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View Full Version : To critique or not to critique?


Kitty Wallis
05-19-2004, 10:18 PM
To quote Barb Noonan about 'Day at the Beach': "So come on - don't just admire it - poke holes in it. Tear it apart - critique away. I need some feedback and experience at this."

I was so glad to hear Barb's statement. That's how I feel, at every show I do, every piece I post on here. I want genuine feedback. Sure the compliments feel good and I know many of them are meant, but it's just half of the response.

Many people on WC give nothing but praise, no matter how good the piece really is or isn't. I feel hesitant about offering a critique, because I assume the folks here know more than I do about what people can take.

Help me out. What's the deal? Are people here that fragile? Is it verboten to tell the truth?

You can tell me the truth anytime. I got over taking it personally years ago.

K Taylor-Green
05-19-2004, 10:31 PM
A lot of people are hesitant to critique the work of someone who is an established, successful artist, specially if they consider themselves as hobbiests or just getting noticed. So they hold back. As for me, hey, I can take it! That kind of friendly, honest, feedback is what helps us all learn.

binkie
05-19-2004, 10:39 PM
I'm just learning, so I don't feel I should offer any critiques. But I really do appreciate any and all critiques on anything I post because I do want to learn.

binkie

SweetBabyJ
05-19-2004, 10:54 PM
That's definately part of it I think, too, Kate. Plus- a critique is like a scalpel- it can be used to help, or to scar. There are some on this site who do not give critiques so much as criticisms , which are not the same thing, especially when offered in a self-righteous tone-of-voice (well, typing-voice). A few of us know folks who do not post their work in certain forums because the most ardent "critiquer" there seems to specialize in "my way or the highway", or simply nitpick every work out of spite.

Because this is a written word only setting, it's VERY important to choose your words wisely. "Trigger" words (like "ruined") are difficult to interpret as a positive critique; and everyone asks that the positive of a work be given as much thought and attention as the negative in any critique. Some folks seem only able to praise, while others seem only able to criticise and correct; far better to combine the two for maximum effect.

Most of us ask for honest critique, but the caveat is always "Understand my limitations (I'm new, this is way outside my comfort range, my materials suck, whatever), and understand my style/technique choices." Some folks ASK for C&C, some do not. For myself, too, if someone sees something glaringly wrong, I always appreciate it when they tell me "how" to fix it- not just that it is wrong; chances are I didn't see it myself, but, especially if I am posting asking for help ("I can see this is screwy but not why") I already KNOW it's wrong, and if I could figure out the what and how to fix it, I wouldn't be asking.

'Least, that's my take on it.


PS: I rated this thread

Pinecone Conniff
05-19-2004, 11:00 PM
I have been really impressed with the intelligent productive critiques that WC artists give eachother on this forum. I've seen people improve their work dramatically after taking what suggestions they felt was appropriate for them & applying it to their piece.
I have gained a lot of respect for many of the artists here.
I hesitate to make remarks about work if "c&c" is not directly asked for. I believe in honesty but most of all in productive comments!!
Annette

bogbeast
05-19-2004, 11:28 PM
Great thread--thanks for all the thought provoking stuff lately, Kitty!

I consider myself to be a newbie--aside from a couple drawing classes in the distant past, I've never put time and foacus into art until the past two years, when I did a painting class at a community college. so, I have about 12 acrylic paintings and I think I'm up to 8 pastels (all since February!) to my name.

Obviously, with no background at all, I'm here to learn!!!!! I find that some days I can draw, and some days are---well, the paper gets recycled, better used as paper towels or cardboard boxes or whatever.

So--Comments, Yes! Criticism, Yes! Lay it on!!! I;m sure I can figure out how to wince in type if it gets mean-spirited (not likely around here!).

Now, ropes and chains are something else again... :evil:

Libby

Stoy Jones
05-19-2004, 11:29 PM
I like Barb's comment too and I ask for comments and help also. If I don't, I won't get anywhere. I also agree with a lot of what SBJ has to say, particularly about constructive critiquing. Wanting to learn, I find it hard to make adjustments without any instruction or ideas as to how to make the corrections.

While critiquing others work, I make it clear that I'm learning and will make my personal suggestions on what I would do, if I see something that I would do different. If not, I'm at a loss other than to compliment.

Being a typing communication, we don't see or hear each other, so I agree... I think it wouldn't hurt to be up-front about what we want or don't want and say so when we post something.

Stoy

Dyin
05-19-2004, 11:32 PM
I think it's a fine balancing act. I think this site is all about helping each other and constructive advice is usually welcome. But we all are at different points in our confidence levels as artists. So a newer artist may need encouragement a bit more that critiquing. I have a friend that asked my advice...and I gave it, point by point by point with ways to approach it and she totally freaked out! It was total overload because all she could see was the negatives I pointed out whereas I was looking at how much potential she had. She's an excellent artist today but it did teach me not to throw the whole pot at someone all at once.
Kitty, you've been an artist for a long time and you know all the rules and where to keep them and where to break them. I'm not sure we could critique your work, it seems it would be more about opinions on your style or something, but I think if we see something off then it would be mentioned. It's good to know when someone wants comments though, so mentioning it in the beginning takes the worry off...it also helps when a person states what they were trying to accomplish. Some people here paint purely for enjoyment too, they have no desire to be career artists and sometimes encouragement and commaderie is really what they're seeking so I take that into consideration too.
The best way to get critique is to ask for C&C at the beginning and then to respond to it too. I know if I do make comments and never get any return on it then I feel that person didn't really want it. I also try to make sure that it's known that I'm offering an opinion, not saying that there is only one correct way to do a thing and a person needs to decide what to take and what to leave.
I usually know what I intended for my own work and I know whether a suggestion would work for what I wanted to acheive or not. So I'll say thanks, I appreciate it and will consider that the next time. And I do, because there's lot of valuable input here. Sometimes it's right on the money and I didn't see it, so all input is valuable.
lol...writing way more than I needed to here but have seen over time that a lot of lurkers (hi lurkers! come out and play!) read these posts and something like this might encourage someone to try posting. So it's a good subject for a thread, Kitty.

Dyin
05-19-2004, 11:34 PM
Now, ropes and chains are something else again... :evil:

Libby


have you got anything against cauldrons and dutch ovens??? Julie...boil the water!!!

eileenclaire
05-19-2004, 11:37 PM
It's a good question, Kitty. I always ask for critiques, and I'm always grateful to get them. It enables me to see my work from another viewpoint. Anyone, from beginner to advanced, can give me something to think about, something I can work on for my next piece. I've never taken any art classes, so I consider WC my art school. I learn so much from critiques, either of my work or someone else's.


Help me out. What's the deal? Are people here that fragile?


If c & c is requested, then feel free to give your ideas. Many people don't feel qualified, don't want to step on someone's feelings, don't know how to properly word it so it comes out sounding constructive. Or, they don't want to sound like they know it all, or that they know more than the artist showing the work. They are afraid of how a critique might be taken. And these are valid concerns.

Is it verboten to tell the truth?


What is so exciting to me about art is that no one has a handle on the "truth". Everyone can form their own ideas and opinions about what works or doesn't. It isn't forbidden to share your ideas. That's what this forum is all about.

SweetBabyJ
05-19-2004, 11:49 PM
I'm getting it!! But watch her hands! Libby pinches kneadables! (erasers- I meant erasers! Honest!)

bogbeast
05-19-2004, 11:57 PM
dtuch ovens? that's a new one on me! Is that how they dry pastels in Europe or something? :angel:

bogbeast
05-20-2004, 12:03 AM
So long as it's not tar and feathers... :p

Dyin
05-20-2004, 12:12 AM
What is so exciting to me about art is that no one has a handle on the "truth". Everyone can form their own ideas and opinions about what works or doesn't. It isn't forbidden to share your ideas. That's what this forum is all about.

