Sunday, April 25, 2010
The missing link
How many times have I finished a painting and continued to look at it as if something were missing? My mother is a frequent critic of my art. Although I appreciate her interest in my finished products I trust her more sometimes because she is NOT an artist. As a teenager I used to dismiss her observations and critiques with a simple "Whatever Mom". However I've learned to value her opinions about art, not as an artist but because she is not an artist. Let me put it to you this way.
Every artist has a roommate, husband, wife, child or friend who simply knows nothing about art and still continues to give feedback and opinions about your paintings, right? Take advantage of this. Often the buyers of our paintings are not classically-trained artists, but rather just everyday people who enjoy having a painting that really catches their eye. So when your mom or friend comes walking by and has something critical to say about your painting, don't dismiss them, listen. What they have to say may hold the key to selling your painting. And trust me, selling a painting this year will not be easy. It needs to be a real eye-catcher or priced right.
Here are a few tricks I've learned about "finishing a painting". My art critic's most frequent comment is that, "Your painting lacks something" or "there is no focal point". So instead of arguing, I do some of the following:
- Put the painting away for a day or so and then take it out. The fresh eye will help
- Cut a hole in an index card and look at the painting through the hole from across the room. Often you'll see the painting in a different light.
- Hang the painting sideways or upside down. The change in perspective will tell you when there is something wrong or obviously missing.
- Lastly, try placing your painting behind you somewhere and observing it with a mirror.
- Pretend you're in the market for a piece of art. Line up a few of your pieces against a nice white or neutral wall and "pretend to shop".
Well I hope these tips help you look at your paintings through a different eye. And remember take all the feedback you can get, even if your don't want to hear it.
2010 is going to be a hard year for selling art.
Admittedly, I have not been posting much lately. Since school is winding down for the semester I will be writing more often. Don't forget to send me photos of your art for publishing and sharing on my blog. Also for an idea about an article or submission of an article about art... just email it to me: email@example.com