ART CRITIQUE #32
WHAT MATTERS MOST
This month we welcome Toril Kojan, who is interested in several things with her paintings—the textured surface, figures, colors and story. In this critique, Susan Melrath and Toril discuss design challenges, and make some hard decisions about what has to go and what wants to stay in this critique of Toril’s paintings.
ART CRITIQUE #31
A BLEND OF PREDICTABLE AND UNPREDICTABLE
Acrylic and multi-media artist Mary-Lou Boulanger is wanting to take her more traditional floral paintings in a more abstract and looser direction. To simplify, she has taken cropped areas of her past paintings to make simplified, more abstract versions of them. In this Artist Critique, Nicholas helps Mary-Lou take her gut instincts and push them further in order to make her work more exciting and contemporary.
WORKING WITH WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE
Andrea Willow paints wonderful intuitive paintings full of color, shapes and narrative. Lately she has been desiring some simplicity in her work. She understands the concept of ‘less is more’, but knows she is more of a ‘more’ person. In this month’s Art Critique Susan Melrath shows Andrea how simply shifting, choosing and grouping values that we already have can dramatically improve the paintings in front of us.
FOLLOW THE LEAD
Rebecca Janes is beginning a new series of paintings, inspired by one successful piece that seemed to “just happen.” Listen in to this art critique with Susan, and learn how to identify the important elements that make a painting work, and how to carry them throughout a series.
FROM INTEGRATION INTO FLOW
For this month’s art critique we have the pleasure of speaking with Louise Fletcher. Having started off largely painting abstracted landscapes, since becoming part of the Art2life family, Louise has been continuously pushing the boundaries of her work, getting closer to discovering a style and vision that is uniquely her own. We at the Academy hope you enjoy this fascinating look into the work of an artist who is passionately forging her own authentic voice.
A CURE FOR SMALL SHAPE-ITIS
In this month’s Art Critique, Susan Hart came to Nick in search of a cure for small shape-itis. Her desire has been to bring space to her paintings, giving room to the balance of the many small shapes she likes to include in her work. Listen in as Nick gives her several ideas on not to stop what she is doing but instead how to work with it to make it better.
A BIGGER VIEW
In this month’s Art Critique, Karen Stamper was wanting her paintings to feel bigger, but with a tendency to get hung up on certain areas, her paintings were feeling small to her instead. Listen in on how Nick guides Karen to scale up her thinking in order to scale up the feeling in her paintings.
PAINT WHAT YOU LOVE
Working purely from memory, representational artist Penny Forrest seeks beauty in the everyday and the ordinary. In this Art Critique with Nicholas, she simply wanted to know how to improve her work. Listen in as Nick shares how making her work more personal can actually make it more appealing to collectors and more enjoyable to create.
LEFT BRAIN / RIGHT BRAIN
Eileen Harwood is inspired by various materials and techniques, wanting to bring something out in a piece. She feels comfortable with her grasp of the principles, but has been struggling with accessing her Soul in her work, fearing she gets too much in her head when making her art. Listen in to the conversation about finding balance between the two.
WHICH WAY TO GO
In this month’s Art Critique, Marjorie Claus shares two different directions she was going in her work. She found herself stuck by not being quite sure which of these directions to go in. Listen in as Nicholas provides some insight and perspective in helping Marjorie follow a direction that—not surprisingly—seemed the easiest and the most fun for her.
Elizabeth Needham wanted to keep the feeling of her softer paintings, but also have enough loud conversation to draw people in. See how Nicholas delivers exactly this by pointing out that she just needed to better organize the values in her paintings.
Nancy Gunther is wanting to move her work from abstract to more representational, yet still remain strong. Her inspiration comes from the story she discovers in old buildings and spaces while traveling. Listen in to how Nick provides Nancy with practical and effective ways to make those stories come to life, while making her work more interesting and engaging.
Kerry Schroeder wants her work to be powerful and subtle at the same time. She asked for Nick’s help in how to further distill her work, while still keeping it interesting. Listen to how Nick points out how to do this.
Holland Hammond finds herself drawn to simplicity in other’s work and wants to incorporate it into her own. She wanted to know how to use the principles to create work that reduces differences, yet still makes for strong work. Watch and listen to how Nicholas guides her there.
THE NEXT CHAPTER
Susan Melrath saw changes entering her work. She was having different sensibilities, different interests. She was going towards quiet conversations and muted palettes, which all felt good, but something was still missing. In this very insightful critique, hear Nicholas hone in on how Susan was actually setting the stage for the next chapter in her work.
REFINED VARIETY IS KEY
Pamela Beer’s beautiful, lush paintings are full of abstract marks and lots of saturated color. In this Art Critique, Pamela wanted to find more consistency in her work and to learn why some of her paintings are working better than others.
HOW TO GET YOURSELF UNSTUCK
In this week’s Art Critique with Tammy Hudgeon, she shares with Nick how she can get stuck on a painting. Sometimes the painting feels pretty good but it doesn’t feel quite done. Or, there are areas she likes, so she tends to leave them alone and work around them. Listen to this critique on how Nicholas shares how to get yourself unstuck.
