July Critique Group: Emily Carruth Fuller

Here is Emily’s contribution for this month’s critique group. I’m really impressed that she is still able to find time in to get in her studio, since she is expecting her first child in the next few weeks. Her concept behind the painting deals with her spiritual beliefs. Also, she has been experimenting with gold leaf. Feel free to give her feedback on whatever strikes about the painting. Thanks, Emily, for contributing this great piece, and good luck with everything.

And Then She Saw Pearls, 8″ x 10″, oil on wood with gold leaf

July Critique Group: Janiece Murray

I know this is a little late (see the previous post for a brief look into the craziness of my life), but we are still doing our critique group for July. This month we are welcoming a new artist, Janiece Murray, who lives in Utah and graduated with a degree in art from Brigham Young University. We took a lot of classes together, and she is interested in a lot of the same ideas that fascinate me. These two pieces are from a series she’s working on called Choices. Please feel free to leave her a comment and let her know what you think. Thanks for participating, Janiece.

Three Degrees, watercolor

Untitled, watercolor

June Critique Group: Sarah Lewis

Here are two more pieces from Sarah. She has been trying some new color combinations, and she would love some feedback on that or anything else. Thanks for contributing, Sarah, and for being patient with me while I was out of town.

Untitled, 2′ x 3′, oil on canvas

Untitled, 3′ x 2′, oil on canvas

June Critique Group: Emily Carruth Fuller

Emily is one of my favorite people in the whole world. We were studio buddies together in school, and her bright spirit never failed to inspire me. She is a talented figure painter, and is constantly working to refine her skills as an artist. She has an artist blog here. She is expecting her first child in August, and I imagine this painting reflects some of her feelings about how her life is right now. Please feel free to give her feedback on the composition, the rendering of the figure, and the concept behind the piece, or whatever else you would like to comment on.

To Do, 10 1/2″ x 24″

April Critique Group, Rebecca Rendon

Yes, I’ve finally gotten around to photographing my stuff. The quality isn’t great, though, for which I apologize. I just thought that if I keep waiting until all the conditions are perfect for me to get these pictures done, then I would never share any of my work. Also, I have to admit that none of the following are finished pieces. As I mentioned previously, the last few months have been hard. So working in my studio hasn’t really been happening. Sad, I know. But I haven’t given up. I decided that if I waited until I had some really awesome finished pieces to show you, it would never happen. So I decided instead to post little snippets of different things I’ve been working on and different directions I’ve been exploring. Here is a random sampling of what is lying around my studio (sorry I don’t have dimensions, but everything is pretty small (no more than 15″ by 15″).

Photo Collages

Square collages (1-inch squares of watercolors)

Watercolor Collages

(I took this one on a dark table, so the brown on the edges isn’t supposed to be there, but I kind of like the contrast on the left side it offers. Maybe I’ll add another piece like that.)

In my work, I am trying focus on geometry, color, and texture to create beauty. The problem I run into is my work being “merely decorative.” I do want to imbue my work with meaning, but that is a challenge for me since I work with predominately abstract imagery. I’ve contemplated collaging in representational drawings, transfers, or watercolors, but I haven’t gotten it to work so far. I have recently added stitching as one of my collage elements. What do you think about it? Does it work at all? Also, I am trying to move towards making my paintings 3 dimensional (literally), but this is more difficult than I had anticipated because the supplies for that are hard to come by / work with. Do you think these pieces need more of a 3 dimensional element, or do they work fine as flat paintings? Any impressions, suggestions, or general comments will be appreciated. Sorry I don’t have anything really definite to show. Thanks!

April Critique Group, Sarah Lewis

Here is Sarah’s work for this month.

Orchid Composition One
oil on canvas
24″ x 18″
April 2010

Orchid Composition Two
oil on canvas
24″ x 20″
April 2010
About theses pieces, Sarah says: “I decided to try approaching my paintings this month with a more realistic approach. However I’m wondering if there is something I could add to my paintings to leave them more open for interpretation rather than being so straightforward.  I’d really like to get input in that.”
Thanks, Sarah, for contributing this month! Sorry it is so late.

Sarah Lewis

I have known Sarah since we were roommates together our freshman year of college. I wasn’t even in the art program yet, but she really inspired me to go for it. She is currently living in Arizona, and besides working on her art, she is a full-time mom. She has an artist blog here. Here are two of her recent pieces:

Untitled, 20″ x 15″, oil on canvas

Untitled, 16″ x 20″, oil on canvas

Here’s what Sarah says about her work: “They’re both seascapes, however are different styles from each other.  The second being more abstract than the first.  It’d be great to get feedback on the use of style and how this affects each piece.”

Whitney Lewis Johnson

Whitney graduated with a BFA from Brigham Young University last year and is currently living in California. She has her own artist blog here. I am really impressed with how much she has gotten done, and I want to emulate her work ethic. Here are two of her pieces that she has done recently:

Fortification, 11×11 inches, oil on canvas

Whitney’s comment about this piece: “This painting is my interpretation of the lessons I learned from the “war chapters” in Alma. The Nephites spent so much time fortifying their cities to protect themselves against the Lamanites, and I feel like there are so many things we can do in our personal life to protect us against the evils of this world. I’m still trying to figure out how to finish this painting. Any suggestions? I’ve been wanting to use more color in my work, but I can never decide which color to use or how to apply it.”


Past, Present, Future, 12×12 inches, oil on panel

Whitney’s comment about this piece: “The concept behind this painting is that before we came to earth, while we are here on earth, and even after our life here on earth, there are eternal principles that remain constant–specifically our agency and power to choose for ourselves, and also our level of intelligence that continues with us from one phase to the next. I thought this painting was finished but now I’m not so sure. It may be a color issue again (not enough color).”

March Artist Critique Group

So, I’ve decided to start a new feature to my blog. I graduated with a BFA in painting almost a year ago, and I feel that I have sadly done very little with my degree in the last year. I have been looking for a way to motivate myself to keep up with my work, and to get some feedback on it as well. When I started this blog, I thought that one of the things I would like to do with it would be a monthly critique group with other artists who may feel a similar need to get feedback on their work. I started very small, just a group of friends I went through the program with, but I am very excited to see what they have been up.

The purpose of this critique group is to offer helpful criticism for the artists to help them improve their work (because most of the people in our lives will tell us they love whatever we do, no matter what). It is not meant to be negative or harsh, but constructive, sincere, and thoughtful. Please feel free to comment on the pieces, but try to keep those things in mind. Hopefully I will post a group critique on the last Friday of each month. This month, I’m posting each artist in a separate post to see if this helps clarify who the comments are for. Check back tomorrow to see our first monthly critique group.