Sunday, 10 January 2010

Self-critique: Marie Theron

I'm hoping one of the ways in which this blog can help us all learn more about the art of the landscape is through constructive criticism of artwork. In particular through developing our own capacity and skills to review our own work.

I'll be posting links to self-critiques on this blog as and when you alert me to them or I find them

Marie Theron (Artist Marie Theron chronicles the West Coast of South Africa) wrote to tell me about her critical analysis of one of her works. Her aim was to develop her technical skills and to try and undertsnad why one of her works was so much more popular than others she has posted.

It's interesting that the popularity partly relates to the way she painted the work and partly to how she 'marketed' it on her blog. This is her original post Waving Wheatfields

In her post See Into the New Year 2: The Wheatfield and Why it was Successful she reflects on her piece and highlights:

The Wheatfield
450mm x 60mm on canvas board
copyright Marie Theron
  • the power of yellow to draw in a viewer
  • conceptual connotations of a wheatfield - at various levels - seemed to connect in an emotive way with her blog readers
  • the role of horizontals in providing a restful soothing piece
  • created anticipation by writing about the work before she even started it!
My comments: To that I would add that:
  • the shades of blue and yellow she has used verge on complementary colours which always provide a very powerful combination.
  • There is also a flattened S shape within the middle ground of the ppicture which helps to lead the eye from front to back. S shapes get incorporated very successfully into a number of landscapes.
  • One of the people who commented highlighted how much she liked the little green patch near the centre - which demonstrates the power of the Greg Albert's nostrum 'mostly, some and a bit' (see his book The Simple Secret to Better Painting)
Does anybody have anything helpful to add? If you can see something which helps the impact of this image please identify it.

Would you like to review a picture? Would anybody else like to volunteer a link to a post where they have analysed one of their own works which they think has worked well?

If you are submitting a work, please email me with your blog post and make sure you provide details in a post on your own blog of:
  • dimensions
  • nature of the media and support
  • title
  • URL link to your own critical review
  • URL link to the original post (if different)
  • an image which is 72 dpi, is under 100KB and has a maximum length on one side of 500 pixels
I'm also wondering whether it would helpful to readers to submit works which haven't quite worked for comment?

Further Information

Below are some links to helpful books which can help develop skills in composition, design and colour. One of a book review and the other four are part of my 'resources for artists' series of information websites
Future posts on this blog will be looking at which books we have found most helpful in developing knowledge about how to design landscape paintings.

1 comment:

Mary Paquet said...

Katherine, I am very interested in your critique and will follow. I'm hoping to learn.

I would add that Marie achieved a real sense of depth in her painting with a shadowed foreground, warm color in the middle ground, and lovely cool colors in the distant ground, a design one sees in other successful landscape paintings.


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