Friday, September 3, 2010

a critique is a good thing

I feel honored when an artist whose work I respect is willing to critique my work. To be given the opportunity to learn from another who really knows what they are talking about is good, but to also hear that person talk about your  work in a helpful constructive way is a great gift. A critique is different from a criticism, and it takes a while to learn this point as a young art student.
I have been following the blog posts of several artists for a couple of years now, some of whom are amazingly generous with information. Since I have discovered the world of blogging, it has opened up a lot of new ideas for me, I think I would have to attend a pretty amazing graduate school program in painting to get all of this, and it is free.
One artist whose work I very much admire is Stapleton Kearns (isn't that a cool name) , he is an accomplished and successful landscape painter. I consider my reading of his blog to be a graduate level class online.
One of the many generous things Mr. Kearns does is to offer a critique of reader's work. After reading a few of these, I sent in a jpeg of my recent painting of the fountain in the park. Within that week, he had posted my work with a very instructive critique. With Mr. Kearns' permission, I am going to quote his words here and post my work again to demonstrate.
 Stapelton Kearns in his own humble words explains his approach to the critique; "Thank you mystery artist for letting me crit your work. I know it takes a lot of courage to allow me to rip into your painting. I hope you and the other readers will profit by my criticism. Of course you are you, and the painting is something you have made. I critiqued the painting, and not you. For our mental health it is important to understand that. What a great guy I would be if I could improve myself as easily as I can improve my painting."

Here is the link to Stapleton Kearns' blog
And here is his website with a selection of beautiful landscape work.