Tuesday, June 24, 2008

belonging to a group

I have found a very important tool in increasing my creativity. I am sure many already have been using this tool for ages. I have as well. But lately I have been reviwing my creative growth and notice that it is expotentially increased when I have been active in a group of other creative individuals.
When I did craft shows I was in the midst of creative people every week, We shared and comiserated with one another. I was encouraged by them to strive for greater sucess in selling my work.
Then I worked in a craft store. Talk about being exposed to creative people! I learned about products and their usage daily.
Joining on-line groups broadened my crative horizons. I made cyber-friends that shared tips and sucesses. I learned so mucch from them. I was given links to sites of suppliers, artists and tutorials. When sharing photos of my work the "atta-girls" flowed. and constructine suggestions were made.
Being a member of local grous has helped me grow artistically. Ond clue is that I am using the word "artistically". It took me forever to consider my work art. The word still sometimes gets stuck in my throat.
Through membership in the Central New York Doll is Art Guild (www.cnydag.com) my dolls have been featured in galleries and have graced the pages of magazines and local news papers. What a thrill to see that others --professionals think my work is good enough for publication!
I have also joined a local art association (Rome Art Association) Often at the meetings a visiting professional artist will offer critiques of our work.Never having taken formall art classes, these critiques have taught me so much!
I can see in my wrok the influence all these groups have played. Looking at my work from only a few years ago I can see growth in skill and style. I owe much of that to what I have learned from all the people from all the groups that have and are creatively touching my life.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Taking on a new role

I have been asked to take over the reins of the Central New York Doll is Art Guild. The founder has just become too busy to give it the attention she feels it needs. The activity has really ebbed this last year. No one's fault just the natural rhythm of a group I guess. Now I need to feed energy back into the group. It is a challenge I am hoping I can meet. It will take a lot of effort on my part. It will also push me creatively as I want to encourage others to create and exhibit. I can't very well do that if I am not creating and trying to enter exhibits myself.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

more on critiques

At first I was quite afraid to put my work up to be critiqued. Would they know I was a fraud, and not an artist at all? Would they ask "Whose work is this? What nerve you have calling this art!
I take my dolls in and to myself sing the sesame street song "One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong"
The first item I took to be critiqued was one of my red-hat ladies. She is on canvas so I felt she would fit in with all the two dimensional work. I fidgeted in my seat,filled with apprehension as I waited for her to comment on my piece. She commented on the face and then said "The main thing wrong with this piece is----"
My stomach tightened, 'Oh why did I do this?'I fretted. then she finished, "is that you cannot see the back of her." Whew! She made some suggestions and then went on to an other's work. I wanted so to ask her more , what else could I do, how can I make the canvas not so bland.....' But there was no time. I was absolutely flabbergasted when a few days later I answered a phone call and she was on the line to talk to me about my work! She gave me some wonderful suggestions which I plan to implement.

At the next meeting there was the Elderly Fairy standing next to oil paintings, watercolors, pen and ink, colored pencil, anime'-style marker art. Oh dear, there is no flow, no triangle! The artist giving the presentations glances at her over and over and again and again chooses a two-dimensional piece to critique. Finally she picks up the Elderly Fairy. The butterflies in my stomach are flying at a feverish pace. "Oh no she knows I know nothing about art" I think. She looks, smiles, Now I am Sally Fields. "She likes it, she actually likes it!" She even suggests an art gallery I should approach! She points out it's strong points, and makes suggestions on how to improve the weak points.

I know not all critiques will be as positive as these two, but I will continue taking in my work. I have learned so very much. I want to learn more!!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Monday night I went to a new photo club's second meeting. We had a professional photographer that is very well known and highly esteemed in our area give critique's of members photographs. One member objected to having critiques. He said the critiques were quite subjective and no one has the right to criticize anyonoe else's work.
I also belong to our local art association. One of our favorite type of meetings are the ones where critiques are done. I must admit the first one I went to I was quite nervous. After all my work is quite different. I felt that the person giving the critiques was going to say "What the heck is this doing here?" Thankfully so far no one has said that to me. I have been given honest opinions, suggestions, and strong and weak points have been pointed outI have learned so much from the critiques.

Critiques are very subjective, -- but then isn't all view of art? Colors, moods, media, technique----all play into ones likes and dislikes. If I were to see two dolls, each one made with great skill and talent but one was pink, my opinion of the pink doll would be less than that of the other doll, Why? because I do not like pink. I would look for the strengths in the pink doll but would have to study it longer to find it because of the color. But I still would take time to find aspects of the doll that I did like. I beleive that is what the guests at meetings giving critiques do And oh! how I can learn from them! I can probably learn more if they do not like my work than if they did. However that warm "OH you like it!" feeling is a nice on to have now and then. :)

And as was pointed out to me yesterday, many times these guests who do the critiques also judge area art shows. What better way is there to learn what a judge is looking for?

Howe do you feel about critiques? Do you have any memorable ones?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

listing my dolls for the first time

There is a new auction site just for dolls and doll related products, The Shoppes on Magnolia. I have registered there and have listed 7 of my dolls so far. I will be listing more. I do hope that this endeavor is successful. It is scary putting my work out there for all to see and bid on, waiting for someone to make a bid, hoping someone will like it enough to bid. Then I remember----"Hey! I like my work . It makes me smile. So that is what counts. And it is fun to have it where many can see it. Therefore I have succeeded already!"

Since I last wrote I have finished three dolls and worked on two others. I also have come up with my design idea for both the Hoffman Challenge and my Treasures of the Gypsy doll. I really need to get busy on them!