I like how you said that, Eileen. Sharing ideas, a good way to look at it and it sounds a lot better than critique, which implies criticism.

Libby...yeah, that's it, a new way to dry pastels, but first you have to step in and get them wet...it's ok, we warmed the water for you.... :D

Tom Christopher
05-20-2004, 12:20 AM
Kitty-you have touched on an interesting topic. Often times, I think WC members are looking for support and encouragement as well as suggestions. I think it is important that all members feel comfortable enough in posting a comment whether they are critiquing or offering support and even praise. I certainly appreciate the support as well as suggestions/corrections. Further, when I ask for c/c on my paintings, everyone is welcome to pick it apart!
Thank You Tom

SweetBabyJ
05-20-2004, 12:32 AM
Yes, Eileen said it so well- brava! "What is so exciting to me about art is that no one has a handle on the "truth". Everyone can form their own ideas and opinions about what works or doesn't. It isn't forbidden to share your ideas. That's what this forum is all about."

Perfect.



(We're nice like that, Libby- honest. And feathers are adventurous- kinky is with the whole darned bird....)

Duende
05-20-2004, 01:40 AM
I should have thought that members who post images of their work would expect constructive comment or criticism, otherwise why would they show it! Personally I wish this board had been around when I was much younger. If it had been, I might have been encouraged to do a lot more with my art.
I am so grateful to the many wonderful artists that have taken the time to comment and criticise my work, (and the work of others,) as I have learned a tremendous amount from them. I say, "Bring it on", the more the merrier!
Thanks to you all
Paddy

Khadres
05-20-2004, 01:57 AM
First a caveat: I sincerely look at a lot of the work of a lot of the artists here and am so agog at the skill and beauty of the things posted that I literally find myself standing off to the side with my mouth hanging open, entranced and delighted. Maybe I'm just new enough back on the art scene that I can't yet spot boo-boos or possible weaknesses in some of the work yet. I don't know. But asking me to critique some of you guys is like asking a newbie Betty Crocker wannabe to critique Julia Child!

Anyway, I think most of the critiques here are VERY well done with both good points and weak points addressed with care and good, constructive advice. I might not always agree with a critiquer's opinion, but usually I can see what they mean and how they might have come to their conclusions. A LOT of the time, I'm still finding it difficult to see the forest for the trees. I'll be very enthused about someone's work and dang! The next post is a critique which points out things I didn't even know enough yet to LOOK for! So reading others' critiques is a great learning experience, as well. I've already learned more here in a few months than I ever did in the few classes I've had or groups I've belonged to.

As to whether we're too delicate to accept criticism when it is sincerely offered, I think most of us are a lot stronger than we sometimes think we are. What someone says might smart just a little at first, but usually on reflection, there's something to be learned from comments, both good and bad. Sometimes, I may seem too pollyanna in my comments, but that's often because I DO like to encourage and often I DON'T know how to fix whatever problem I might sense is there. This is when I try to point out the strong points I see and leave the more experienced among us to zero in on the weakness....they know best how to spot what's really a problem and they also have ideas of how to fix it. There's not a lot of sense in me standing there sayin', "Gee, this looks like hell, (altho I'd never say that) but I have no idea why and no idea how to fix it, so...." Better to point out how much I like the colors they used or whatever else was good about the picture and wait to see what the gurus have to offer.

By all means, Kitty, I believe most everybody here would be quite honored to have you and the other pros take the time to offer critiques on their work! I frankly haven't seen anyone be mean-spirited in their critiques yet and I'd probably speak up if I did. So critique away!

jackiesimmonds
05-20-2004, 02:13 AM
Good question Kitty.

And some good answers, which should give you quite a lot of insight into the varying responses you are likely to recieve.

I have found that it is best to give a critique ONLY when someone asks for it. And then, do your best to offer CONSTRUCTIVE comments, which will give the artist an opportunity to make changes to the work, if they agree with what you have to say.

I always remember 15 minutes of my time in art school, when one tutor appeared behind me and said "oh dear, that was rather a waste of your time" and as I sat there, stunned, frozen, wondering what on earth to do, 10 minutes later another tutor came up behind me and said "great stuff, Jackie, keep up the good work, I really like what you are doing there." Taught me a lot, that . Neither comment was useful at all, there was nothing constructive about either of them, and I learned that no two people see your work in quite the same way.

When you offer up comments which aren't necessarily complimentary,even when gently stated, be prepared for everything, from delight, to silence. From pleasure and gratitude, to irritation and, I am sorry to say, sometimes even bile. As a critiquer, you need almost as broad shoulders as you do as an artist!

And always remember that the written word can be misinterpreted, so be careful what you say and how you say it.

A woman without her man is nothing.
A woman, without her, man is nothing.

!!

Jackie

Laura Shelley
05-20-2004, 02:31 AM
I like straightforward crit, and I specifically ask for it. That's usually the best way to go about it, IMO, especially in a forum like this one where not all of us have exactly the same aims. Tell the rest of us who you are and what you need. I am a professional artist, and rather like Kitty, I grew a thick hide a long time ago. It wasn't easy. Separating your work from your worth as a person often doesn't happen until you have undergone some pain. Truly nasty crit is not something that's aimed at the work, to my mind; it's something that's aimed at me. You can call something I've posted a nauseating mess that should be used for toilet paper, and that's just your opinion of an inanimate object: big deal. Call ME names and I'll let you know I'm offended. :)

I know that not everyone here can just shrug off negative comments about their work, and that is perfectly all right with me. If you don't feel up to hearing about the drawbacks of a piece, you can still post it just to know that other human beings have laid eyes on your work. I never mind giving encouragement and moral support to a fellow artist. People who affect snide impatience with novices are not demonstrating their own artistic sophistication, IMO. They are demonstrating their own lack of patience and maturity.

You can learn from anyone at any level, and passing on things you have learned refreshes your own knowledge and sense of discovery. Linus Pauling, the world-famous Nobel laureate, used to teach lower-division undergraduate chemistry courses at Cal Tech; my father went to his lectures fifty years ago, and still talks about how he almost changed his major from physics to chemistry just because of that class.

Kitty Wallis
05-20-2004, 03:11 AM
Thanks for your thoughtful and informative responses.

I have felt, for a long time, the importance of telling people the truth about their work. For me making art is a sacred activity, one that carries profound responsibility. Since I am determined to contribute some sort of advancement, however small, to the human race in art, I think I must be honest in my work and make every attempt to develop myself, to become adept at revealing my actual experience. For that reason I value feedback of every kind.

ChasCreek
05-20-2004, 05:49 AM
interesting topic, I was pondering this subject last night. I was feeling a tad guilty, nope probably too strong a word, but I was recognising that I am posting asking for comments, when I don't actually comment on anyones work on here and was thinking, well, that that's a tad one way, as I'm expecting something when not actually putting anything back in.

In truth, I don't comment for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, I see a lot of work I like, but just saying "ooh I think thats wonderful" sounds a bit lame, and I remember from when I was around here last a year a mod thread asking people not to do that realy as it just takes up server space with no real benefit. Althought I think artists although they may brush it off, like praise and it often gives them, well like in anything anyone does, that encouragemnt that puts more life and confidence into their next work or whatever.
Secondly, I don't offer constructive comments, as I am not an artist. Yes mumble mumble mumble years ago I was a formaly trained working artist and graphic designer, but after so many years break I am not now, I'm a one time artist now IT consultant. Yes, I havent forgotten then underlying disciplins if you want, but my "skill" is very very much depleated and as such I wouldn't presume to comment on anyones work.

jackiesimmonds
05-20-2004, 06:14 AM
Thanks for your thoughtful and informative responses.

I have felt, for a long time, the importance of telling people the truth about their work.

