I recently was invited to join the Artist’s Exchange group here in lower Delaware. This small group, formed in the mid-1990’s, consists of working, professional artists who get together once a month. The first half of the meeting starts off with each of us talking about current events in the art world that we’ve recently experienced such as exhibition openings, juried exhibitions that were applied for, museum openings, and basically any new ideas, or frustrations that we encounter with our own work.
Clearly, there is a passion for what we do. To hear the descriptions of current exhibitions, in major museums and galleries, visited from some of the members would make any artist or art lover want to go directly to the show to experience it, firsthand, for themselves.
During the second part of the meeting, members have the option to bring in work for critique. The pastel painting that I brought is for a group exhibition titled “Nocturne” in May at Peninsula Gallery. I felt that there wasn’t something quite right with the piece. Each member of the group saw different things happening in the painting. Collectively, their advice helped me to make minor changes in the painting that improved the composition, and light source.
I lowered the moon and muted its color, broke up the tree line to the right of the moon, and darkened the stream in the foreground to give it depth. Clearly, these learning experiences reminded me that I do not know everything about painting. Or maybe I had simply forgotten what I was taught. In either case, I find it very helpful to be in the company of other artists.