Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Headless Angels

Art Journal collage, 8 x 8 inches
Another recent collage from my art journal.

Jane Davies' online class starts today.  I've printed out Lesson 1 and will watch the video later this morning.

I decided to do this class differently than how I did her other two online classes.  I decided not to participate in the class blog in any way, other than to get the lessons.  In other words, to work in isolation.

My reasons for this are several...

I know myself.  I know that if I look at everybody else's work, then I'll compare mine to theirs.  I'll ooh and ahh over some of the others' work, and I'll diss my own.  I'll wish I were doing their work instead of my own work.   I know that this will put me under a lot of unnecessary stress.

I also no longer want feedback from the instructor.  Not because I don't want to be good, or better, at painting.  But because it's all so subjective, isn't it?  Who's to say when a piece is finished or whether it's "good"?  Isn't that up to the artist, ultimately?  It isn't important to me anymore whether my work could be "stronger," or make "more of a statement."  What's important is to enjoy the process, and to make my own decision about the outcome.

Additionally, I simply can't do the "group mind" thing anymore.  Everybody chiming in on everybody else's work, everybody looking for approval or acknowledgement.  And I certainly don't want to be internally tooting my own horn when I think I've done a lesson better than the next person.  Nor do I feel the need to puff myself up by way of introduction.  None of this matters to me now.  I just want to do the lessons, or not, and enjoy my life without added stress of any kind.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


john said...

OMG! You are so spot on with your discussion of taking the online class and your decision to not participate. The critiquing is subjective and ultimately you make all the decisions. The way something is critiqued is important and I totally get how you are feeling.

jenclair said...

Love the text and the blue dots!

Jeannie said...

Well said! I have yet to see in a group critique "damn, that's ugly!". LOL! I recently read an article about how we like to feel superior to others. Whether politics, art, social life, .... we strive to find fault with others so we feel better about ourselves. I felt ill after reading it. Mainly because it hit home. I tend not to be dimissive of other's, but in my mind I am. I am trying hard not to do that, but boy is that a hard habit to break! I'm in an online class right now and the comments are all complimentary,and way too much enthusiasm. I also found that I compared my work to others. Why can't I use soft pastels? Why don't I own any? (Because I don't care for them!) I am disappointed when another uses an idea I've had but not shared and feel like I can't use it now. Next class, I am taking your approach and just work on my own quietly. Have fun in your class!!!

Jacki Long said...

Totally agree with your thinking on class participation Connie!
I am in only my second on line class ever, this one with Katie Kendick. She is wonderful and the assignments are terrific, the videos inspiring. But I am finding myself feeling self-pressured by the beautiful work of fellow class mates. And though I admit to competitiveness, it doesn't feel good. I think I will just do the work and be happy. Katie won't mind, she's great.Thanks for clearing my mind!

Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen) said...

I say, if you're a grown-up paying money to take the class, you should get whatever you want out of it, however you want to do it. Enjoy!

Meg Weaves said...

Yes. Probably long overdue.

KAM said...

Your words resonate with the place I find myself in my journey with art and creating. Thank you for taking the time to write out this discussion topic - so much great information in your words.
Every day I look at my small textile piece made by you and always tell myself how fortunate I am to have a piece of work from such a fine artist.

Sweetpea said...

Had to stop by to say
I sincerely applaud your approach.
The private isolation will probably bring
much freedom to the work/play.

Dori Singh said...

I say yes, to no stress!
Something to aim for, anyway

cjsrq said...

Amen. You have put into words exactly what I have been feeling about online classes. I have taken some great ones, but all the perceived pressure to post and comment has really detracted from the experience. I still occasionally post, but don't spend hours looking and commenting - I'd rather be doing art.

The Inside Stori said...


Blue Sky Dreaming said...

You hit a nerve here...lots of agreement on critiques. Working alone allows personal imagery to appear and that is always good.
I'm a fan of a critique with new directions but there needs to be a strong trust and it usually is a point of questions rather than advice...never 'group mind'.
Great art fun ahead!!

Anna H said...

Connie, it is so great to read your words on how I feel about the same thing. One person posts something, then all these others chime in with their kudos, nice but not necessary.

Peggy Lynn said...

Couldn't agree more!