Ahh ... very credible....but what is TRUTH? An artist could, for instance draw a figure piece with anatomy which is faultless and absolutely truthful, but perhaps his drawing ends up stiff and lifeless and lacking any kind of gestural expressiveness. so - what is the truth? And isn't there a fine line between truth, and opinion?

meowmeow
05-20-2004, 07:27 AM
Another excellent discussion!
Personally, I have learned more here at WC in the last couple of years than in all the years leading up to them....mostly because of the critiques I have gotten...as well as watching other people's work and progress.
As has already been pointed out, it is usually the way something is said that is the most important. Constructuve criticism and encouragement are helpful...curt negative comments, even if they are "correct" can just feel so awful that you don't want to think about them. I would like to think I am beyond that point but I know even now sometimes my first reaction is defensiveness...but I have learned to stop and look again at my painting and what the person is saying and usually see that they are right.
I know myself since I am still learning I am hesitant sometimes to comment. I like to be encouraging, especially with someone new. But sometimes I can see that a piece has problems and honestly, I am not sure what is wrong. In a case like that I may not say anything, at least at first, but watch and see what the "experts" have to say. That way I can learn as well.
In any case, even though I don't always say "C&C" I welcome it...just try to be nice. :D


Sandy

sundiver
05-20-2004, 07:40 AM
Critiquing can be a bit of a touchy subject around here, with so many different skill levels, different personalities, different personal objectives. Spiteful or mean-spirited critiques are something I haven't seen here in any of the forums I use; a couple of tactless ones over the years, maybe, but there were immediate reprimands from other members. I have seen some who asked for critiques and then reacted very negatively when they got them.. makes you want to get to know the person before venturing to speak!

Some members say,"No critiques, please." That's valid. We also have two kudos-only forums: the WC Gallery and the All Media Art Events Forum. We have two forums -Open Critique and Structured Critique- where kudos-only are strongly discouraged. With the rest, I think it's up to the poster to say what kind of feedback they want.

I enjoy and appreciate critiques..which doesn't mean I necessarily always agree or follow the advice.And I don't feel it necessary to convince the person who critiqued why I disagree. It's my choice to accept or agree, or not.There is some fabulous critiquing going on in this forum and it's a learning experience to read it.

We are so fortunate to have so many accomplished and experienced artists and teachers among us! I guess they themselves get a little shortchanged in receiving critiques... I feel underqualified to offer much advice- and can rarely find anything to criticise anyway.
I also hesitate to say much to beginners: if I see 8 glaring things I might mention one, but I might just give a kudo to encourage; if they stick around WC they'll pick up on the 8 things as they progress.

I've been babbling away here but I'm not sure if I've actually said anything! :confused: :p :D

Kathryn Wilson
05-20-2004, 08:11 AM
Kitty - this has long been a subject I've wanted addressed in the Pastel Forum - thanks for bringing this up. I am including some links for everyone to read - these Articles are from the Critique Forum and can be helpful when you are asking for and getting critiques -

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/558/343/

And when you want to join in and give a good critique -

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/509/168/

----------------

Speaking for myself, I try to give constructive critiques when someone is obviously struggling or asking for help. In areas that I feel that I am not experienced enough in, such as portraits, I will only comment if I see something glaringly wrong - or just leave it to the portrait experts, especially if it already been brought up by someone else.

It is difficult for most of us to critique a professional's work - and in some cases other forums have pretty much said - "no critiques" because of bad feelings caused in the past. I would not want that here in the Pastel Forum so I don't critique unless asked.

As to newbies, I would advise to err on the side of caution until we all get familiar with their level of skill and how well they can take critiques. If a critique is given and follows the guidelines set out in the Articles above, there should be no problem - but there are tender feelings when someone posts for the first time.

As a Guide, I am in a different position than everyone else - my "job" is to welcome newbies, encourage them to post, provide inspiration and useful projects to work on - so my general attitude has been to remain positive - a cheerleader so to speak.

So my personal guideline about critiques is that there are in most cases good things to say about a painting, as well as areas that need help.

Harm Verbeek
05-20-2004, 08:14 AM
Hello,

I think I want to have real help and critiques, I don't pretend to be the best artist or to be the new Degas, but for myself I want to stay developing in art.
Sometimes its harder to get no critique at all when you know for yourself that there are several things that could be better. I don't allways see myself what is wrong or can be better or in another way.
But for the othe way if everybody would say, what are you doing on wetcanvas its no good at all. I would be disappointed too.
I don't give a lot of critiques myself too. Because I think i'm a starter in pastels. So I hope by saying when I find something good or nice colours it helps too. When I'm not give a reaction It says something about me, because a painting doesn't appeal to me. I don"t know what is the best too do there are so many different styles and so many different people. I just speak for my selves.

Greetings Harm

Kathryn Wilson
05-20-2004, 08:18 AM
. . .if it gets mean-spirited (not likely around here!).

Libby


Meanness will not be tolerated on my watch! So rest assured, anything like this will be dealt with quickly.

EdK
05-20-2004, 09:07 AM
Kitty, what a wonderful post! I think we have had some excellent threads develop the past week or so.

It's hard to know how far to go with C&Cs without establishing a history as each individual has their own limits. That's why I think it is important to keep posting. It allows us to get a feel for each other.

Even though I have posted before that I paint entirely for fun at this juncture, I still want to improve as an artist. I do take my art seriously and hope to one day sell some of my work. It is important for me to receive criticisms (along with some occassional oohs and ahhs! lol) Fire away.

MarshaSavage
05-20-2004, 09:57 AM
Kitty,

Thank you for starting this thread. There have been some wonderful answers and good thought provoking comments.

I used to post (and still do occasionally) paintings for critique, but did not often get more than some praise. Sometimes I did get constructive thoughts, those that I would use and those that were not where I wanted to go. I did always see the thoughtfulness that went into each comment. Because of not getting very many ideas for my use, I don't post often. For awhile there were only those posts that were overly admiring when you could obviously see there were things that needed correcting. This did put me off on posting.

We do seem now to have attracted quite a few professionals -- yeah!!! And having said that, we might have had many but they weren't speaking up.

Even the newest among us can spot many things that are not quite right. And I know that "not quite right" is a different style sometimes! So, even if you don't know how to correct something, it is still a good idea to say you see something "off", but "don't know how to correct it"! Maybe I was so close to it, that I could not see the "off" thing, but once it is pointed out, I can then look for a way to correct it if that is what I want.

Occasionally, I will comment or critique a post, but not very often -- and that is mainly because I feel somewhat uneasy with just the typed word. I have been teaching painting for about 10 years and can see how it affects people one-on-one, but it is difficult to know the personality of someone that is only typing. I admit it, I am mostly a "lurker". Learning from the rest of you, but sometimes afraid to give my own opinions. And, I think it is because I know that it is only my opinion! I'll try to get over that -- work on it and participate a little more.

Kitty and you others, great discussion. I hope this will get more people offering honest and specific thoughtful ideas on what is bothersome or what is excellent.

LesleyT
05-20-2004, 10:07 AM
Hi Kitty, hi everyone!

This is such a great thread! I love this forum and drop by most days to keep my brain stimulated :)

I've been a member for ages now but feel shy posting, especially comments on other people's work in case I come across in a way I didn't intend to. There are some amazing artists here who I really respect and it makes me feel really humble.

It's funny but I've always found it harder to comment on other people's work than to hear my own work criticised - I really don't mind people pointing out where they think I'm going wrong. But when the shoe's on the other foot I'm scared of triggering a defensive, negative response because I'm not sure how that person will react. Sometimes I'm not sure if my point is valid - how will I come across if I crit a really established artist's work - am I qualified to do that? Maybe I'm just being a chicken!

After reading how everyone feels about this I'm going to try to participate more and be braver about C+C (plus the rest of the threads) because I'm getting so much out of it, I really want to put more in.

