Change is never easy. We all get stuck in habits which become our "go to" response in a situation. It is true in our personal life and in our professional ones too. As an artist living in Southern California, I often paint landscapes which have similar characteristics; a distant mountain range with trees in the foreground; the cliffs above a rocky coast or a lakes reflection. Over the last few years, I have develop an automatic solution for dealing with these recurring themes. They have become habit. It is always interesting to see how other artists deal with the same situations using their own slightly different solutions. Small changes can effect the outcome of a painting in a big way.
We artists live a solitary life. Painting in the studio or on location means we are alone in our thoughts and struggle but recently I was reminded of how important it is to make the effort to get out there with other artists. In the last few weeks, with my trip to the Kern River (see my last blog Kern River Revisited) and a critique discussion sponsored by the California Art Club, I learned some very valuable lessons which have the potential to improve my work. If I had stayed in my studio, I may have eventually figured these things out but who knows how long it would have taken for a catalyst to instigate change? Or I may have become even more entrenched in my routine and never tackled these problems.
The fresh eyes of another artist can often catch flaws in your work which you don't see. Get out of your studio and paint with another artist. Watch them, ask questions, listen to their opinions. Listening to a critique by a respected artist can have the potential to catapult your work to the next level. Of course, being open to hearing the criticism is essential and you must be willing to change. The next important step is trying out those suggestions, taking the risk to step out of your "go to" response. Every painting can't be a home run so don't be afraid of failure. Some works are only an exercise toward achieving a goal. Don't worry if your experiment doesn't work. Just try it. After all it's only a morning of time, some paint and a canvas. The funny thing though, when I try something new, the result is often a break-through painting. All you have to lose are some bad habits.Topics: Learning Curve
- Should an Artist Duplicate a Successful Painting?
- Judging Other Artists Work
- Change is Necessary or Not
- Finding Your Signature Palette
- Sharing Your Opinions
3 Responses to Learning from Other Artists
WOW... great post!!! I guess you enjoyed your CAC critique session. I can't wait to hear what you learned.
Of course you are ALWAYS so good about taking the lessons of those you take workshops from and really applying them and making them your own.
Way to go Sharon...
PS... I have always really liked this painting!!!
What a nice artwork and like it a lot.
Hope you sell it and have a nice day.
Thanks Ruth and Marian. The critique was great because it was so specific to me targeting exact problems. Really great. Now I just have to use those changes in my work.
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