Critique and improvement?

Leftover paint by the students

Playtime continues

My students really enjoyed the playtime session we had last time, and here is the result of the week’s leftover paint. Next time it will for sure be different.

Critique – good or bad?

Here in Oslo the new (Edv.) Munch Museum is being built. Lambda, as it is called, is stretching towards the sky and facing the sea, the Oslo Fjord. However, the critique of the building is massive, because people think it is ugly, it does not look like the drawings presented by the architects, it looks grey and dark in stead of like a light beacon, as it was supposed to be.

Lambda, model to the right and being built to the left

Well, it looks a bit scary now, but I will wait until it is finished, before I give my final judgment.

Positive critique

As I have mentioned in a previous blogpost, the one called Home again, I have been so fortunate as to get critique on some of my paintings from the Art2Life coach, Susan Melrath. Tuesday the 26th of March it will be published on the Academy. The Academy is only for members, but I can show you a little of what we talked about.

I sent in three paintings where I had worked with photography and paint. I had used photos of rusty objects by the harbour in Trondheim. I glued them on the canvas and painted on.  As I said then, I learned a lot. Especially that I must have a purpose when I use a photo like this, and maybe to think about the composition before I start painting. But that is a bit difficult, as I never know where I will end up when I start the painting. In an ordinary painting this is no problem, as I can arrange things so that the composition works well as I go along, but when I have glued in a photo, this will be stuck where it is glued on. So I guess the end of the story will be that I have to make a complete new painting. Is it worth it?

Before critique on number 2
Susan's suggestion after the critique

Actually I like both of them, but I see clearly that the «old» one, before alteration, has a very obvious bulls eye, and you really don’t know what is to be the focus in the painting. The circle with the photo or the woman reading?

Picture 1
Susan's suggestions for alterations

So what do you think? Are the alterations making the paintings better? This last suggestion I find interesting, as Susan has suggested quite different colours and she has moved images around as well as removed some. I know I am «heavy» on the colour side, so maybe this is the way to go?


I think I will have to make some changes, some alterations. I will let you know if I make new paintings based on these comments and suggestions. This weekend I have been my own critique, which actually is the case most of the time.

In my studio I have several paintings made several years ago. From time to time I look at them to see if I can improve or change them. Here is a painting from 2007, depicting under water life. This painting has emerged just from my subconscious, it was not planned to be be about these images, but when the octopus emerged, I found more animals from the sea.

Original under water painting
Altered under water painting

So what is your verdict? Should I have kept the waves? Or do you like it better now – or maybe you don’t like it at all?

I would appreciate your opinion on the alterations I have made and the suggestions from Susan.

1 Comment

  1. Hei Toril, så spennende med endringer og å se ting på nytt. Liker veldig godt Susans endring på eksempel nr. 2. Lysere, roligere, elementene bindes bedre sammen med en mer enstemmig bakgrunn, mere helhet. Din endring på eksempel 3 er strålende. Jeg vet at jeg har sagt at bølgene kunne med hell vært der, og at det oppleves mer spennende med den mørkere bakgrunnen, men jeg tror jeg har endret oppfatning. Det lyseste og siste er veldig flott. Fremstår renere og mer åpent.

    Lykke til med restemalingen fra kurset :-)



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