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Weekly Blog on creativity and what it takes to be an artist by David Limrite (artist, teacher, mentor & coach)


Blog 4:15:18 Copyright 2018 David Limrite Artist Teacher Coach Mentor Critique Vs Working.jpg

This piece went through many layers of adding and subtracting. There is a lot of stuff on the surface of this wood panel. I think that is one of the many things that I like about it. “Untitled” 18”x 14”, acrylic, charcoal, conte, collage and gesso on wood. © 2018 David Limrite

“Things are not difficult to make; what is difficult is putting ourselves in the state of mind to make them.”
Constantin Brancusi, Sculptor 1876-1957

Working Not Critiquing

Critiquing your work is a very different thing than creating it.

Making is very different than judging.

Please be careful not to co-mingle these two.

Here is what I mean:

While you are painting, drawing or sculpting, then just paint, draw or sculpt.


Do not paint for 5 minutes, and then critique what you just did. Worse yet, don’t make one brushstroke and then judge that brushstroke. Then make another and judge it.

This is the surest way to take all of the fun out of creating and the quickest way I know of to kill momentum.

And yet, I see artists do this all of the time.

We all know that art making can be difficult and hard work. But the process has to be fun or why do it?

Here is what works for me:

      • paint in very short 20-30 minute bursts of energetic activity. 
      • Then I take a brief 5-minute break, at which time, I assess what I did in that 30-minute outburst of crazy fun activity. I focus on what is working and what is not working. 
      • Then, I dive back in and paint like crazy for another 30 minutes. 
      • Then, another 5-minute assessment break. 
      • And so on. 

While I am painting, I am painting. 

I am not worried about whether it is looking good or not. Sometimes on my 5-minute breaks, I walk away from the painting and, when I come back to it, I react to my first impression of it. I rely on my gut instincts and dive back in.

The more in-depth critique comes several days later. After I have taken a prolonged break from working on and looking at the painting, fresh eyes and a fresh perspective lead to more productive critiques.

If I critique my work while I am actually painting on it, I end up over-analyzing it and reacting to each brushstroke, instead of painting, having fun and being involved in the process.





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