Yesterday was my inaugural participation in the critique which included 15 fiber artists from across Oregon. There was some excellent work on display. The critiquers were a couple from Portland — Tad and Mary:
June has a more detailed description of the even on her blog.
We had submitted images of our work for them to see before the critique. At the session, we each got to show 2 pieces and have a critique in 15 minutes, which can seem interminable!! I thought they were too nice, especially if it was work that I was not that fond of!! Tad gave a slide who of fine art and talked about the Aesthetic Tools for Fine Art, using fine art examples. For each of us, he gave us a list of fine art references to inspire us in our work, based on the work we had shown.
I loved much of what he said: art is not practical, a beautiful scene in a forest is not art if no one is looking at it, art requires the participation of a viewer. He mentioned that non-objective artists let go of all references to the real world and he felt that the work I showed fit that description. This was very comfortable for me because I showed two of my construction pieces. The three pieces they saw as images or at the critique were:
The fine art references for my work were: Hans Hoffman, Howard Hodgkins, James Lavadour, a local artist, the Bauhas, Japanese Scroll painting and kimonos. The middle piece, my first construction piece was received very well. I got lots of excellent feedback. The piece on the left is still at the Good to Be Green show. The piece on the right is just not working and now I know why. those pieces of complex cloth were to precious to me and I treated them as such. I think I need to take this apart or cut it up and reassemble it and do some more layers. I think it needs some black. Stay tuned. My work is very different than anyone else in the group because a lot of my creativity and work comes in the making of the fabric through dyeing, discharge, painting, etc. I am trying to find a way to use the fabrics in compositions that honor the fabric, but look like a piece of art, when completed. Tad mentioned my use of color as one of the stronger characteristics of my work.
I was not familiar with Howard Hodgkins. He is a British artist. Here are some examples of his work:
I am familiar with and love Hans Hoffman, a San Francisco artist.
James Lavadour has a show in Portland which I want to get to see. I am very intrigued by his work.
It was a long and arduous day. The chairs were very uncomfortable. The Portland foursome had to lug lots of supplies and food to the location so we were quite done in at the end of the day. But, it was so exciting and empowering for me to be asked to join the group. I know that I have a lot of work to do, and I was really feeling in a rut. Now, I want to dig in and see what I can do with my new found courage.