Plus you're all such interesting people. I feel like I know some of you really well! :D

Kathryn Day
05-20-2004, 11:19 AM
I have to agree that when you are new to art or to the medium with only a few paintings completed it is hard to critique others work. I find myself giving praise mostly, because I don't feel qualified to give constructive critique. I am sure that, as I become more accomplished, due in great part to receiving critique from more experienced artists to my posts, I will feel more able to participate. I learn alot from reading the critiques to other posts, as well.

Lisa Olivarez
05-20-2004, 11:33 AM
In my case, I definitely want constructive criticism. If I'm feeling weepy or fragile, I'll mention it. I have nooooooooooo problem begging for compliments.

Dyin
05-20-2004, 12:15 PM
lol Lisa!
Katy, I wanted to mention that I've learned almost the most from attempting to give critiques. Because then I have to force myself to not only see the problem area but try and figure out a way to address it. Being mostly taught from books I've read a lot of things that made perfect sense but couldn't quite get the big picture. Things like value is so important that color almost doesn't matter...now what the heck did THAT mean? When you're painting in your own tiny little box it's all you know. This place opens you to all sorts of styles and approaches and you start to wonder what it is exactly that makes some work and some not. So perhaps, for your own personal growth, you should take the time to study pieces and forget the fear of saying something wrong...because even if you do, someone a bit more knowledgeable will come along and explain why such and such wouldn't work and what would and therefore you get more out of the exercise. And so does the artist that posted. Sure, we all love to have our hard work appreciated but there can't be one of us who doesn't feel they have room to grow. The most important thing is that both sides realize it's ultimately up to the artist that posted to be able to seperate wheat from chaff and know what should work with their intentions. I guess what I'm trying to say is no one is worried about whether someone is qualified, we just want to get the best work we can and all advice and tips are welcome.

Dark_Shades
05-20-2004, 01:39 PM
A Great thread, and interesting comments

Ive always said.... its NOT what you say, But HOW you say it .... I do think 'tone and intent' are easily read in the written word, and its not often they are misinterupted...... and after reading/posting/commenting or even lurking in the forums, you get a feel of a persons nature and character..... I think artwise, the skill level shows what 'crit' advise response the poster should be given.... an obvious newbie, with 'glaring mistakes', doesnt neccessarily need them all pointed out and shoved down their throats :D ..... a gentle guiding hand and tongue has more reward .... the truth doesnt have to be brutish
If you care enough and have the time to make a response, then take care and time over it ..... hey!, SBJ, Im getting profound again :eek: :)

I love 'sayings' .......

Practise what you Preach
Least said, soonest mended
What goes around....... Comes around
People in Glass Houses........ Should wear clothes.... oops thats not right.... throw Stones :)

As for more senior members or Pro's ...... they only have to ask for a crit and they would get one I believe .... a lack of responses is the same for anyone regardless, I feel ...... and summounts to Different Strokes for Different Folks

Wendy ..... I must frequent different forums to you lol ...... I have actually seen some VERY SPITEFUL and down right Nasty Crits ....... one very recently..... a right humdinger

ChasCreek
05-20-2004, 03:57 PM
Dawn 100% agreement here.."its NOT what you say, But HOW you say it"

I have very recently on here seen a crit that while technicaly correct and had some valid points was put in such a way that it's came across as very condescending. It's not difficult to put things across "properly" in the written word and in fact it's easy to discern a lot about peoples characters from their posts on here. It doesn't take a lot of effort to have "people skills" and to guide without possibly offending or discouraging.

eileenclaire
05-20-2004, 04:36 PM
Here is an example of what I feel is an excellent critique. It's what I call a "sandwich" critique. You tell what you like about the work, give suggestions and ideas about how to improve it, then finish with another positive comment. The suggestions in this case were very specific, and very helpful to me.

This kind of critique is very effective. The positive comments buffer the critique, and leave no doubt that the critiquer's intentions were to help me grow as an artist, not pick apart or put down my work. I have seen many others use the "sandwich" approach, and I've adopted it myself.

The critique itself is really made up of suggestions. The use of "maybe you could" and "perhaps" leaves it up to the artist to decide.

This is a very tactful, helpful, constructive critique. (Thanks, Paula!)


Eileen,

This is so beautiful -- you captured your daughter's likeness and 'spark' to an amazing degree. Because you asked, there are a couple of things that distract me.

Even though you faithfully rendered her shirt, the saturated blue of the material fights with the blue of her eyes. I'd much rather her eyes were the focal point. Perhaps you could decrease the temperature or value of her shirt, or maybe even move it into the lavender range.

Same comment for the blue background. The original background, while nondescript, did not compete for attention. Perhaps a muted green would provide a nice contrast while remaining where it belongs -- in the backgound.

Also, regardless of color, the thin, vertical strokes of the background echo the vertical strokes of her hair, which make my eyes tend to run up and down the lines, rather than rest on your daughter. Maybe you could make your strokes horizontal or diagonal, or use the flat of the pastel stick to model the background, as you did her flesh.

Regardless of these nitpicks, you did a superb job. I hope you frame it for posterity.

PaulaCT

Deborah Secor
05-20-2004, 06:58 PM
Well, I work for one day and you all post 30+ great thoughts on this... A couple of things come to my mind.

First, I'm a professional and when I post a WIP that I need some comments about I usually try to ASK the questions I want to know the answers to. Instead of 'what do you think of my painting?' it's 'I like the sky but the mountain is making me crazy' or some such. I usually know what I need to hear about and I need someone to respond. I'm not fragile--you all can tell me when you like it and you can suggest what needs changing. I'm no over-the-top expert, I have a lot to learn, but aside from that I value responses from people. When I hang it in a gallery I'm gonna get a response and, frankly, I'd rather hear the comments from trusted and knowledgeable friends than overhear them from stangers (and, yes, I've overheard things and suddenly realized EXACTLY what needs fixing--but it's framed and on the gallery wall! Oy!!!)

Second, I think it's always best to comment ONLY when someone asks for it. I can't keep track of who wants critiques and who doesn't, so just say so!

Third (okay, more than a couple things--only three), I've had the wonderful experience of another pro here who very kindly sent me a PM and showed me what she thought was going wrong in my painting, and asked if it would be okay to post it or if I would prefer to keep it between us. (I told her to post it--it was a great bit of advice!) It was sweet that she didn't want to offend me, but she had something to say. I wouldn't have gotten the help I needed that day without her willingness to risk telling me the truth! And maybe others benefitted too. (Okay, give you a hint who--she's written a ton of books...lives near London...uses her real name as her nickname...initials JS...) ;)

I want, no NEED, critiques and this is a great place to get them. I'll keep asking.

Deborah

Dark_Shades
05-20-2004, 07:31 PM
lol I think it just goes to show what they say about US artists....
...... we are ALL a touchy temperamental lot :)

Kathryn Wilson
05-20-2004, 07:43 PM
Eileen: That is a great example of a thoughtful and helpful critique!

dee: I've always appreciated you asking exactly what you are looking for - no hunting all around the painting looking for the one thing that might be off.

sundiver
05-20-2004, 08:56 PM
A Great thread, and interesting comments

Wendy ..... I must frequent different forums to you lol ...... I have actually seen some VERY SPITEFUL and down right Nasty Crits ....... one very recently..... a right humdinger


Hoo boy! I stand corrected (having seen a couple just now)!


Here's a question- Would you rather receive a lame kudo, or no response at all?
I'd go for the lame kudo, myself, because someone at least took the trouble to acknowledge my effort. But I wonder sometimes, when responding to someone else's , and like it, but don't have much else to say about it other than that. Equestrian paintings, for example: they look beautiful, but I don't have the background to comment much further than that.

SweetBabyJ
05-20-2004, 09:41 PM
Well see, that to me is a crux for so many folks. They feel if they cannot "do" better, they should stay quiet. That old "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach" idea- load of fertilizer, that.

