Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Critiques and the QA list

Well, Lisa Call suggested having reviews that actually reviewed the work...not just nicey-nicey things and of course, the list has been all over the place. Not being one to keep quiet, I posted the following:

"There is a big different between a critique and criticism. A critique takes an honest look at a piece of art and points out the strong points and the weak points. The idea is to determine if changes need to be made to make it a better piece of art. Criticism just finds fault with whatever and doesn't say anything positive.However, neither one belongs on this list as this list, as much as everyone would like to believe it, is not really made up of serious artists.

Many on this list make things from patterns. Many on this list have never made a real art quilt. Many on this list are crafters. And none of these are bad or wrong but just at a different place than serious artists. When most of the list does not understand the elements and principles of design, a critique would not mean anything since those are discussed.

Our group is made up of people who want to be artists, who think they are artists but don't understand the art part, those who are artists but work at it as a hobby, and professional artists who work all the time at it, whether they feel like it or not and do all the business work to book. Given that most of the list did not sign up for an art class that includes a critique, too many people would have their feelings hurt.

For example, look what happens when we discuss who is an artist? We get into discussions about how everyone is an artist! We are in a feel-good society where everybody and everything is accepted and we are all politically correct!"

so much for my two cents' worth!
PS.
This is fun! I post this on the QA list and within 5 minutes I get two responses. How come no one every responds when I tell them I have put pictures of my new work up?

15 comments:

Deborah said...

Wow! This is so well said and fascinating to me. I don't read QA -- just don't take the time. But I love when thoughtful blog posts are inspired by the QA list. I'm not so sure where I stand on what makes a person an "artist." I'm not sure it matters. What matters is the art. And oh by the way... you've got some amazing art posted below. I'm in love with the green and purple one and only wish I could somehow snag it before Houston to mount with the other Liz Berg green and purple card I own.

Karoda said...

I really desire to have skills to provide a great critique but I know with learning it will one day solidify...with that said, there are few people I trust to really provide substantial critiques for my own work...there is opinion and there is critique.

Beverly said...

I would love to find a way to have work critiqued- and, hopefully in the process, learn hands-on the language of art. I've been working to educate myself, but don't think it is something I can learn in a vacuum. And going back to school for a BFA is not in my future!
I don't feel so bad that I didn't get but 1 response when I timidly posted on the list that I had pictures of a finished work on my blog. I am nowhere near in your league! (But I am hoping to add one of your cards to my collection thanks to Linda T. Minton's offer to shop for those of us who won't make it to Houston.) Your use of color and line fascinates and intrigues me.

Gerrie said...

I am in an honest to goodness critique group with June Underwood, Terry Grant and another person. It is the best thing to happen to me. I just love our time together. I am learning so much from them and about my work.

Brenda said...

One of the things that I enjoyed about my City & Guilds online patchwork and quilting course with Linda Kemshall www.lindakemshall.com was the feedback along the way. Of course, in the context, the ultimate thrust of this feedback was encouragement. Like many new quilters, I craved approval and validation of my efforts. Now I am more confident but I would still value thoughtful and candid critique from people who have talents that I admire and respect. This is hard to find.

Cay Denise said...

Agreed...and well said! Do you know of any art critique groups in the south bay? I'd like to find one that is going to give me solid feedback to help me improve (even though I love 'feel good' feedback).

Cay Denise

CalicoDaydreams said...

I don't belong to the QA group, but love your post!

I am at the point in my fiber work where I want to take it beyond being a hobby and really try to express something.

Then I get wrapped up in kids, cooking, dishes... and the artist in me goes down the drain with the dirty dish water.

Not sure where I am going with my rambles, but I agree with what you wrote... whatever that is worth to you.

Felicity said...

I'm probably guilty - I loved your postcards but didn't leave a comment. I was exerimenting with satin stitch a while ago and after some negative experiences with quilters I haven't switched my machine on in months but your postcards made me ache to start again!
Critiquing anothers work or receiving it is difficult as so many other factors can come into play like personal taste and competitiveness. I guess it has to done by those that can give an honest, unbiased and knowledgeable opinion.

Debra said...

Wow, I've stopped reading "the list" because it's just so much drivel, but I love what you've written.

I may need to go check the digest to see how people have reacted. That "everybody is an artist" crap is another reason not to read.

Michele said...

I've never read the QA list, but would absolutely love to. I work in the quilting and craft industry and know that when a person asks "what do you think about this combination?", my response cannot be "my God, what were you thinking?" Over the years you develope a fine tuning of those you are asked to critic. Most are grateful for the descrete honesty as I think anybody should be. It's all about learning something about how things work. How do you know if you don't ask? So with that said...how do I find that list? Curiosity is getting the best of me.

Julaine said...

Ditto what Debra of "A Stitch in Time" said - I've gone on vacation from QA for awhile. Thanks for YOUR QA post though, and also for putting it on your blog. I'm committing myself to viewing more blogs now instead of the digests...they are so much more creative AND thought provoking.
Congratulations on your 40 postcards for FFAC - incredible as always!

Anonymous said...

Enter a show. I'm a weaver and I have a stack of critiques from weavers I respect who juried the shows I've entered. I don't always get juried in but if the specs say a critique is part of the juror's process, the fees are often worth for just that kind of feedback.

Alan R. Kelchner said...

Good for you. They usually crawl up my butt when I point out that not everyone is a Ahtist. Well, actually they approach it with great forebearance (grin).

Joanie said...

Thank you Liz for telling it like it is! A few of us have something in the works... not individual critiques, although that might come later, but REAL reviews of fiber and related exhibits. I'll let you know when and where.

Ferret said...

I've never taken an art course and I think thatI am quite sensitive about my work being critisized, but I love critique. I just can't find people to look at my work and give honest opinions. I am really getting annoyed with all the "thats great" type comments. You don't get better from being told everything is great.