Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Taking Criticism

Three new Grid paintings in progress
I used to be good at taking criticism about my paintings. I know it's not a personal attack. I know it intellectually, that is, but when I actually hear it, guess what? I take it personally. I'm particularly sensitive to the tone of voice in which it's delivered. The second it becomes parental, that's when I get defensive and tune out. I can't be the only one who does this, but it's not good for my career. I'm working on it.

In the meantime, the incident that caused this discussion in the first place still makes me mad. Now that I have another project on my worktable for this client, it just sits there while I do other things. I look at it and say childish mean things to myself about it. Boy oh boy.

For my newest project, I'm back on the grid. It's a nice comfortable place, doing something I know, something I like. These three pieces, pictured above, are 36" sqs on canvas.


Martha Marshall said...

Yeah. That's a tough one. Artists are always vulnerable to that, because of the amount of emotion that gets invested in the work, no matter how hard we try to detach.

Annette Bush said...

Funny how a good 'critique' can build confidence and excitement -- even when negative things are pointed out. 'Criticism' just makes us react like the kids who are told to wash their dirty hands -- it kills enthusiasm for our efforts.

I sure understand the feeling and the "doing other things." I rarely go in the studio these days.

CMC said...

Just found all my blog email in the spam folder again ...and your current post.
As Martha said, it's tough, you are your paintings no matter how you try to stay open minded in a critique.
I don't like to critique but the first thing I hope I try to remember when I'm backed into having to do one is to point out what is "good" in the work. Sometimes the critique is only what doesn't work for that/this particular project....it might be great for another one. So, Bah and humbug to that person who should know how to work with artists.

garyb50 said...

I don't seem to run into this problem. People just LOVE the pinks and greens I use in my paintings !!!

Walker said...

I don't like feeling vulnerable, and there's a big difference between "critique" and "criticism". This was criticism from a crabby client!

Annette, I'd be thrilled to get a "critique" from you - knowing that you are a fair, knowledgeable, and impartial judge.