The Laws of Nature

Friday, June 5, 2009

Criticism and Filtering

Before I begin today's ramblings, I want to sincerely thank those of you who read my blog and make substantive and supportive comments! I love reading what you have to say, and really appreciate the comraderie.
Painting is about making a series of decisions about the concept, composition, palette, technique, and so on. As I mentioned earlier, I usually work out the majority of my decisions before I lay brush to paper. Generally, I know what I want to say and how I want to say it. BUT ... I also keep in mind the advice and criticisms I've been given by others over the years. So, how can I execute my vision and not get distracted by all those voices? FILTER! The first filter retains comments given by those with expert knowledge who are motivated to help me grow as an artist and removes those with lesser motivations. The second filter removes comments by others that reflect personal preference rather than objectivity. The third filter is then applied to remove inhibitions from my own thinking.
What's left in the filter can be used in conjunction with the fundamental principles of painting to create a new work of art. What's the flaw in this filtering process? I have holes in the mesh that allow things to get through that shouldn't sometimes. So, as I paint I try to recognize that and selectively eliminate those thoughts. I think that the filter with the greatest number of holes in it is the third one. It's very hard to ignore my inhibitions! If I did so fully, I'd probably paint like deKooning :)


-Don said...

So, that 2nd filter could be called the "Friends and Family" filter. They try to be the best for us, but often they're the worst. You asked earlier what I'm working on... well, it's posted. I can't wait to hear your reaction.

Kathy said...

You're correct, Don. That second filter frequently is applied to the friends and family category. Although, perhaps more to friends (in my case) than family, since my family is very supportive and doesn't interfere with my creative ideas. I'm lucky that way.

Celeste Bergin said...

what wise counsel! I often talk with my "art friends" about matters like this. I like that you have so thoroughly devised a way to think about criticism. Thanks for sharing it.