Meeting Notes, July 3, 2014

At today's meeting: Loretta, James, Tim, Tedd, Marty, Kristina, Erin, Bonnie, Diane, Lisa, Lola, Barbara, Eunice, Hilarie, Kay, Susan G, Karen, Za, Melinda, Susan, Sharon, Peggie, Anna, Thomas, Renita and me Celeste. 

Today's suggested table topic: Art/artist etiquette---what do you know about it?

(Comments on this topic are offered below in random and anonymous order):

I have learned that you should not distribute your business cards at an opening reception for someone else. It is considered in poor form because it is their evening to shine. We do have to promote ourselves...there is no one else to do it, but the time to promote oneself is never at someone else's reception.
I saw a BBC production called the Impressionists. I was struck by how upset Manet got with Degas. I guess we all have the capacity to be very upset about things we are passionate about.

I have some advice for artists. Do not talk about politics, sports or religion. Leave those three things out.

I went to the opening at art factors and felt very welcomed by other people. It is a good idea to be friendly to everyone!

I have a question...if you are at your own reception and talking with someone, but you see out of the corner of your eye someone looking at your do you gracefully move away from one person to another?

In the 70s and 80s I was in a co-op. I did not like the politics of that group. I never feel those problems here in this group. It is important to be accepting of other people!

I believe in the old adage if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all. 

I am a teacher and I often have to teach people who have achieved a level of competence in another field. I have noticed that these mature students oftentimes have a huge ego. They have a lot invested in who they think they are and they are not always willing to set that image aside in order to learn. I believe that the proper mindset to be a student is to have an open mind about learning. Put your ego in the backseat whenever you are in a learning situation. For myself, I am always a student. There is a time to critique and a time to not critique. It is never the time to critique when it is in a frame on the wall.

It is challenging to be in groups. It is easy to take offense at times. I am learning about how to be an artist and about the social parts of that.

For me it's a simple matter of being courteous. Courtesy carries over into everything. I think it is important to be supportive of other people.

I do follow the Golden rule. I try to lend support to others and receive support from others.

I feel fortunate that people have been welcoming to me. Once when I worked at a gallery one of the other people there was very loud. She would say inappropriate things in a very loud voice. I found it so jarring. I wish someone could say something to her.

I have learned that some teachers don't think that is it is okay to sell or show any work that was painted in their workshop. In particular a painting that has been painted on by a teacher and then later offered for sale (by the student) is wrong! Additionally, I have been in competitions where I have noted that not everyone has followed the rules. I wish everyone would pay attention to the prospectus and rules of each event.

I would like to talk about some of my stupidity. I am a gadget guy. I got a new “value-finder” app on my phone and I took a lot of photos at a life painting session of the model. (She was nude). I took these photos left and right because I was trying to see the values in the value finding app. At one point the model looked mad and told me to stop photographing her! I’m certain she thought I was a perverted man! I learned my lesson about taking pictures during a modeling session.

I think it is important for teachers to ask whether or not it is okay to paint on your painting during a workshop. It surprises me (and not always in a good way!) when they do. Some teachers ask if they can show you on your painting and some don’t ask. I like to be asked.  However, I have also learned that students should follow etiquette as well. It is a two-way street.

I adhere to the no politics and no religion discussion idea. (And... I have had some very big celebrity type teachers and they did paint on my paintings. I was very thankful because it was the best way for me to learn).

I say what I think and that has sometimes gotten me into trouble. One time I was in the gallery and I made a comment about how I didn't “get” the painting I was looking at. The person standing behind me was married to the artist and he reprimanded me. One time when I was painting a woman came up and said "give me that brush, you're doing it wrong”!  I have learned that it is very important to always say and look for what is right in a painting.

I took a workshop with a highly acclaimed artist. During the workshop one woman monopolized his time. He painted on her painting and later I saw that she entered that same painting into a show and she actually won a prize for it. Not many people, only the people in the workshop, would have known that this wasn't her work.

