybe the cars werent needed on Conch Colors (the first one posted below) but that he liked the piece anywho. i read that and fired back (in a knee jerk fashion) that i "planned" it that way and thanked him for his input. problem was, after much thought, he was right. so i asked my painter friend for a second opinion and indeed she said that just the tops of them didnt do anything for her. you need the whole car on a street if youre going to include them. so i repainted Conch Colors leaving the blobs i had for cars out. guess what? it improved the painting and i'm thankful for doug and diane's input.
then i thought it would make a good post about the best way to give your negative opinion of an artists work.
OK here's the part you might get angry with me about. lets talk about how not to give input, especially if its to an artist. i have had people do this to me, and i've seen it done to others. critique is fine but there are right and wrong ways to give it. Doug did it the right way and i'm thankful for it. if he hadnt i would have dismissed him and not taken his thoughts seriously. to my detriment.
lets agree that the most masterful painting in existence could be arm-chair quarterbacked a million different ways. add on top of that that artwork is a highly subjective and personal creation. here are a few thoughts:
* dont think just because its their blog and you dont have to say it to their face that you can be inconsiderate. my opinion is that anonymity can sometimes breed incivility, in this digital world we live half our lives in. remember there's another insecure human being on the other end of your email of blog comment. youre not the only one. we're all insecure about something right?
*dont be judgmental and assume that the painting is "wrong" because they didnt do it the way you would have. they did the best that they could at the time. remember alot of these things are painted out in traffic with tourists asking you if theyre disturbing you by disturbing you! then just as you begin to draw an 18 wheel beer truck parks in front of the scene for 45 minutes as the light is fading, its easy to say why didnt you do this or do that after looking at it from the comfort of your computer chair or sofa, where time seems to stand still.
* unless youve established some repore (sp?) with an artist, keep your critiques to yourself. make sure they think of you, "this person has earned the right to question my decisions" Until that happens they will not look kindly on your critique of their work.
* use the sandwich method to tell your wife you dont like her choice of dresses, and painters that you dont care for a section of their painting! the sandwich method sandwiches the negative statement inbetween two tasty compliments on both sides of it. one in front, and one in back. makes the nasty part go down much easier right?
i have a person who writes to me all the time with unsolicited advice and unflattering remarks about some of my paintings (without using the sandwich method i might add) but when i go to see what their artwork looks like there's no blog, website, or artwork theyve done anywhere. that burns my hind end! easy to sit back and say this and that but have you put any paint on canvas today? this week? ever? dont critique me harshly and rudely unless youre a painter. i dont go on their stockbroker or MD website where they work and armchair quarterback their job performance. especially anonymously. thats just bad form. i delete this persons email, unread, when i see the address just to keep my bloodpressure in safe territory.
* before dashing of your pearl of wisdom, remember that there are over 2000 decisions made on a two hour painting and ask yourself, "whens the last time i got all 2000 of them right?" If the answer is just yesterday then dash off your wise advice and silently thank God youre so easy on your own stuff . and if you must offer it anyway, please use the sandwich method.
as in the case of doug he did everything right and i still responded from ego more than i should have. hey, we're all human and doing the best we can, right. I'm glad he was so nice in offering his "alternative method of solving the problem" and not chiding me for missing a few things. think about it if there are 2000 decisions to make and lets say 3 or 4 choices per decision thats 8000 ways a painting could have been painted. lets say a person paints two or three a day and thats about 24,000 things to be considered! no wonder i'm so tired at the end of the day! LOL
thanks doug and diane for making Conch Colors a better painting.
note: please dont see the above as an invitation to give me unsolicited critique on a regular basis, unless you painted outside at least five times the week you send it, and its on the internet where i can see them, or we are friends. "D
more happy emoticons in case your miffed with me for saying these things
:D "D :D "D
I'd love to hear an art critique's critique of your critique of art criticism.... Sorry to hear about the troll.p.s. I never agree to disagree.
sutton- ditto's thanks
Hi Mike, what a beautiful revision of" Conch Colors" and a nice synopsis of"the art of critique".I have a dear friend who helps me get unnecessary things out of my paintings by simply stating"that's too much information" for the viewer!Happy painting-I think you're doing great work!
Hi Mike - Personally liked the original with the sense of "crowdedness" the cars gave to the scene - very KW. But I appreciate the way the focus is really on the houses now.
