about a year ago, I had a friend that was very critical of a painting I did.  I was not angry with the criticism but I was a bit hurt and also felt that the person knew nothing about art at all and that her remarks were coming from her own perspective and were not really from someone who had either painted or knew much about art.  I'm not sure exactly what happened to me but I have not painted for an entire year (so I was obviously upset) until last week when I was asked to do a painting - a seascape - for a couple getting married.  I have done the drawing, and begun the painting BUT it is not flowing easily.  It feels like my gift was ripped out and tossed into the wind.......I love painting....I love creating a new piece but this feels very new and strange to me.  What is wrong?  I know I'm not a great artist........but I really love what I do.  you can see for yourself on:- 

http://www.southafricanartists.com/ShowArtist.asp?Code=SMITH013

Of course I am open to learning more but something has clearly gone wrong.   But what?

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Gill, your work is lovely.  I understand about people who comment in not such a soft way.  Years ago I decided to take all comments and then "if I disagreed with them - I put them ON MY SHELF" and just let them stay there.  Some, I felt I did not quite understand and "again ON MY SHELF".  There were times that in my growing years later I would learn something and think........Oh now I see.  Any comment you get from a person that you feel "is trying to help you, but has no knowledge" dont even think about it for a second..........not worth it at all.  I tend to try to think nice things about people and so every comment I get I think the person is only trying to help me.  I apply what I can if I can, and just put the rest on the shelf.  I saw several of your works with SOLD on them.  Have  you ever thought that "someone" thought enough about your art to give up their money to buy it?  That is an honor to you.  It will hang for years to come in their homes.  I have done my best on things and painted with all my heart to have a more knowledgeable person explain how to make it even better.  Go with that........you will never reach the end, so just keep trying. I feel sure that this sea painting will be one of your best......now go paint me a masterpiece!  smile  Roena

Thank you so much Roena..........I already feel much better.  You have the most amazing way of putting thoughts, feelings and advise into words.  That means so much.  I got stuck in again last night and I did feel a smoother session of painting.  Tonight after work I will put my heart into it and love the process of creating my work of ART......thank you so much.  All the very best to you!

Hi Gill, I'm new to the site so I'm not sure how everything ( anything ) works here.

Your initial message was posted a while ago. I'll assume that my reply will reach you.

I'm sure that what you wrote about your friend's critique has touched the hearts of a lot of folks here. We have all had a similar experience. Well, I know I have.

The opinions of others had, at one time, a powerful effect on me.Then I came to understand that the same painting could elicit wildly different reactions depending on the viewer.I shouldn't have been surprised. After all, some people like Cezanne and others prefer Thomas Kinkade. Some people love German Lieder others prefer Justin Bieber.You never know what a person's level of appreciation or taste or sophistication about esthetics might be. So I've learned to be very wary about what people say about my work. And if someone makes a comment, it has to be more than "I don't like it". I require an informed opinion.

If someone says, " The composition of your still life objects looks too symmetrical to me". Or, " You might make the edges on that shadow softer." I consider that valuable and worthy of considering. And that is a person to whom I will again, show my work.

You ask what has gone wrong? Well, your confidence has been shaken. Ideally, we shouldn't give the opinions of others so much weight that it derails us. But,we are human and this sometimes happens.

The Italian word for easel is cavalletto, little horse. You know what they say, "If you fall off, get back on that horse !"

You have all that is necessary to make good work! You have shown that already.

So get back to your easel and ride !

Gerald

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