Artists Helping Artists

On Saturday, I went to the inaugural monthly Salon at the Guild of Creative Arts in Lincroft, NJ. It’s part of their “Artists Helping Artists” series of events they have for members and guests.   For a nominal fee of $5, which helps pay for the refreshments, we sat through and participated in the critique of  five local artists.

The Guild had a portrait artist and author, Roberta Carter Clark, perform the critiques.   She did  a great job with each artist and made  them all  feel  comfortable with her reviews.    At the same time, she gave the artists valuable suggestions and feedback on their artwork.   The two hour session flew by.   I believe we could have continued for another two hours.

Ms. Clark focused most of her critique on   composition and tone.   These are two areas we  struggle with the most.   Highlighted are the items Ms. Clark talked about in her discussion.   You may already know these tips and some you may have forgotten.   In some cases, you may not be aware of these techniques at all.


  • Are you a nature recorder or an artist?   Leave things out!!!
    • If   it doesn’t help the painting you don’t have to include the detail. (something that’s hard for Plein Air painters)
  • Break up colors, all trees aren’t the same color of green.
  • To confirm your composition, look at your painting in a mirror and turn your artwork upside down.
    • Adjust based on what you see , it will improve your painting.
  • Try to work in a series, see how far you can go with the subject.
  • Pay attention to your center of interest/focal point..
    • It’s where the lightest light meets the darkest dark.
    • Focal point should never be in the center or on the edges.
    • Something in the painting needs to connect with the focal point.

The Saturday Salon was a great success and the Guild will be having more of these events in upcoming months.   If you’re a member of any art association, you should definitely try to implement this type of beneficial program.