Mike,IMHO, I don't know if this is an improvement or you now have made two good and different paintings. When I saw your March 26 post of the first, I liked and thought that the cars served as a lead in and helped by overlap to create some depth. The cars also add story of how on these small lots how close to the street the houses are built.I liked the cars-roof triangular relationship of purples and lavenders that leads the eye around the painting. I think your instincts on the first were good. I often give both positive and negative criticism and can be less tactful than I should. I don't mean to offend but I should show more sensitivity to feelings.I know there is a strong emotional relationship between we artist and our work. They are like our children and know no one takes negative criticism of our children well without some knee-jerk response. A person does have to be very careful and sensitive when doing it.I think the "post a Comment" like "Criticism" invites both positive and negative responses. Maybe the "Post a Comment" should be accompanied by qualifications: "Favorable Comments Only," "I really don't want your comment unless it is favorable," "Criticisms appreciated," " Please no criticism." Your response to this question is a good one and maybe should accompany all "Post a Comment"on blogs.The artist can't help but here or overhear negative comments ( gallery openings, art shows, internet) and would be wise for emotional health to learn to deal in a less emotional manner to negative or positive criticism even though much is nit-picking and not really constructive. I like to say Artist beware of both positive and negative criticism. I do think that even the uninitiated or uninformed person can sometimes give valid and constructive comments.I recently posted a comment on another artist blog that I felt was fare both positive and negative. Some other comments felt it was too negative. The artist came to my defense and said she appreciated my criticism and thought there is to much of only favorable comments on blogs. She said that I had qualified my comments and she had considered it but liked what bothered me and plan to leave it unchanged. I thought this was a very good and sincere response to my "comment." One commenter made a very good point that negative criticism may affect sales and should be given by email. in a more private way.I have really enjoyed following all of your Key West post. I realize that the purpose of your post today was to show how you responded to Doug's negative comment about the first conch color post and how it influenced the painting and what you found good about his post and what you find wrong with some "negative" post. I didn't think Doug's comment: Blogger Douglas Clark said... I like how you cropped this painting. I think I would have been tempted to edit out the cars but it works just as you did it.was a negative one. I thought it was positive with an innocent comment that he might have handled it different ( and what artist could help but do it different) but that you had pulled it off successfully. I guess it could be interpreted as a backhanded dig. I guess all comments are open to individual interpretation.This "comment" is sincerely given from by a fans and not one once of offense was ever intended.Will
fay- thanks for the nice words. its nice to have a sensitive friend (like you have) who can give us good advice about our paintings. my contention is that it should only be at our request right?Barbara- thank you. i'm with you. the cars give the sense of crowdedness that IS key west. but i kinda like the one without it too.william- please dont think that i cant accept criticism or that doug did it wrong. indeed he did it right as i showed by changing the painting. i'm only saying that people who dont paint shouldnt go on an artists blog and denigrate their work "in public" in front of his buying customers. what are their qualifications to do this? i wouldnt go to their Surgeon website or accountant firms website and say they werent performing surgery properly or doing their accounting the way i think it should be done. i agree with you, if they must say something do it in a private email. thats the solution. i dont want only positive comments on my blog but the negative post author should have to at least show me some reason we all should give the negative critique merit.doug did it exactly right and i'm grateful that he helped me do another version of the painting (which i'm happy to say, sold today) and opened up the lines of communication and free expression of ideas on my blog which i enjoy and hope to foster. thanks for your input here on this topic as well!
I agree, unsolicited anonymous critiques, are creepy to say the least and put it nicely. I enjoy opening your daily email and looking at your lusciously colorful paintings. During our brief, to some but long to me, coldsnap, it was the only color around, and I was grateful for it! Some of us just appreciate your painting ability and great sense of humor!
Most Plein air painters crack me up with their, "oh it's so hard with the bugs, weather and pesky onlookers" I was born painting on Bourbon Street surrounded by filth, 110 degree heat indexes, back seat drunk paiters and people trying to save me when I don't need a savin'. Baptism by fire as they say. I'm sure you know that almost everyone is "an artist too". You comment on food don't you? How many loves have you baked? Not many people know the first thing about surgery and that's why they won't comment on scientific matters. Your analogy falls flat. Num, Num. Who gives a rats butt what "they" think. Do you like the painting? That's all that should matter to you personally. Does the painting sell? That's all that should matter to you professionally. Outside of realism, all of painting is a matter if opinion, and no one's is right. Use comment moderation or stop being sensitive, pussy. ;)
Funny story: I met a "student of art" in supply store in Winter Park. He was months away from getting his PhD in painting and felt the uncontrolable urge to critique my art and insult the paint I use. Turns out if it's not more than 15 bucks a little tub, it must be crap. He gave me the exact opposite critism that you gave me. I mentioned you and he knew who you were through Artarama. Turns out he's lives and goes to school in NC.
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