Maryland Pastel Society newsletter


Summer, 2012

The heat and humidity of a Mid-Atlantic summer is upon us once again, continuing the trend that has made 2012 the warmest year on record. While summer is the traditional time for outdoor painting, I cannot deny that, on those muggy, 100-degree days, the siren call of my cool, dry basement studio cannot be resisted. I certainly hope all of you have some equally welcoming and comfortable place to paint, because we’re gonna want to see the product of your summer’s creative efforts (so far) at the upcoming members’ meeting in July: it’s time for our annual critiquing session! And as we’ve done the past couple of years, we will be holding group sessions, in which we encourage you to actively participate. These are very important skills for artists to cultivate: the ability to view our own and others’ work objectively, to articulate our assessment tactfully and clearly, and to listen to and consider dispassionately others’ critiques of our own work. Depending on how many members attend, we will set up three or four critique groups, each with a facilitator. Individual artists, one at a time, will place their paintings (no more than 3, please) at the front, and the group will offer their ideas and reactions. When selecting the work that you plan to bring, it would be most useful to you to bring paintings that are still in progress, ones that perhaps you’re struggling with, or ones that you are not quite sure are done. Remember, the goal is to seek and receive the collective insights of your fellow artists to help you learn, problem-solve, and improve. (For that reason it’s not particularly useful to bring framed paintings to a critique!) To help us focus our evaluations and questions, we will once again be using the “Principles of Design” document that the MPS uses to jury applicants for Signature membership: this document is available for download on this page. Once everyone’s had a turn, and if there’s time, the facilitators will ask each artist to choose one of his or her paintings to be included in a group “show” and then will lead a group discussion of the collected work.

Other things on the agenda at our summer meeting will include an announcement about a change in the process we use to jury applicants for Signature membership (you can read about it here), and the announcement of the winner of the 2012 Members’ Choice Award from Quiet Waters Members Only Juried show. If you have not yet had a chance to see the show, try to get there before July 20 so you can vote for your own favorite!

That’s Saturday, July 21, noon to 4pm, at the Glenwood Community Center in western Howard County. Bring 1, 2, or 3 recent paintings and something yummy for the food table: we’ll be drawing names as usual for the “food prizes.” See you there!