An eclectic group of artwork is shown at this month’s critique which highlights each individual’s process and style, so it was a good night for evaluating the meaning of art making and the conscience need for each of us to create art.
The night began with series sketches that Ryan had made during his breaks at work. The quality of the sketches is impressive and shows that a great deal of effort went into creating a body of work. In some cases, an effort was made to capture the values of the scene, but the line work of the sketches seems to be the most important information; that is done with great dexterity and talent. We suggested the use of other drawing materials would add to the rendering of the motif, and help to assist in developing paintings from the sketches. Also, greater emphasis on the line development (though very good already), and/or quantity of mark making, would add to the interest of the image. From the group’s point of view, this is a great start and Ryan should continue with these drawings and push hard to develop paintings from them.
Thom brought a variety of “cubist” paintings which made up a lot of work he has been doing on paper since our last meeting. There are a dozen new mixed media drawings, all within a stylistically cubist genre. As always the compositions of these paintings are very strong, and the whimsical nature of the artwork makes the viewing of them enjoyable, and often surprising. One sketch is of a self portrait of him playing a guitar. The inner connection of lines both organic and geometric pushes both the boundaries of what is ‘cubism’ in structural space and art nouveau decorative appeal. The color is muted though and doesn’t have the bright colors seen in say a Klimt painting, nor the articulation of gradations seen in Braque’s cubist work, so some work in that area would serve the idea and honor the style better. But all in all, the pure joy of the piece makes up for any minor short comings and the sure volume of work he is putting out are inspiring to use all.
Karen is new to the group and we had a great time engaging her in conversation and listing to her insights. She brought a drapery shaped acrylic textile piece made from tea bags. It is beautiful and is illuminated when the light hits it. The surface is very unusual since it appears solid but is in fact soft plastic-like and can be shaped in various wave-like forms. The pattern created on the surface with bag material and various other materials is articulate and beautifully designed. We discussed that the pattern, which is wonderful, is not particularly clear in context, and that there needs to be a lot of attention paid to how the piece is to be displayed; currently it is hug on the wall like a drape. Being a textile like object we thought that possibly making it more of a dress-like shape or something that refers back to fashion would add an additional dialog to the idea. In any case, it is a neat piece and we all enjoyed looking at it very much.
Donna brought in a sketch and an etching; both are handled with a lot of care and show a great since of scenic value and articulated line work. The sketch is of Balboa Park and illustrates a Spanish type structure surrounded by a variety of foliage. The draftsmanship is handled with care and it is obvious that a lot of time is spent to create the mood of the scene. To avoid the pitfall of a monotone drawing, some additional efforts could be made towards creating expanding representative textures and deeper values. Also, an emphasis on line and boldness of approach could add energy to the surface of the drawing in unique ways. All in all, any derivative off this sketch, such as a large drawing, would be exciting to see.
The night was filled with discussions of perseverance in art when all other things in life pull us away from do it. As Artist we need to be prolific in our art making and keep the production going regardless of distractions. Art making is of value within our own personal journey and this group explores the worthiness of this effort, what it means to share the work and evaluating the merit of the effort. We hope that you can join us for our next critique and we always appreciate your comments.