I've always worked in near-total isolation; just me, and books, and trips to museums and galleries, treasure houses in Europe- but ultimately, just me. Never had anyone to bounce ideas off of; some things worked- and I sold quite a bit privately before I lost ability to my right hand/arm. And if something didn't work, I didn't know why, or how to MAKE it work- there was no one around to tell me, or show me. It's a great way to learn a whole lot- but it's rather circular, and definately not speedy. Here, I can see LOTS of different ways to accomplish what I want- lots of different styles, techniques, subjects- and all the things I learned about by reading and study come together here whether the piece is something I could do myself or not.

Landscapes are my *bane* I make no bones about it. I'd like to be able to do a decent landscape, but I always knot up and frown and trace new wrinkles into my face, and end up with something which I don't like but sigh in relief that it's done anyway. But- that doesn't mean when I see a landscape someone else has done, I cannot see if something is "off"- or conversely, what about it sings to me. It's easier , in fact, to see all the little nuances when you're outside looking in, I think- I mean, isn't that what we say? "I need fresh eyes"?

In another forum, I posted this awhile ago: "Kudos are great- strokes are nice- it's one of the reasons people post their work. Discussing the WORK that went into a piece is always interesting, and an opportunity for many to learn even more. Posting a piece and saying "I'm too close to this but can see there is a problem- help me see it" is a HUGE help sometimes- moreso to the responders because it is then they learn how much they actually know in and of themselves." And, to me, that is a basic truth: When you teach, you actually learn more.

As for some of the more harsh critiques sometimes given (most often in other forums) I find there's been a common mindset amongst those few "critiquers"; one which is predicated with the notion "My way is BEST- the ONLY way to do this correctly!" Those few, I suppose, one should feel a bit sorry for- they're the ones who do not learn, because they are sure they know it all.

Mikki Petersen
05-20-2004, 11:08 PM
There sure is a lot of thinking going on around here! What I want to know, is how to respond to really, really poor paintings...one's that belong in the litter box and reflect clearly that perhaps the individual should maybe find a different hobby before investing to much in materials. Some people have no artistic bent but try anyway, which is noble to me, but what should I say about their work? I will look at a piece that looks like grade school scribbling with twenty encouraging comments about the nice reds or something. Are we helping by encouraging that person? Then again, I have seen certain people who began by not even having any drawing skills who are now producing some admirable pieces. What' if they'd been discouraged before reaching that level?

I am one of those who likes the kudos but I greatly value all the important learning advice given me in this forum and others. Sometimes the criticism stings a little but I learn by doing so it is needed to show me what went wrong and how to fix it or do it differently next time.

As for who can critique? Anyone can as long as they remember to be civil about it. Whether you are a newbie or a pro, you can look at a painting and react to it. What you see is of value to the artist attempting to communicate a thought, idea or emotion. The comments are a barometer to how well the communication is going. My husband, who has very poor drawing skills is a great critiquer and often helps me resolve issues in paintings even though he has no formal art training of any kind. He also often looks over my shoulder when I'm on here and makes valuable comments about the paintings he sees. Often things that I can't see.

I often make positive comments about paintings that I really like. If I can see something no body else has commented about, I will state it. My experience, however, is that I will see a painting and think it is very good only to read the comments where others point out weak areas. I go back and look and, sure enough, the weaknesses are there...guess they just are not important to me.

Kitty, Jackie, Deborah, Marsha, Carly...and others I may have missed...I love being in a forum where I can interact with you professionals and gain insight from your comments and your work. I use your works of art to study for how you accomplish the elements in your paintings. If I saw something I thought was off, I would say so because I recognize that is of value. I rarely do, however. At the same time, there are many who post their work and accept the comments but rarely take the time to post comments for other people. As I recognize those people I stop commenting on their postings. I work at giving meaningful responses and I don't tolerate people who take but don't give. For this reason, I feel it is important to make comments about the works of the pros even if all I can say is what I admire about the piece under discussion.

I think this subject is critical to the success of these forums and I'm glad it is being discussed here.

As for my work...I WANT TO KNOW...what did I do good, what do I need to fix. Doug, (Yorky), over in the watercolor furum has the legend "Graduate of the University of Wet Canvas" next to his signature. I'm no where near graduating, but I feel I have learned more, faster, here than could have happened in any institutional setting. I have a whole shelf of art instruction books and piles of magazines, some of which have been helpful, some not, some I refer to almost daily but it is the give and take on Wet Canvas that really brings the lessons into scope for me.

SweetBabyJ
05-20-2004, 11:39 PM
That one's harder, Mikki- because, especially with beginners, we have no idea what potential is there- just because they've never been taught doesn't mean with tutoring they cannot learn the basics and produce some terrific works. I think it's easier when it is someone we "know"- I'm 'minded of Preston's LemonSuckers here- "Just start over- you cannot possibly save this one!!" But newbies are just that: Newbies. Perhaps the easiest thing then is to pm them quietly and ask if they'd like some direction in basic drawing, or colour theory or whatever.

Although, and it's a proud thing to say, I've lurked a lot, and posted some, in many of the other forums here, and this is by far the most supportive, *helpful* one on the entire site. Everyone here is genuinely pleased when someone does good- and more than willing to give their time to help someone behind the scenes.

Dyin
05-20-2004, 11:41 PM
What I want to know, is how to respond to really, really poor paintings...one's that belong in the litter box and reflect clearly that perhaps the individual should maybe find a different hobby before investing to much in materials. Some people have no artistic bent but try anyway, which is noble to me, but what should I say about their work? I will look at a piece that looks like grade school scribbling with twenty encouraging comments about the nice reds or something. Are we helping by encouraging that person? Then again, I have seen certain people who began by not even having any drawing skills who are now producing some admirable pieces. What' if they'd been discouraged before reaching that level?



Since painting is sort of a compulsion for me (something I can't not do) I figure maybe these poorer paintings are from people who can't help but do it either. I've also found that if someone is willing to say I can't do this but I want to, then they will learn. I figure what does it hurt to try and help. I'll stick with anyone who is trying and I also have seen some amazing improvements. Sometimes people forget that the beginners need the most help here and it seems that they get the least help. Perhaps if we were gently honest and gave them good pointers one by one they would improve more quickly. And the main thing is that they enjoy the process and I'm not going to spoil that for anyone. I also have seen some horrid things said to people along this line, though not in this forum, and it really disgusted me to think someone could not have the human decency to be kind and helpful rather than scornful and mean. Who among us has not at some time in their life tried something they weren't good at...either you blessfully never realize it or you eventually realise you should try something else or else you try so hard that you actually get better. And hey, wasn't Einstein poor in school? You never know who's actually a diamond in the rough.

Mikki Petersen
05-21-2004, 12:07 AM
Good thoughts Sue and Julie. Thanks! I just hate it when I open a new post and cringe at what I see. What to say???? "Gee, nice paper..." At the same time, I hate when someone doesn't get any replies. I always go down the forum looking for threads that have not gotten much response and find something to say in each of them.

I also agree that this forum is kinder, gentler and yet more friendly than any of the other forums I've visited. I have seen some devastating things said in some of the threads.

SweetBabyJ
05-21-2004, 12:25 AM
lol Mikki- it's like when you encounter a set of proud new parents who let you peek under the blankie at their new bundle of joy- and you're pretty sure at least one of them was abducted by aliens- or possibly they've been given a squashed red frog by mistake- 'cause that kid's ugly- looks like something not-quite done yet- and you hafta find something nice to say...

I've always used "Wow! What BLUE eyes!" if it's awake, and "Ohhh- look at that little rosebud mouth!" if not- both *sound* complimentary, at least.

Kitty Wallis
05-21-2004, 01:25 AM
I love this discussion! It's searching, responsive, full of wisdom and human frailty. It's a genuine conversation.

Kitty Wallis
05-21-2004, 01:27 AM
I just hate it when I open a new post and cringe at what I see. What to say???? "Gee, nice paper..." At the same time, I hate when someone doesn't get any replies.

