Friday, February 22, 2013

Critiques - to listen? or not?

This week was the monthly gathering of the Sisters of the Brush.    We nibble and eat supper, drink some wine, share what's going on in our lives,  then break out what we have been working on recently.  At this point we can almost justify calling these gatherings "meetings" - "CEO meetings", to be exact.  CEO standing for Critiquing Each Other.

Being happily retired, I have a lot more time to paint than some of the Sisters, and I think I take more than my share of the time, especially through the winter when painting is my primary activity.  Sometimes I take unfinished work that I can't quite decide is on the right track.  Other times I take finished work, just using the evening for some show and tell.   Sometimes  - this week -  I share things that I consider done, and then find out that I'm wrong!  I expect that's happened to each of us in the group, and this week it was my turn.

This morning glory painting has a lot of paper showing through.  What with the pattern lightly laid over a lot of the white, I was enjoying the open (summery!) lightness of the whole thing.  But I believe it was unanimous - we had all of us there for this meeting, and six of six said it didn't look finished.   I'm struggling with that, because I don't yet know how to add "more paint" (something that Susan Kell would have told us) without losing the delicacy.  I may just need to hang it back up on the wall for a while and think on it.


  1. A critique club can certainly make you take a second look at a finished painting. I belong to one too and many finished paintings go back on the easel. I would say the flower is very delicate and beautiful so I understand why you like the white background. I do too. What if the corner square within a square tapestry was a little darker in the center part near the vase? The vase is standing alone there. How about the lace in the background just a little darker while still a transition to the pure white. I'm seeing a photo and not the real thing so you be the judge. It's your painting and will be lovely like most of your work. Good luck.

  2. Donna, thanks for your comments. Certainly appreciate your taking time to look at this attempt and weigh in. You can see by my newest post of the detail picture why I don't want to darken the "lace" - I'd lose the color variation I was so in love with doing. I'm also concerned that the lower right corner is already too heavy with value and color and interest. I tend to agree that it looks more finished than the upper left.
    Two ideas I'm tempted to try. One - just continue the lace patterns, with the color variations, all the way across the rest of the plain white paper. Or, attempt a wash of a plan cool gray starting just beyond the lace on what might end up looking like a somewhat arbitrary line. Then I'm stuck with the white paper within the lace and the border line. Just don't know.
    I think I'm adjusting to the idea that it's not done. But I'm not in a hurry to ruin it just yet. Another option: MAJOR CROPPING.