LETTING ALL PARTS OF YOU COME THROUGH
Artist Jan Allsopp has been making beautiful paintings full of strength, color, marks and patterns. In this month’s Art Critique, Nicholas shares how Jan can use the Art2Life Principles to make her work stronger, but also be more like her.
LETTING ALL PARTS OF YOU COME THROUGH
Sally Veach’s work walks that appealing line of abstraction and representational. In this month’s Art Critique she shares how she wants to make landscape paintings, but as her natural tendency of letting intensity and angst takes over, she can get lost in where she’s going. Listen in on how Nicholas guides Sally on how to find the balance and make powerful work.
LESS CAN BE MORE
This month’s Art Critique is with Alice Sheridan. Alice came to Nick wanting to know how to go to the next place with her work. She liked what was happening in her sketchbooks, but hasn’t been quite able to translate that to her paintings. Listen in as Nicholas provides some perspective and insight to help her move forward.
Karen Lehrer + Magdalena Bogart
STAY IN THE JOY
This month’s Art Critique is with Karen Lehrer and Magdalena Bogart. As what often happens in our dual critiques, we learned these two artists were facing similar challenges in their work. Each artist found they were really enjoying their process… to a point. Then they became stuck and bored. Listen in as Nicholas guides each of these artists with ways to keep not only themselves engaged, but also the viewer.
Nancy Farrell + Judith Ely
FINDING CLARITY IN OUR WORK
This Art Critique is with Nancy Farrell and Judith Ely. Both artists came to Nick with similar concerns about their art. They each felt they weren’t quite sure where they were going in their work—that something was missing—and wanted to gain intentionality in their work. Listen in as Nicholas provides some concrete ways for both of these artists to gain some clarity in their work.
Ashwini Raghuram + Karen Meadows
KNOWING OR NOT KNOWING IS VALID, BUT PRINCIPLES STILL APPLY
This Art Critique is with Ashwini Raghuram and Karen Meadows. Ashwini’s paintings are spontaneous, intuitive and uncontrolled and Karen’s paintings are partly guided by internal feelings and thoughts. Both approaches are equally valid. Applying the principles to either will result in strong work.
BALANCING OPENNESS WITH FULLNESS
This week’s Art Critique is with Ingrid Ellison. Her question to Nicholas’s how to bring the same openness and aliveness that is present in her sketchbooks, to her larger works. Listen in on how Nick guides her on how to help get your work to feel the way you want it to feel.
Jacqueline Quinn + Kathleen Ainscough
WE CAN LEARN FROM OUR OWN PAINTINGS
This week’s Art Critique is with Jacqueline Quinn and Kathleen Ainscough. Jacqueline wanted to know why one of her pieces worked better than another and Kathleen’s question was about where to go next. Watch how Nicholas shows both of them to use clues from their own work to guide them to more successful paintings.
ART CRITIQUE #7
Holly Dean + Lelija Roy
USING DIFFERENCES TO CREATE CONECTION
This week’s Art Critique is with Academy members Holly Dean and Lelija Roy. In this video you will learn the following:
-How to get clear about what you feel in order to move the viewer.
-Differences in a painting create emotion and connection.
-Extreme subtleties move people.
-Taking some color out of your paintings actually makes colors show up more.
Susanne Clark + Marjorie Claus
CLARIFYING AND SIMPLIFYING CAN CREATE FOCAL POINTS IN YOUR ART
This week’s Art Critique is with Marjorie Claus and Suzanne Clark. These two artists’ work are rich with intuitive color, marks and shapes. In this video, Nick shows them how by making a few changes to their work—finding a bit more clarity—can make the work even stronger.
Zandra Stratford + Glenda Green
THE POWER OF VALUE AND HARMONIZING YOUR COLORS
For this month’s art critique we bring you Zandra Stratford and Glenda Green, two artists whose work employs the use of bold geometric shapes and vivid colors. Join us as Nicholas demonstrates how injecting differences and adjusting color values slightly allows for more harmonious and richer compositions.
CLARIFYING THE LOUD AND QUIET CONVERSATIONS
Susan Hart uses a mix of media within a non-objective, abstract theme to explore shape, color, line and texture. As she is drawn to calm paintings, her question to Nicholas in this Art Critique is how can she have both the calm and the noisy in her work. Take a listen into the conversation of how to make powerful work using these differences.
Pushing subtle work to make it even better
Liese Gauthier creates beautiful, rich, subtle surfaces in her work. In this week’s Art Critique, Nicholas teaches Liese (and all of us) to push even our quiet work further, so that it can be more refreshing, engaging, and have more impact.
Inviting Change into the Work
We have another great interview for you this week with Megan Donnelly. An alumni of the Mentorship Program, Megan has made the transition into becoming a full-fledged artist, amassing an impressive body of work along the way. Join us as we trace her creative journey, and investigate the challenges she faces, many of which are so similar to our own.
Seeking Inspiration from her surroundings
This is a remarkable interview with our own AA member Karina Bania. Follow along as we illuminate what it is that her really great work has that some of her older work does not. How can we become more clear about what and where we are headed? How do we make our work better? Karina’s exploration and challenges are similar to many of ours… Come join us as we explore this territory together.