Art & Design Magazine

The Power of Critiques

By Ingrid Christensen
The power of critiquesStudy in Grey16 x 12
This week I connected separately with two artists to talk about their art for a solid hour.  They were the first of the online critiques that artists have booked with me, and the process worked well thanks to the wonders of technology. 
The first crit was done over the phone at the artist's request.  From 10 images that I'd received, I altered 5 in Procreate, and we discussed the altered images one by one, as well as discussing the body of work as a whole. 
It's powerful to be able to show an artist ways to strengthen her work rather than rely on inadequate, vague words.  Instead of telling her to simplify or soften an area, I can actually show her what it would look like if she did so, without ever touching the actual painting. 
The second critique was face-to-face thanks to the miracle of video chatting.  I use Jitsi, an open-source, video conferencing service that doesn't track conversations, advertise to participants, or come with those annoying spammers who want to connect.  It allowed us to see each other, but also to share my screen during the call so that I could make alternate changes to the ones I'd already done, talking the artist through them while she watched on her screen at home. 
In both critiques, I was amazed by how quickly the time went.  The hour flew as we talked about art: our common obsession. We had meaningful discussions about the painters' artistic goals, strengths, weaknesses, and concrete ways to address them. 
It's a wonderful thing to be able to talk with thoughtful artists, no matter where they live, and I give thanks for the Internet.  It connects us with our tribe. 
If you're interested in learning more about my critiques, have a look at my website, and get in touch. 
Happy painting!

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