Exactly, this is why I asked this question.

jackiesimmonds
05-21-2004, 02:18 AM
re the painting that deserves binning thing..........

Some while back, when teaching on a course overseas, I saw the work of a lady who really looked as tho she had chosen the wrong hobby. It was truly awful. She could not draw, did not look, used hopeless technique. I did my best to help, but felt it was a bit of a lost cause, frankly.

Several years went by. Then, I heard that this same lady was having an exhibition in the town where she lived. And that she had sold quite a few. It turned out that throughout the years, she had really worked hard at home, without the benefit of classes and physical teaching, she had taught herself from books, and had achieved a level of competence that I would not have imagined possible.

I had said nothing, at the time, to put her off painting, but secretly I had thought that she was completely wasting her time. But she proved me wrong, she did not waste her time, and it would have been quite wrong of me to suggest to her that she try a different hobby!

So, clearly, one should encourage EVERYONE, even those who you feel are totally hopeless, but perhaps encourage them to expand their skill base by doing lots of reading and learning and practicing,in order to get the most out of themselves.

Meisie
05-21-2004, 05:38 AM
I have not posted for a while...been crazily busy...but when I do post I certainly hope for constructive feedback. There is a number of artists on here who honor me with their feedback, and I appreciate it more than I can tell, because I'm learning a new medium and getting 'back to' painting after years of no 'art'
However I also like to hear responses from the 'other' folks because it gives me a full spectrum of response...along the lines of what may be available in the 'general' public...does this make sense?
But there is a 'list' of names that I look for in the responses.....(and don't presume to think you know who they are ;) you might be surprised :D ) because I know when I read those responses, I'm going to learn something for sure.
Once one lady was away from the boards and I really wanted her feedback, as I have a high opinion of her work and her advice, so I pm'ed her and she graciously responded when she could. To me that speaks of a genuine desire to help and a graciousness that calls for my deep appreciation.
I'm not sensitive about my work : I want to LEARN, get BETTER, GO PLACES -lol - and I'll take the help I can get. But if someone is rude/nasty....I'll simply ignore him/her....I have better things to spend my time on than disagreeable people! :D

Not quite 2 c worth....more like a looney ($1) :rolleyes:

Great thread Kitty!

Meisie

Kathryn Wilson
05-21-2004, 08:58 AM
Good thoughts Sue and Julie. Thanks! I just hate it when I open a new post and cringe at what I see. What to say???? "Gee, nice paper..." At the same time, I hate when someone doesn't get any replies. I always go down the forum looking for threads that have not gotten much response and find something to say in each of them.

I also agree that this forum is kinder, gentler and yet more friendly than any of the other forums I've visited. I have seen some devastating things said in some of the threads.


Good thoughts here, Mikki - I think this is the biggest problem area for me too - but then I remember where I was when I first started and know that with some encouragement, some well-thought out teaching, some suggestions for better material - this person just might turn out to be a star. Doesn't it make you feel wonderful to see a newbie take off and soar!

I also think some encouragement to visit some of the other forums such as composition, color theory, drawing would do just as well as have them struggle with pastels and just not get it. Pastels are not for everyone - just as other mediums are not for everybody. Color Pencils or oil painting might just be the ticket and we don't know that.

Deborah Secor
05-21-2004, 05:01 PM
I have to chime in with Jackie here and mention an experience I had like hers. I had a student who looked anything but promising. She loved to draw but had no 'eye' for it, had no experience with color, and was new to pastels. She came to me one day and told me she was quitting her day job and wanted to become an artist, and asked me if I thought it was a good idea. I gulped, thought for a minute and then said, sure--be an artist if that's where your heart is. Later I clenched at the thought, wondering if I'd cost her too much. But the funny thing is my encouragement gave her what she needed. She plunged in full force, took more classes, painted like crazy and inside of four years was showing in big fairs and then went into galleries. She's a full-fledged pro these days, happily showing beside me and I have to tell you it's a great feeling knowing I helped her in some small way. That day I encouraged her, even though rationally it was not sound, I did the very best thing...

Always, always encourage people!!

Deborah

SweetBabyJ
05-21-2004, 05:39 PM
So Kitty, what have YOU decided to do critique-wise?

Mikki Petersen
05-21-2004, 06:00 PM
Oh good! I'm very poor at saying things I think might hurt someone and I'm glad to hear that a little encouragement is a better thing to do. I also like the suggestion to refer them to a basic theory forum or class or book. At least that is constructive. Wonderful discussion here.

Kitty Wallis
05-21-2004, 08:53 PM
So Kitty, what have YOU decided to do critique-wise?

I've decided to act according to what has been valuable to me, from a gentle push to a lovingly delivered kick in the rear.

I am also taking into account the guidlines described in this thread: If a person hasn't asked for critique, I will ask them first if they want to hear what I want to say.
I will give the level of critique likely to be constuctive, rather than loading a newbie up with too much, for instance.
I will remember I don't know what's right for anyone.

I might turn out to be one of the more dangerous (not mean) ones on here. Case in Point, I gave Lisa a critique on her German Landscape. No one has posted on that thread since. Anyone want to add anything?

bnoonan
05-21-2004, 09:08 PM
So.... I'm a little late and yet somehow I caused this thread.... hmmm....

First I would like to thank you for looking at my pieces long enough to even offer criticism and critiques. I too learn every day I go to Wet Canvas.

I guess most everything I've been thinking has been said. But I will toss out a few thoughts.

Here's what I aspire to doing....

Use the expression.... "If it were my piece, I'd do it this way." To me, this is a great way to let someone know how you feel but it still allows the creativity/decision making of the owner.

"Take a closer look at .... and see if that can be done a bit differently... What do you see there?" (When I'm told this, it reminds me to look a bit more closely and then I get the bonus of teaching myself.)

Never compare anyone elses work to another.... ex: "Look at how Judy does it".

If you don't have anything good to say... don't say anything at all.

If you have time to help do so. If you don't and/or don't have a clue how to help, it's best not.

Thick skin is important in giving and receiving critiques. When you criticize my work, I realize it's not about me as an artist. We just view things differently.

So... I guess that's all I have to say other than feel free to criticize any and all of my work at any time and I'll be sure to post that with each posting I make.

So... great idea to put this out in the open. Well done!

Barb

SweetBabyJ
05-21-2004, 10:04 PM
I might turn out to be one of the more dangerous (not mean) ones on here. Case in Point, I gave Lisa a critique on her German Landscape. No one has posted on that thread since. Anyone want to add anything?
lol- I think it more that Lisa hasn't been back yet much, and things changed quite a bit- Folks are still catching up. The splitting into sub-forums is good, in one way- gives everyone a particular place with guidelines so they know where to post what; but it's not so good in another- Folks tend to lose interest when there is too much to look at in too many places- and those on dial-up have the added onus of waiting for even more pages to load. It'll all come together, though.

I agree, Barb- as Dawn said earlier- it isn't always what you say, but how it is said. May make it sound wishy-washy to always say "I think" "I feel", but it's sure easier for another person to swallow than "This is wrong".

Dyin
05-21-2004, 10:21 PM
Kitty...that was a fine critique, just happenstance that no one hit on it since I think. Hey, SBJ brought up loading and I forget that since I got cable. For those of you with dial up...does it take longer to load a page that uses uploader instead of the attachments? I'll try to be aware of that if so.

SweetBabyJ
05-21-2004, 10:59 PM
It isn't just images in a post, Sue, these pages are all graphics-heavy with lotsa animation gifs too, on some- they load slow because of that, too. A thread heavy with images can load VERY slowly- probably no matter if attached or uploaded. Added bonus to uploaded *should* be that the image itself resides on WC's servers, thus the next time you load the thread (provided you haven't wiped cache) your cookie will retain it and you won't have to load it again. Dunno if that works the same with attachments.

Paula Ford
05-21-2004, 11:13 PM
Better late than never...

