"ISOLATE AND SIMPLIFY." Tony Sweet
Currently I am getting some instruction during an individual critique session given by Tony Sweet ( www.tonysweet.com ). This is my second set of sessions in the last three years and his experience in the field and behind the computer makes for a lot of help in learning and improving, which is really what I'm after. If I hadn't been so impressed with his first set of sessions I would have never done another and the usefulness of his instruction has been extremely helpful. He digs into the nitty gritty of composition, editing and finalizing an image for printing. Many would criticize that he is too "picky", but picky is what any artist needs when it comes to avoiding pitfalls and bad habits.
The most recent sessions have caught some bad habits that have crept into some of my compositions. The main one is defined by the above quote in that I have been making the image canvas bigger than it needs to be with extraneous information that is empty and detracts from the essence and strength of the subject. When he points these regresses out while he's working on my image it becomes so clear that most often my inner voice is saying, "what was I thinking?"
As with his location workshops, which I've taken and thoroughly enjoyed, he makes this stuff fun and always, always finds the positives. A long ago art professor taught me that lesson during a watercolor critique on one of my pieces. It involved a location painting which had a white picket fence and after he got done pointing out some of the pitfalls in different areas, he focused on the picket fence and told both me and the class that it was the most beautiful picket fence he'd seen. As I've grown older and I realize that he'd seen a lot better picket fences in his life, but he knew what "drove my motor".
This scene is from this past week after a beautiful frost at sunrise. It's a place that I go to often and even if I come away empty handed, which isn't likely, I get the view and the envelope of silence while looking out and wondering about the history of where I stand. The Little Sioux River Valley lies below and just in front past the fence line is a preserved native prairie. This scene has been seen by our ancestors and much different after the farm buildings, which are behind me, were built. A wild place with indian tribes, tall grass prairies for as far as the eyes could see and herds of buffalo that seemed never ending.
Thank you for joining me here and have a good weekend.
"Sic 'em Bears" CONGRATS TO THE BAYLOR FOOTBALL TEAM FOR ITS INCREDIBLE WIN IN THE RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL......"SIC 'EM BEARS".
For more views of my work visit;
Arts On Grand, Spencer, Iowa http://www.artsongrand.org/
Lanesboro Art Center, Lanesboro, Minnesota www.lanesboroarts.org
Summer Wind Gallery, Arnolds Park, Iowa