Friday, February 14, 2014


You’re never going to improve unless someone tells you what you’re doing wrong. But hearing someone tell you how bad your work is can be very difficult.

So the world tells us about the critique. If it comes from the heart, and if it’s not contrived, a critique is a wonderful thing.

Everyone in my family has been very, very supportive of my painting. Every time I paint, my daughter and my wife run with excitement to my easel after I’m finished to see what I’ve painted. They’re always happy. They tell me how wonderful the new painting is. If I’m not happy with my work, they point out things about the painting that are really good and showing improvement.

Then, just as I am starting to glow with pride, my daughter will quickly point as something in the painting. For example, she might say: “I don’t like those trees. What happened there?”

I love when she does that. Her enthusiasm about my painting is sincere, so I pay close attention to the criticisms she has. When she points out something she doesn’t like about my paintings, instead of feeling defensive, I look at the offending part of my painting and immediately I’m thinking of how I could have done it better. That’s worth its weight in gold.

I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but the response to my painting has been overwhelmingly positive. People have gushed over my paintings. I’m sure that some people are just being polite. But the times when my daughter or my wife point out things about my paintings that they don’t like, well, those times have launched me forward by leaps and bounds. I always start immediately to fix and improve what they’ve pointed out.

The worst kind of comment I’ve received?

I will willingly admit that there have been a few times when my family has rushed to my easel to see what I’ve painted, and after looking for a few moments, they’ve said:

“OOOOHHHHHH! Well. Just keep trying.

That hurts so much. It really does.
Here's the latest:

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