First let me (also) say thank you to all who have critiqued my work. I have learned so much and continue to learn everyday. If it weren't for all of you, I would still be struggling with that first orange, still in a pile of dust with orange eye lashes.

When posting my paintings, I always want help. Most of the time I remember to say "C&C Please" or something like that, but sometimes I forget. If there are no critiques, I can't fix the booboos and learn not to do them again.

I'm not usually sensitive about my work, though sometimes when it's been a hard day, or when the hormone thing is off (I'm a woman in my 40's what can I say :D ), maybe a little. I am just a beginner and think of myself as a child in the art world, and have a couple of times allowed my feelings to be hurt by some words that I thought were too harsh. I also got over it. Though I still cringe when I see the names in emails saying I have a response to my post :eek: .

As far as others' paintings, I am always nice, honest, and sincere. Mostly, I just give praise because I'm not that experienced. It's like I don't give opinions about, say, architecture because I don't know much about the subject and feel that I'm not qualified. A lot of the time, life is going so fast that I don't have time to say anything, so when seeing a post I really don't like, I don't say anything. Other times, I just don't know how to express myself so I don't say anything.

Well, that's my take on this subject. Thanks Kitty for a great thread.

Paula

jackiesimmonds
05-22-2004, 04:24 AM
I might turn out to be one of the more dangerous (not mean) ones on here. Case in Point, I gave Lisa a critique on her German Landscape. No one has posted on that thread since. Anyone want to add anything?

Kitty, I often find that I post to a thread, and it stops right there. Not sure why this happens, and it would be great if I was one of those people who liked having the last word! But I am not at all.

I have offered a critique to Lisa too.

Oh, and in one of your posts, you said that you would not suggest to a student that they "compare" their work with anothers. Well...I would like to suggest that sometimes, it is quite helpful to see how another artists has solved a particular problem. I have TONS of books, and when I am stuck, I often refer to my books to see how x might have sorted out that problem, or y. Not just Masters, but contemporary artists too. It gives me all sorts of insights into alternative options. I believe that sometimes artists get "stuck" in their way of thinking, and seeing other alternatives can be very revealing. This doesn't mean painting exactly like that other artist, but seeing what they might have done with shape, colour, tone, or technique, can spark off something new in your own mind.

Jackie

Dark_Shades
05-22-2004, 07:13 AM
I might turn out to be one of the more dangerous (not mean) ones on here. Case in Point, I gave Lisa a critique on her German Landscape. No one has posted on that thread since. Anyone want to add anything?

All things have to end at some point ...... could be simply, no one has anything more to add ......

(in addition Lisa had posted a number of paintings into one thread, and was suggested she posted them out singularly, so she had already got a number of responses previously)


..... see you might not be as dangerous as you thought ;) .... we are such a meek and mild mannered folk in this forum ..... ask anyone, especially the guy and the comment of the *clucking chickens :evil: ha ha ha

bnoonan
05-22-2004, 12:36 PM
Oh, and in one of your posts, you said that you would not suggest to a student that they "compare" their work with anothers. Well...I would like to suggest that sometimes, it is quite helpful to see how another artists has solved a particular problem. I have TONS of books, and when I am stuck, I often refer to my books to see how x might have sorted out that problem, or y. Not just Masters, but contemporary artists too. It gives me all sorts of insights into alternative options. I believe that sometimes artists get "stuck" in their way of thinking, and seeing other alternatives can be very revealing. This doesn't mean painting exactly like that other artist, but seeing what they might have done with shape, colour, tone, or technique, can spark off something new in your own mind.

Jackie


Jackie, I was the one who mentioned this. And actually I see what you mean about this... I'm talking about comparing work to someone in the same class who's also a student. It's not something that I find valuable. However to introduce a student to a master or a contemporary - not in the room, I think is extremely helpful. I've had teachers pull out books and say... let's see how "x" solved that problem.... "What do you see in their work?" or "Have you seen how Sargent approaches this type of problem?" Let's look at that and discuss it.

Jackie - this is something that you do and I personally find it extremely helpful. I have gained valuably from the references you've provided and learned about lots of new artists that way. It's a treat!

Anyway - I think that clarifies my point a bit better.

Cheers! Barb

jackiesimmonds
05-23-2004, 03:40 AM
oops, sorry, must have scrolled down a bit too quickly and thought your post was a continuation of Kitty's! Many apologies, Kitty, and Barb, I am glad you find my approach helpful. Phew - that's a relief!

Re the comment above that all threads come to an end at some point -but there are times when it can be a less than comfortable ending. For instance, I posted what I thought was a good crit for Lisa for her German Landscape, pointing out things that no-one else had spotted, and quite important ones, too - and there has been no response at all. When a thread "ends" like this, it is rather disheartening, and makes one feel less inclined to go to a lot of trouble. I do realise she might be away, or busy ..in which case, it is understandable. By comparison, I commented in Marsha's thread about her Jamaican piece; she responded with a quick comment, and it ended nicely there, which is fine. So yes all threads do come to an end at some point, but there are better "endings" for some than others, and while it is fine, imho, for a thread to end after a general comment, I think that if someone goes to the trouble of posting a crit of any kind, it is nice to give a response, even if it's only a nod.

J

Dark_Shades
05-23-2004, 05:35 AM
Re the comment above that all threads come to an end at some point -but there are times when it can be a less than comfortable ending. For instance, I posted what I thought was a good crit for Lisa for her German Landscape, pointing out things that no-one else had spotted, and quite important ones, too - and there has been no response at all. When a thread "ends" like this, it is rather disheartening, and makes one feel less inclined to go to a lot of trouble. I do realise she might be away, or busy ..in which case, it is understandable. By comparison, I commented in Marsha's thread about her Jamaican piece; she responded with a quick comment, and it ended nicely there, which is fine. So yes all threads do come to an end at some point, but there are better "endings" for some than others, and while it is fine, imho, for a thread to end after a general comment, I think that if someone goes to the trouble of posting a crit of any kind, it is nice to give a response, even if it's only a nod.

J

Oh I see, you mean an acknowledgement from the 'original' poster - well, you may have already answered that yourself, she could be away.
Thats another thing with Newbies, they have yet to reveal their WC habitual pattern - some come in post a few entries and are never seen again. So it comes, part and parcel of getting to know the person and the forum you are dealing with, quite interesting and informative what you pick up just by watching. Other members will post their works and never dream of commenting on anothers....... so
I totally understand your annoyance, as you have taken the time and effort to give your advise, but as with us all, what we say and do here, is given and received freely, and thats the reward in itself - for what advise, crit and experience we bring within our comments, though directed to the original poster, its there to benefit everyone ..... this place is a Global Classroom... and our words placed on the Internets Blackboard

.... so take heart, from what Ive seen, Lisa has yet to come back to her computer

...... Id better go lay down, I think Im getting profound again ha ha ha

Mikki Petersen
05-23-2004, 09:37 PM
If I have posted a piece, I check back frequently in hopes of a response and I acknowledge the response and try not to be defensive about it. As for Lisa's painting, I am not familiar with the thread or I don't remember it but with the changes to the forums, she may just be lost or she could be new to forums all together and not know the etiquette. Those of us who hang around here regularly are eager for constructive critique so please do not be discouraged by one user.

