- Apr 23, 2002Dear 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.
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