I painted "Misty Morning Lake" three weeks ago. I got a lot of positive feedback from my Facebook fans and was feeling pretty good about it until I showed it to my teacher, Diane Tesler. She said the peachy foreground line was awkwardly handled and would like to see the photo reference I had used. As a matter of fact, I had brought five paintings and not a single one came out unscathed by her critique. Boy, I felt deflated.
There were two options for me at that point. The option 1: hell with your critique and I like my paintings as they are. The option 2: swallow my pride and get to work to "fix" the problem areas. I took the high road of humility--the option 2. Yesterday I worked on the above painting. I lessened the incline of the offending line and softened it with dark texture. I enriched the middle-ground trees on the left as well, so that they look more natural. A big improvement, I think. (By the way, if the two paintings' colors look different, it's because I took the photos at different times of the day. The blue of the sky, that affects the color temperature of a photograph, seems to change during the course of a day.)
You know the moral of today's entry. A painting is not done until your teacher says so? NO. That's not it. Then we have to take classes for the rest of our lives and will never be artistically independent. What a scary thought! The moral is this: we should cultivate humility, honesty, and a capacity to accept criticism as a path to growth. Feel free to leave comments. Thank you.