Retrain the Critic

We all have an inner critic, the IC, that noxious voice getting in the way of your artistic progress. What we need is a way to retrain our critic to critique the work instead.


As an example I’ll show you a spread I made a few weeks ago while out with my Thursday plein air group. They’re all fine artists and at every excursion I talk to myself………………. Do. Not. Compare.

Critique- Full

It has issues, my IC sees the mud, the poorly defined tree mass and the random scratchy lines in the chairs. Is that helpful? Not really. As I critique the piece I register that as I created this piece I hurried my lines… I needed to look… really look and slow down. My trees have nice trunks but again, I rushed. Breathe! It’ll still be there… what’s the rush?

Critique - closeA good critique also reflects on the pieces that DO work.  I managed to capture the depth within the barn and the stacked feed bags.

Practice! The more work you create the looser the hold your inner critic has on you. I remember that day clearly. As I sat painting and chatting, I savored the sun, the beautiful breeze, freshly picked sweet strawberries and especially the pleasant camaraderie of a morning spent with friends.

Every time I see this I will remember it all… and my critic has been banished!


Photo Friday – 26 June, 2015

Color in the garden doesn’t always come from blossoms. Take this ab-so-lutely fabulous shrub… it’s a cypress.  Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Sungold’.


I couldn’t leave without showing my pink spirea. You can see it on the far left in the first image. Spiraea japonica ‘Dakota Goldcharm’. I can’t tell you how many photos I took trying to catch one of the bees on a blossom. I took a video showing the multitude of bees buzzing about… and if I can figure out how to save and upload I’ll be sure to share!

Dakota Goldcharm Spirea


EDM 107 – 111

Every Day Matters. Along with it’s corollary, Every Day in May, is it the only art challenge I’ve ever stuck with. I admit to being a softie for this challenge, back in 2012, sketching items on this list helped me cement a daily art practice. Although I no longer need a prompt to inspire daily drawing, I still enjoy capturing my every day life by working through the list in my journal.

Be here now. Because really…

Every Day Matters!

EDM107 - get newsEDM108 - Light BulbEDM109-ClockEDM110-FlameEDM111-Bowl

EDM 103 – 106

Since I finished my latest sketchbook this morning I wanted to upload my EDM – Every Day Matters pages when I noticed I hadn’t uploaded my work from my way back in February!  So… first things first…

EDM103 - Exercise


EDM106 - Tart

I’m working my way up to number 328… good thing there’s not a deadline!  See the entire list here at Danny Gregory’s site.

Photo Friday – 12 June, 2015

This week we celebrate the last of my white peony… ‘Festiva Maxima’
Peony 'Festiva Maxima'


… and rejoice as ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ joins the fun!

Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'


The Baptisia is still hanging around… is there any doubt it’s in the pea family?



Geranium 'Max Frei'I have many different hardy Cranesbill Geraniums in my garden but this was a cutting from a dear friend and neither of us know the variety… I’m just guessing… ‘Max Frei’ ???  If you have a better guess please leave me a note!