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  • Laura Sims
    Apr 23 6:31 AM
      Dear Del and Mary,

      I was interested in you question about critiquing your
      own work. There seem to be 2 main components to
      consider: technical skill and the relationship of
      image to application.

      Some of the things I look for in the technical
      category (in addition to what you mentioned) are high
      line quality, balanced concentrations of paint,
      manipulation of a pattern or design (ex. is it clear
      or muddy) and use of color(ex. compatibility,
      effective contrast). Another aspect of technical skill
      is being able to choose between "following the rules"
      or "breaking the rules". Sometimes I compress veins
      of color until they break into beads. That would not
      be desireable for a fine combed pattern, but works for
      me when I don't manipulate it. The fabric will appear
      to have seed beads sewn on in places.

      That example leads to the second consideration. As a
      rule the relationship between the object and the
      choosen image will be compatible...The design will
      enhance the object and visa versa. With Del working
      in wood you are already moving toward a heightened
      awareness of pattern, form, composition. That
      continues to evolve. Even if you can't verbalize why
      something works sometimes you'll find that your heart
      beats faster, maybe you can't stop looking at it, or
      someone will see it and it'll stop them in their
      tracks. The marbled pieces that I have most liked have
      tangible relationship to one another, as if they need
      one another to show off their best qualities.

      My favorite definition for art is "technical skill
      often as though aided by magic", Websters New
      International 3rd edition.

      When I hear people talk about their work (from self
      taught to MFA backgrounds) I ask myself if the words
      match the work. If the words do not fit I ask if the
      person is able to adequately talk about it or if their
      words are better than the actual piece.

      You have a desire to do good work and you're not
      afraid to ask questions...I'd say you're on the right
      track. Inspiration will come in its own time. I hope
      this is useful.

      Best, Laura

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