At a gallery show I was talking with another artist and he said to me “Well, I should go talk to someone else now”. In my mind, this was pretty rude on his part especially because he did it to me twice. I took a workshop with a very famous artist. It was when I was very new to painting. What we were doing in his class was painting and then (intentionally) wiping off our paintings to begin again. The famous artist painted on my painting and I wiped it off.
The Famous artist seemed aloof after that (but I was so new...I thought I should wipe it off since that is what we were doing)!

My way of handling most everything is to generally nod and smile.

I am a big fan of effort. I am not going to say anything bad to anybody who has tried.

Auden said, "other than say it's a bad landscape, say I'm suffering”.

Silence is always a good thing.

Sometimes when you're painting outside it seems a little like being a circus performer. You are a target for people who want to joke with you or just make fun. I have had times when this was upsetting to me.

I have made some big mistakes. Once on an online discussion forum I addressed someone and asked him questions. I did not realize just who I was addressing. It turned out that he was a very celebrated artist and here I was “demanding answers” from him (like he was a regular Joe). He was very gracious, but I learned my lesson.

I have blown it and probably will blow it again in the future. I need feedback at times about whether or not I have done something wrong. In America the word critique seems to have become a pejorative. But critique doesn't mean that it is negative. As a matter of fact, it should be considered a neutral word. I always do talk about the positive. Our work is separate from who we are. As far as I'm concerned the instructor should ask whether or not they can paint on your painting.

Here is an Alice Roosevelt quote. “If you don't have something nice to say, sit by me”. (laughter!)

In the end, whether or not someone has done something right or wrong in terms of rules, the work will always speak for itself. If it is a beautiful painting celebrate that. It doesn't matter if people have done the wrong thing to achieve that end. Let's all be grateful that the artwork is beautiful.

(Submitted by a person who couldn’t come today, but still wanted to share this): The art community is very small. I have had a falling out with another artist. I apparently hurt this person. I was unaware and have tried to straighten things out, but to no avail. The person who was hurt continues to feel hurt and to talk about it with others. It is a lot like being in a pillow fight. I can’t get the feathers back in the pillow. I just want to say if you are mad at someone, it isn’t helpful to fuel the fire with lots of discussions with others. It only serves to widen the breach. If you are angry with someone, the person to discuss it with is the person who angered you. Anything else is “gossip”.
A few more notes:

Barbara painted in the lavender fields from the car because she is allergic to bees. She also brought in two figure paintings.

Lisa brought in a painting from Sauvie Island.

Diane has been working with water-soluble paints.

Bonnie has been working on values.

Sharon showed a plein air painting from the plein air and more event.

Marty painted a sheep painting for his daughter's new farm. He has discovered Rublev paint. “It’s for me”.

Kay painted at Laurelhurst Park.

Hilarie painted a painting of an artist friend and also at the dog park.

Tim would like to know how the messy bed was auctioned for so much money can anyone explain this to him.

James painted at Smith rock and has missed painting for a couple of weeks -- he said: "so glad to be back to it!"


 James Samsel at the Inspired Garden, Columbia Art Gallery reception July 4. 6-8pm

Lola Dennis reception for her show at the Broadway Gallery in longview July 10 beginning at 5:30 PM

Erin is looking for used plein air equipment so that she can paint outdoors. Contact her through our facebook page: 

Anton Pavlenko is teaching classes (and giving a demo and talk this evening) at OSA:

Ongoing classes with Craig Srebnik:

A few spots left in Thomas Kitts' Hood River Plein Air Workshop (July 25-27):

Also, in his 5 day (Portland) workshop (August 11-15):

Don't forget to pick up your unsold work at Art Factors today or July 8.

Put Hillsboro Plein Air on your calendar:

Oregon Lavender event is underway. I think you can still pre-register:

(Editor's note: apologies --some of the paintings photos had shadow and/or glare on them. Sorry! I'll do better next time!)
It was a big group today. Thanks (as always) for putting up with the problems like onions stinging our eyes and the phone ringing in the background. It was all worth it to hear your ideas and see your paintings!

Welcome to new participants: Sharon, Susan and Karen. (So glad you came). :)

Next meeting: Thursday, July 10 9am.  "Throwback Thursday, Retrospective" Bring an oldie that you prize because: A) you can't believe you did it, you think it's good (by your definition), or B) show how far you've come. (In which case, you should bring a new piece as well.)

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