September 13, 2008

"Habaneros and jalapeños" - Altered states

Oil on museum quality, archival ampersand gessobord™ panel - 6” x 6”

I woke up this morning at 5:30 to feed the cats (their choice to break fast at dawn, not mine) and went over to the computer to check the blog.  "How nice," I thought, "I already have a comment." It was more critique than comment, basically saying, in so many words, that the painting was not up to my usual standards. Hitherto, I had never had more than an improper rude comment about my nudes and here it was, staring out at me, what I considered the Internet equivalent of my wife saying, "Surely you aren't going to leave it like that."  Early this week, I read a letter from a fellow artist on the Daily Painters site asking what to do about bad comments. Most people said to delete and ignore them.  Her bad comment was, "Oh dear, please, spare us."  Not the kind of remark that sends you running back into the studio to create.  This guy's comment was more a helpful criticism.  That early in the morning I was in no mood to see negative stuff about a work that I hadn't even seen since signing it at midnight, so I promptly deleted it. I immediately regretted doing so. Happily, my mail saves a copy and since he posted it on my comments page with his link, here is what he said:  "I think your work not present well yet (especially the character of red peppers, the green ones are really good). It so different if I compare with other your work( Red and Yellow Peppers ). overall your works totally awesome, sorry if my english is not good and sarcastic, coz I can speak well in english.... thank you."  Oddly enough, his comment was right on.  I, too, felt that the habaneros were too red when I stopped the painting. Artists know a painting is never finished, merely stopped at a given time. Choosing the right time to stop is crucial. I spent an hour this morning bring this to a more satisfying stopping spot. In retrospect, his comment was quite flattering.  Thank you, Febru.


Delilah said...

Love the peppers

Terry Rafferty said...

It took me awhile, comparing the two versions, but I think you made some masterful changes in that last hour. The oranger-red and the subtle color shifts now support the green chilis instead of competing with them. I'm glad you posted them both for us to see. Fantastic!

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, Delilah.

I agree Terry, pushing some cadmium yellow into that red made all the difference. I tried to draw the green into the red with the introduction of the stems but I felt they detracted from the composition and painted them out this morning, which also helped calm down the painting. I appreciate your insight.

Beverly C said...

I love your candor and appreciate the fact that you have chosen to share your misgivings about criticism you have received. It really encourages those of us who participate in the daily struggle to paint well to witness a painter as masterful as you dealing well with it.

Thanks. Beverly

Anonymous said...

Where I think the second pic "pops" more I do not always see your daily works as finished products. Some are more finished than others but I always considered these a practice for you. A place to explore your talents, break old habits and find new ones...If you happen to be moved to create another one of your "mini master pieces" then we are lucky to have logged on to get to see such a beautiful site. Perhaps people do not always understand the process of painting or the purpose of the "daily painter" regiment. Joni (your friend and mine;) said in a concert once that she was always frustrated after she sang a song and some one would yell, "Hey do it again"...she said it was not like you could say to Van Gogh, "Hey can you paint another Starry Night?"


"If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all"
From Good Mothers All Over the World

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, Beverly. I have never been comfortable with criticism . Oh, I seek it out for reassurance that the work is good and then cringe when it is not what I want to hear. I have "wiped out" more than one daily painting. They don't always go my way. Trust me, I am just like you, and all the great artists on this site, who strive to create exciting new things.

Mark Adams said...

Thanks for your observations, Stephanie. You know what I am capable of creating, having been my model, friend and regular visitor to the studio for many years, but I must disagree with your impression that these are merely practice for me. Truly, the daily paintings have nudged my sleeping muse, for which a am thrilled and grateful. I think these painting do stand alone. In spite of what some women say, size doesn't matter. A well composed piece of art just as valid painted 8" x 10" as it would be 2' x 3' (just ask Vermeer). As you pointed out, I have been using the daily paintings as "A place to explore your talents, break old habits and find new ones" but I view the product of these explorations as finished (?) products.

Diana Moses Botkin said...

Oh yes the small dailies are often masterpieces. I often think that about your lovely paintings.

You've been awarded the Brilliante Weblog Award, dear Mark! Drop by my blog sometime to pick it up.

Happy Painting, large or small! Blessings, Diana

Mark Adams said...

Diana. I am flattered and honored. Thank you!