Friday, October 26, 2012

Learning to Evaluate...Painlessly

I really like the letters I get twice a week from painter Robert Genn.  In a recent one entitled "How to Purge", he was talking about getting rid of old work, or work that isn't quite polished.  I'm not quite there yet -- if I did that I'd have little left to show for what I've been doing! -- but I was particularly reassured by two thoughts as I read:

  1. "At the beginning of a career, professionalism is possible, but not likely."  True!  It's toward what we relative newbies are working.
  2. "Purging must come from within, from your own calculated powers of discrimination, which should have nothing to do with what 'others might see value in one day.'" -- This is the reassurance that in the stack of work I've created in the past six years, some of it is good, perhaps even very good; some is worth re-working; and destined for the rag bag!
The other good news is, in the ongoing battle over The Voices, I have been learning to be more discerning (not deprecatory) about my work.  For example, there's this piece:

Abandoned: House I (C) 2012

I really like it; well, parts of it.  I like the house per se -- especially the way I worked the roof shingles to get across the idea that they're rather loose.  I like the dark door and window and peeling siding.  I like the colours I used for the background, and the thread-painted trees.  BUT....there's too much house and not enough back-ground.  

Yep.  Once I get clear of the C&G, this one's destined for a bit of re-working.

Thanks, Robert!

2 comments: said...

I like 'too much house' actually. I really like that piece! If you ditch it, consider me as a new home : )


Cathy Tomm said...

I get Roberta letter too. Made me think I should give some basic quilts way to charity. I thought some were art but not really. They could be a blanket type quilt