This time I’s seeking from feedback. Here’s my story. For whatever
reason, it appears that I’m the only guy in town whose avocation is
the craft of enamelling on copper and silver. (If I’m not let’s meet).
If you asked my wife she would say I’m obsessed, I just say that I
just keen ;-). My training is primarily in the natural sciences with a
bent towards a little chemistry, physics, and statistics. I’ve learned
a little about the history and theory of art from my wife and tours of
museums and cathedrals in the US and Europe (not all, but the
biggies). Our library has also been a great help. I also was a member
of Toastmasters, and this is key, because it taught me the value of
I sell the occasional bit that I make, either artwork or jewelry (as
wearable art). However, I felt that I’m danger of being in a rut, and
one way of avoiding it would be to obtain feedback by paying a
professional artist and teacher to criticise my work and thus learn
about my weaknesses and possibly overcome them. Well, I asked a well
known artist and teacher to visit, we agreed on a price, and after
looking at my work he asked what I did and I explained. He then asked
the rhetorical question that if he read a couple of Popular Science
magazines could he then call himself a scientist, and since not why
should I be called an artist (I don’t my friends and neighbours do).
It got worse as he explained how he spent six years training to be an
artist, etc. etc. Finally he said that Art was about big ideas and I
only had notions. Towards the end he suggested that enamel coins and
sell them. Believe me I’m not making this up. For this I paid $150.
He hinted that if I attended his private classes it might help me.
So my questions are as follows. Is feedback of the type I sought
necessary? Or should I care? Do you have any comments? After asking
around it appears that the art clubs here have no formal system of
criticism so joining one does not seem to be an option.
In any case, after two days of considering his comments, I stored
them in file 13, the circular file, and went back to my bench, enamels
and kiln doing what I enjoy doing. Perhaps I somehow annoyed him. But
it sure would be nice to get some feedback, my motto being “I am able,
and I hold you as able, and I will tell you my truth as I see it, and
I expect you to do the same”.
I sincerely hope that this note does not appear to be a rant, as this
is not my intention. It is to learn.
Thanks for reading and perhaps adding your comment.
David, in Victoria BC