|8" x 10"|
one of my paintings was just recently published on the inside page of the cascadia weekly, as advertisement for the american landscape show at the loomis hall in blaine. being published like that, well, it's a hard spot for me, a double-edged sword: i love the recognition, but i also feel completely vulnerable. when they published that picture, i panicked inside. i knew that painting was rushed; done on a 90 degree day, i took my tools out on the river dike and painted in the tall grass. it was too hot and too bright and too uncomfortable and i knew the piece was compromised because i couldn't control it. i let that go, and let the piece be as haphazard as it was, knowing that it wouldn't make of break my career. so when they chose that piece to represent the show, i was surprised. and because i feel so vulnerable, i'm still making excuses as to why the painting isn't perfect.
that being said, my work out there for the world to pick apart, i always welcome a good critique from an expert. it's not always easy to take a criticism, but equally so, it's not so easily delivered. it takes some serious balls to be painfully honest with someone about their work, and few people will rise to the occasion. that's why today, when joel brock came equipped with something to say about my technique, i was excited. of course, if you're going to critique my work, you better be ready for a flippant backhanded response. it just so happens that joel handled my attitude ever-so-gracefully, and signed it with a "take me with a grain of salt".
long story short, joel said the painting needed more red. it needed to pop. it needed to create it's own light, and to feel illuminated. when he looked at the piece, it felt drab. being the brat i am, i said, "why joel, you're the king of drab landscapes." but what i meant was, goddamnit joel, you're right. i know it. he showed me two examples of real red in the quality paintings of edward hopper, and his own, alongside some words of wisdom from wayne thiebaud. and i've been chewing on his advice all day, hence my painterly response. thanks, joel, for taking the time to look closely, because an artist is nothing if they don't take the opportunity to grow, learn, and build technique.