Facebook and feedback

I have been on my own in my studio  doing lots of painting for several weeks now. I don’t know about you but I find it hard  working in a kind of vacuum,  painting  away but not having any feedback. I do ask my husband sometimes for his opinion ( when I’m desperate!)   but he is not in the least arty so if he approves (or not) I am still in the dark as to the merit of my work (or not!). The strange thing  is that I think I am actually rather good at looking at other people’s paintings and knowing instantly and instinctively  their strengths and weaknesses. When I teach at  workshops it is easy for  me to  watch a student’s painting develop  and advise about what to add, take away or when I think that they  should stop.

I find Facebook  very good in times of self doubt. You can post a picture and instantly have lots of positive reaction which is a lovely boost to the confidence. If you feel on your own with your painting or any other form of art social media  could be a really useful form of communicating with other like minded people- everywhere! I have noticed that  people only seem to leave positive  feedback and I mean in general, not just with regard to my posts. It would be dangerous to suggest that  it might be more useful if people  sometimes offered constructive criticism because not everybody is nice ( or so I have heard)  and we are all so very vulnerable. Nasty negative comments have the potential to shatter one’s confidence and  so it is probably easier to play safe and  just pay compliments.

On my workshops  I  sincerely find there is always something good to say about every piece.( Although it has to be said that sometimes it is harder than others!) I usually try to suggest ways in which the artwork or a follow up interpretation of it could be improved.  On one occasion a student once asked me to stop my pleasant comments and really give a  full on serious critique- warts and all. I  began tentatively suggesting that perhaps the composition  could be improved upon  and she was immediately upset as  she had thought that was the best bit!  Being a teacher is  a minefield especially when you have large feet and are not a trained psychologist!

On the subject of workshops- I  had promised myself not to tell you again  until next year the fact that I have a new book coming  out on March 1st called Ann Blockley’s Watercolour Workshop’.  And so I won’t mention it , or maybe I will ,but only quietly, because I’m excited about it and I haven’t got anyone else to confide in….!

If you would like to  join me  on Facebook  my page is Ann Blockley Artist  and I am also there as Ann Blockley.


Blackberry and sloe hedgerow- unfinished(?)




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