As for the issue of modem downloads...I am one of the modem challenged until I can afford to purchase the equipment for satellite. My answer to which is faster to download is...using the uploader is faster for me to view because once the page loads the image is there. With the thumbnail thingy, I have to load another page. On the other hand, if you are going to load five or six images, the thumbnail thingy is faster. I tried to open a thread in another forum where a member had posted a number of interesting images using the uploader...after waiting an hour, the page still had not loaded sufficiently for me to view the images. The answer is there should be equal access for country folk to obtain DSL or cable. Where I live, we are fortunate to have telephone service! Speaking of which, I have not posted anything or read anything since Friday afternoon because an electrical storm knocked out our phone service and I was cut off from civilization completely...got some gardening done though in the time I would have been online :p

cjkelly
05-25-2004, 02:49 AM
Thanks Kitty for starting this thread, and for all the respondees for contributing. It's been very interesting reading, and just illustrates (pardon the pun) how many different souls we have here, and the different reasons we are all here. Some, like me, who through circumstance do not have access to educational facilities where we live, depend upon WetCanvas and the contributions, for a very good portion of our learning experience. There are probably many, many other reasons why people hang out here - because they love teaching, they love/need learning, or they just love interacting.
And I think it's those reasons that is an indicator of how/why each of us contributes what we do. As a kid in school I was always the quiet one down the back, learning by listening and watching. I'm still a reticent person, often considered (wrongfully) as being aloof.

Also, I have to say what many others have already said - I am not at a point in my skill level to presume to critique the work of professionals. Though sometimes I wish I could contribute more to such a giving community.
I'm on dial-up, usually struggle with 19,000 bps, painfully slow, and I find it very time consuming trying to keep up with the volume of postings in the forum these days. It has taken me 2 days just to read this thread! I rarely attempt to visit other forums - my kids and life just won't allow me that luxury.

Quite often I am reminded how far behind the eight ball I really am when I read the critiques offered to others, (and myself) and realize that I could not pick the weakness/faults myself. It's a conflicting feeling - I love learning, but realize with a sinking heart exactly how much I have to learn!! Now the art of critiquing effectively on top of it all :o
But I keep going, and look forward to reading the critiques offered as I know they are generally given with good intentions, and I have learned how to sort the wheat from the chafe, simply by being here in WC.

As to ending a thread: I'm a classic etiquette blunderer. I'm learning as I go, but I hate to be constantly pushing my own thread back up to the top of the list, by responding (as I think Jackie put it) with a nod. I know when it's had it's time but feel rude if I don't have the last word on my own thread. Catch 22. :rolleyes:

cj

Kitty Wallis
05-25-2004, 02:59 AM
As to ending a thread: I'm a classic etiquette blunderer. I'm learning as I go, but I hate to be constantly pushing my own thread back up to the top of the list, by responding (as I think Jackie put it) with a nod. I know when it's had it's time but feel rude if I don't have the last word on my own thread. Catch 22. :rolleyes:
cj

Thanks for your comments cj, I appreciate seeing the situation thru your eyes.

I also feel the dilemma: should I keep the thread in play by commenting, having the last word, do I look like an attention hog? Or should I let it go; will I appear rude?

jackiesimmonds
05-25-2004, 03:13 AM
No dilemma Kitty - The thread may go back to the top if you "have the last word", but if your final post is just a little thank-you, it will quickly slide away with no further comments.

J

Lisa Olivarez
05-25-2004, 10:54 AM
Kitty and Jackie, I'm sorry if I appeared rude. I have been out of town for a few days and haven't had the time for a proper response. I greatly appreciate the time and thoughtful care taken by all who post C&Cs. I especially appreciate the recent crits on my 4 posted paintings, several of which (crits)were outstanding. I have been acting on all of them, and when I have time I will post updates.

I don't have as much time as many of you do to post. I try to jump in here and there to reply to other's threads so that I am not only recieving, but also giving. As many have pointed out, we are not all online as often as others. I am still new, and want to fit into this forum without conflict. I didn't just want to slap off a quick thanks, but I will from now on.

Dark_Shades
05-25-2004, 02:22 PM
You fit in fine Lisa...... No Worries :)

cjkelly
05-25-2004, 03:58 PM
I know I'm late to this discussion, but after spending a few days reading all the posts, it has occurred to me that perhaps (and I am treading lightly here) the 'professional' artists among us, have a different role to play here.

We can see that a large contingent of partakers here are not 'pros', but folks who feel that WetCanvas can help them improve. Pretty hard for a pro to get those same benefits I think.

The most valuable contribution from the pro's is their critiquing, and posting of their works, so that we can all benefit from their experience and varied styles. I think it's disappointing (but understandable) that some pro's choose not to post their work because they feel they cannot get honest critiquing. Perhaps that's not what they should be aiming for here, in this environment.

A girl in the bush 'down under' with no neighbours, no chance of attending art conferences/workshops/classes, rubbing computer monitors with some of the best artists on the planet - just can't help but be in awe....
and very, very thankful for this opportunity.

cj

Lisa Olivarez
05-25-2004, 10:23 PM
well?

Anita Orsini
05-25-2004, 10:40 PM
You'll have to forgive me for jumping in here, as I don't normally post to this forum. I have been reading this thread with great interest as someone who loves to be on either end of a critique. I am not an accomplished pastel painter but am more experienced in other mediums. To me everyone's opinion, regardless of experience, is valued.

Someone with less experience might not be able to give me advice on composition or technique but they can tell me what impression my work has on them. They can make simple observations. Those of us who are professional (working) artists are not just creating art for other professional artists or museum curators. Many who purchase our work will do so just because it speaks to them in some way. I don't think anyone should feel that they have nothing to offer.
Anita :)

Dyin
05-25-2004, 10:41 PM
well?

:p

Dyin
05-25-2004, 11:01 PM
oooh, well said, Anitia!! Everyone has something to contribute!

cjkelly
05-25-2004, 11:54 PM
You'll have to forgive me for jumping in here, as I don't normally post to this forum. I have been reading this thread with great interest as someone who loves to be on either end of a critique. I am not an accomplished pastel painter but am more experienced in other mediums. To me everyone's opinion, regardless of experience, is valued.

Someone with less experience might not be able to give me advice on composition or technique but they can tell me what impression my work has on them. They can make simple observations. Those of us who are professional (working) artists are not just creating art for other professional artists or museum curators. Many who purchase our work will do so just because it speaks to them in some way. I don't think anyone should feel that they have nothing to offer.
Anita :)

Glad you jumped in Anita.
You've given me a better idea of how I can contribute at my level. :)

See, I've learnt something useful here again :D

cj

Kitty Wallis
05-26-2004, 12:53 AM
well?

Oh! err... Hi Lisa, thanks for your comments...
:D

jackiesimmonds
05-26-2004, 02:58 AM
Lisa - thanks for coming back on your thread, most appreciated in the end.

And I agree with Anita. It is great to get comments from the pros, one learns a lot about picture structure as a result, and it is also good to receive general "this is how it appeals to me - (or not) " comments, because after all, the overall atmosphere of the painting is important too.

We should all be very grateful for the existence of WC! It is like having a whole bunch of artist friends in the next studio. We would no doubt learn to appreciate the comments of some, and ignore the comments of others!

J

purplelizard
05-27-2004, 11:28 PM
As to ending a thread: I'm a classic etiquette blunderer. I'm learning as I go, but I hate to be constantly pushing my own thread back up to the top of the list, by responding (as I think Jackie put it) with a nod. I know when it's had it's time but feel rude if I don't have the last word on my own thread. Catch 22. :rolleyes:
cj

I'm one of those that will post like a maniac for a day or two, then disappear for awhile, since I work full-time, wife, mom, etc. So, this thread has been wonderful in enlightening me to the ways and etiquette in a bulletin board. I've never participated in one until WC - yes, I live under a rock!
:rolleyes:

And I've spent a lot of time in the WDE's lately and feel REALLY weird about posting a lot of "thank you's" , since that pushes my thread up to the top - my thread usually dies out fast, but now I know that folks may think I'm being rude. Not so.....I'll be more attentive to it.

And when I do get criticism, I try to post any changes that I chose to make based on those remarks. Sometimes, its good just to let that painting be "finished" and keep the remarks in mind for next time. I guess I should post a reply saying that - oops. :o

Another fabulous thread - I've learned a lot and I'll be a "better" member!

Mikki Petersen
05-28-2004, 12:36 PM
Kristen, I don't think you need to be a "better" member. You post...that's a good thing.