Saturday, February 21, 2015

Way Off Base

A Young Henry Kissinger Imagined, graphite TMDD Series
I started with one guy this morning and ended up with another.  First time since I began these daily drawing sessions.  Not bad.  I got interested in the amount of distortion caused by the thick lenses of the glasses--so I lost sight of the rest of him.  Anxious to have something to show for my efforts, I roughed in  features and got a replica of a young Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State during the Nixon Administration. He was/is a brilliant man highly adept in foreign affairs.  Tomorrow, I'll probably blow up the offset eye that intrigued me in the first place. Distortions of objects through glass do arouse my curiosity.

My canvas dried tight as a drum.  Sag is gone.  Spraying the back of it liberally with water, blotting up any dribbles that might slip behind the stretcher bars and letting it dry thoroughly worked well.  I can forget about finding pegs--although pegs are useful for squaring up canvas structures when the structure is ready for framing.

The Sara and Robert Genn's Newsletter,Who Are You Listening To,  gave me 'food for thought' this morning.  Read  it for yourself.  Here are some of my thoughts on the topic:

 I especially liked what was said about the word 'interesting.' I use that word a lot when asked to comment on paintings I really don't think are quite there yet.  It's a code word of mine (and others I gathered from the newsletter) that means  more work needs doing.  The word sounds positive, but definitely has a negative attached.

I am my own worst critic--but being your own worst critic can be hazardous to  self esteem if self esteem is an issue. Better to find someone you trust who's opinion you respect to critique your work. I like Schmid's advice:  'It often takes two to do a good painting - one to paint it, and another to rap the painter smartly with a hammer before he or she can ruin it.'  No one lives in this house that I should  ever listen to with regards to art; he has no credentials.  "That's nice honey," for every single doodle  with hardly a glance gives him away. :-))

Honest critiques are also missing  on Blogger due to blogs being used for marketing.  If e-mails were included on blog pages, we might be able to support one another with our comments in a more meaningful way?

11 comments:

  1. I must now go back and search through your comments on my blog for the word "interesting" - lol! I read the Robert Glenn Newsletter with interest too as I live in a household with mathematicians, accountants and computer geeks abounding. That being said, I have been invited to join a local group of artists - visual artists as well as writers and poets who hold monthly critique sessions. I wonder if I will go.

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    1. I've never used 'interesting' for your work; I'm absolutely positive. Did you read the comments on the GENN letter. The word interesting got quite a few. Comments of all kinds are encouraging; they take time to make. I think In the end all of us have to be the judge of our own work. Some of my paintings are really horrible, but there's something in them that makes me hold on to them. That something might show itself another time and I'll get what it is that I like.

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  2. As a Dali, Picasso, and abstract art fan, any distortions of artistic objects arouse my curiosity. As for critique, with all due respect to Ecclesiastes, in my case, it is better to be criticized by a fool than praised by a wise man.

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    1. Mine too. The best critique I had was from an entire classroom of art students, about twenty some people. Getting a variety of reactions allowed me to draw my own conclusions. I liked getting a consensus. One on ones are meaningless, just one viewpoint from either a fool or a wise man, who knows which?

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  3. Good point about the blogging, I stopped the 'I'll pat your back, and you pat mine' scenario a long time ago. Consequently the only comments I get are yours! Precious! I went to an art club which held a monthly critique session. It was positive and constructive with an outsider brought in to critique sometimes, but still had elements of back patting.
    I like water for the distortions, too.

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    1. Comments on Blogger are Hi theres, a few nice words and a not-so-subtle hint to come visit the visitor's blog and do the same. A monthly critique session comprised of a few artists is a better spot to get constructive feedback. ,You get an overall consensus and can draw your own conclusions from the words said. --I like your work. I like you and I'm going to visit and comment. If I have anything serious to say, I'll e-mail you or we'll Skype. You can tell me I'm blimey, you can tell me so. I like the exchange. Talking about our art give insight and sparks new ideas.

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  4. Your sketch of Kissinger is wonderful - recognized him at first quick glance. I agree with you about comments and criticisms. I know I would appreciate having more honest comments in order to be able to improve my "vision" and my work. As you know, I am a very hard critic of my own work. I am certain I would royally piss off a lot of people if I told them what I really feel about their work, so I gently bite my tongue and say nothing. Linda, I always value your great "eye" and honest comments. Please keep on doing what you're doing!!!
    Kathryn

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    1. Kissinger just came out of a series of drawing misinterpretations. I think Kissinger has less hair then who I was trying to sketch? Tomorrow is another day.

      I'm my own worst critic too and my failure to self censor my words has unintentionally pissed off a lot of people. I just thought they might want to know they have spinach in their teeth. ;-)) I like the idea of using e-mail, a private channel, to convey criticisms. Relying on myself to determine what's wrong with this sketch can't always be counted upon. It would be nice if someone would speed up the correction process--or through their criticism make me see that I'm on the right track after all. Just because someone says something negative about your work, doenn't make it true. That's why I like group crits. You get a consensus.

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  5. I don't think I'm yet qualified to give a constructive critique of a painters's work. I use 'interesting' as a mark of my inability to comment properly, to me it means, "I like it, but don't understand it." With my drawings the best constructive technique used to be, when a total stranger bought one it passed muster..

    When I write, I have two trusted critics. Pat, my wife, who is an expert reader and pulls no punches. The second is my editor who is both a brilliant author and my granddaughter, she ruthlessly pulls out each misplaced comma, grammatical slip, etc ... nothing gets past her eagle eye,

    Kissinger is an 'interesting" :0)) drawing ... it isn't your best but the business with the thick lenses really works. I did find the whole posting really ...um ...er ... enjoyable!

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    1. Sold is definitely a validation of your work. Poor Van Gogh to have never had the pleasure. --You do realize this drawing is a drawing in progress? It's a flop and needs a lot more work to be the guy it's supposed to be. Thirty minutes isn't always enough time. Sometimes not even an hour. time will tell.

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  6. Sometimes interesting really means interesting (but I know what you mean). Kissinger turned out well!

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