My first love was illustration. Its mistress ended up being photography. I am trying to have a threesome.

I have always believed in the power of the sketch.  I have a tendency to leave it at the sketch. To me when people “finish” some work it does not have the same level of energy in once did. It seems to be a process in which the idea that the artist was intending to work at is at some point entombed.  I attribute this to a lack of either skill or vision by the artist. Either way the artist at some point loses the feeling or buries it in the wrong technique.  I worry that in my case it is a mix of both; not being emotionally able to finish the work I intended and not having the skills sharpened enough to do it justice.

A couple weeks ago, in trying to restart my portrait photography, I submitted my work to an open critique.  It was to a bunch of professional photographers and they were neither kind nor subtle. They basically informed me what I have should have been told a long time ago.  My work lacked direction, it lack professionalism, lacked skill at mastering the elements, and my work also would look better if I didn’t show anybody ever again.  In essence, it sucked.

It actually did take a while for me to stop licking my wounds, but they were right on all accounts. I could see all the points they made and agreed. It made me take a good look at my art in its entirety and not just as pieces that I am working on.  All the things that I love to do can be combined and that I would need to work on all the different media I like to work in.

This critique has made me take stock in my skill set: what I need to sharpen and work on. I want to combine both drawing and photography both together.

t has also encouraged me not to shy away asking the hard questions and doing the type of art I want to do.  I have always wanted my work to be safe and very non-threatening.  I am not exactly sure what has stopped me in past from making my work what I have wanted to honestly express.  I don’t know if it was mere lack of vision, not wanting people viewing my work to make harsh judgments about me and my work, or even worse and more complex; I wasn’t didn’t want to look at what I wanted this work to be.

I am sure the answer is there somewhere.  I would even add to the list that I haven’t taken the time to figure out what I wanted in the first place.

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