Friday, March 21, 2014

More on Critiques. . . . Off the Wall Friday

Since several people asked, I thought I would elaborate on my opinion on critiques.

QUESTION:  How do you handle an unasked for critique?

ANSWERWelllll. . . . That has changed over the years.  The change came as I got more confident in my art.  I always thought I needed to justify the piece. . . to explain my decisions and actual take the comments from the peanut gallery to heart.  Then one day I had an epiphany when I bought a little tin pin that said

Never Apologize For Your Art

Well aduh on me.  Why didn't I think of that?  So from that moment on I did just that.  When someone offers an unasked for critique I paint a small smile of interest on my face and immediate stop listening.  Try it - it works great - maybe nod a little - offer a little humph and ignore it all.  Works great -  promise.  Hurts no feelings - yours or your well meaning critic.

QUESTION:  What about judges comments?

ANSWER:  Because I believe my fiber art is more than just a technical craft that I've been practicing over the last 20 years, I really don't take any stock in traditional quilt  judges comments.  This goes back to one of my critique rules.  Trust that your critic knows what they are talking about.  At traditional quilt shows, they rarely have a quilt artist judging - so their comments usually are ill  informed.  My take on it is if they have an art quilt category - they should judge the quilt as artYa think?

And onto my progress on my Line challenge.  As I had already surmised, Elizabeth thought the piece needed to be soften and that the two parts (bricks and the background needed to be brought together).  So I worked on that this week.  I put the last touches on piecing the background and started to make the changes to the piece.  This version is getting closer but now I think the lines are a little too thin.  So am going to start playing with them a bit. Its all visual decisions that need to be made visually.   I do like the way the bricks look now that they're not so brown.  I still get a kick out of using all my own hand dyeds!!  With only 10 days to finish this - I gotta make the final decisions soon!

So what have been up Creatively?


Anonymous said...

I like all your changes except the two narrow blue strips in the brown stone--I find them distracting. The bluish tan fabric is perfect; it was not something I had thought of when I was puzzled by the critique.

Valerie the Pumpkin Patch Quilter said...

I enjoyed your take on uninvited critique. :) I'm not exactly sure if I will ever get to the point that I am not hurt or offended - but as I grow older words hurt much less. I do like you comment "art is personal and critique is not". That is helpful when swallowing a sour comment. However - I am still bewildered at the idea of "judging" art. I get art growth and learning - I understand the motivation for art exhibition - but judging on a piece of one's soul is a bit of an odd concept for me. ;) I enjoy every post Nina! Hope you are doing well! :)

Christine Staver said...

Love your take on uninvited critique. I have had to deal with that from the time I was a child since I grew up with a very critical mother.

Even invited critic can hurt sometimes as well.

Good blog and your piece is coming along nicely. I will be happy to see the final quilt. I would love to see it in person since it must be very impressive due to its large size. One of these months in EB's class I will have to make a really large piece.


Kathleen Loomis said...

I have a different thought about uninvited critique. Why on earth would you immediately stop listening when somebody is talking to you about your work? Isn't that what we want people to do -- notice and think about our work? Perhaps this person has something valuable to say about it, or will end up buying it, or will end up hiring you to teach a class -- how will you ever know unless you listen to him?

If you want to ignore what is said, fine, but listen first, reject later.

Susan J Barker said...

You have certainly made a couple of controversial comments about critique of artists work! A couple of things I disagree with, but that is okay, everyone has different thoughts and different experience with what someone else thinks and really in the end a critique is often mostly opinion. One experience I have had with that is that I had showed a quilt to a contemporary of mine and asked if I should submit it to a show -- NO NO NO said she! 4 years later she saw the same quilt hanging in my bedroom and asked why I had never shown it at a quilt show? That did teach me that not only is opinion is relative but even the same person's opinion changes drastically over time. Your impression of your own work is what really matters in the end -- well except in a case where someone will pay you lotsa dollars for your particular art!

Vera Holmgren said...

It's very beautiful, looking forward to seeing it when it's finished!

Cay Denise said...

Hi Nina,

I like the thinned width of your lines on the brown portion of the piece. Though I will say that there appeared to be more depth, to me, between the brown and blue areas with the wider lines. Have you tried line widths between the thicker and thinner ones?

Linda A. Miller said...

Yes indeed, never apologize about your art... thanks for the reminder!

Nina Marie said...

Kathy, I do listen when its someone who I know they know what they're talking about but frequently I get comments from the peanut gallery on how to create when they don't create themselves. Their frame of reference is far from mine so I do stop listening. Maybe as I grow older I'll be able to listen closer without their well meaning comments taking route in my insecurities but for now I just smile politely.

Nina Marie said...

ohhh and don't anybody worry about if you disagree with me....this is a really personal I only think I'm right in Nina's universe....everywhere else I can be totally wrong....grin

Robbie said...

LA de LA...what did you say? Only kidding! Love the post & I agree...if someone wants to listen (I say loosely), go ahead...but I love your idea! I get my feelings hurt too easily!!! I know when my work is not what it should or could be....thanks again for post!

Unknown said...

The unwanted critique happened to me recently, kind of in the form of a backhanded compliment, but I got the intention behind the comment, which was really negative. I thought about all the snarky reactions I could make in responding to it, but in the end, I ignored it too.
Who cares? I am my own worst critic anyway. I think you have the right idea.

Unknown said...

The comments here have been helpful and interesting. It is so much nicer to hear simple reactions, rather than criticism or suggestions. Since the art work is completed and hanging for all to view, why would a viewer do anything but enjoy the effort? I always taught my elementary school students to first make two complimentary statements, and if needed, to offer a suggestion after that. It seemed to work wonders when we would do our gallery walks looking at each other's work. The artist was always to pleased with the positive comments, that they were more accepting of the suggestions. It seems simple, but I try to follow this myself, and I avoid the suggestion for improvement unless it is actually requested.

deborah lyn said...

Great post, thanks for the encouragement! "Never Apologize for Your Art" !!! Your piece is coming along beautifully. I love your color and line design! best, deborah

PS - !Absolutely art quilts should be judged as art. Why is that MISSED so often!