Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Artists Together in Groups and some Turnip Oil Paintings

I have read quite a bit about the problems of artists in clubs, associations, leagues, and various organizations. Generally, the stuff posted on the internet is usually from those who have been hurt in some way with "Group Think" or some other weird group norm. Yes, artists in groups can be sometimes not a good thing. But they are not immune from wacko group activities any more that any other group. Churches, politicos, home owner associations, country clubs, etc. have all had their yucky stuff hung out for all to see. Hopefully, this is a cleansing process and things veer back to normal and supportive group behavior returns if it ever was there.
Since I have been in Texas, I miss the artists that I painted with...especially now with the nice weather. I want to ring them up and say, "Hey, it's a beautiful day! Let's pack up our easels and go paint by the river!"
Alas, Virginia is a long way from Texas. But still we seem to text and send images of our work to one another and get the feedback from someone we trust. Trust is the key here, because we know how frail artists can be when it comes to a critique. But we still must do it if we wish to become better painters. So, the whole group thing can be good. Comparison is inevitable though and can often be deceiving. It's hard to compare the work of someone who has been painting rigorously for 40 years to one who has been at it for only 10. Who is to say that in another 30 years that younger painter won't far surpass all expectation?
With spring here and new starts and turnips as well, I would say that house cleaning of your artwork is always in order. Pitch the bad or marginal stuff. Try to fix what is fixable. Enlist a fellow artist and get down to the nitty gritty and look critically at your work. That's what I am doing. I can't hang on to some of this stuff for forever. I don't have the room for it and need to move on. But getting rid of old, not so good stuff, is a bit sad because most artists remember when they painted something, what they were thinking or (heavens! what WAS I thinking...) and it is a landmark in time. But evolve we out with the old and make room for all those paintings inside of you just waiting to come out!

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