The value of art groups

I belong to a number of art groups online; this is important because of the quality of the group. One group that I belong to, a private group, is a good one. It’s easy to get an objective critique without the members feeling the need to eviscerate the posting artist.

That is not a common belief. All the rest of the groups have a clique going on.

Encausticworld and Lovingmixedmedia are two very good groups, were one can get helpful feedback without attacks on one’s person. So please, exempt them. They are different than the normal groups and they are very supportive in their members. I’ve never had a bad experience on either site.

R&F Forums is an underused site, in my opinion; it has loads of good information regarding safety! Safety is a consideration in all art forms, not just encaustic. R&F is an encaustic supplier and they do an excellent job of addressing the safety concerns.

Wet Canvas, well…..

It is a site that does NOT encourage any departures. Also, criticism there, particularly by certain men, one in particular, is pretty vicious and based on attacks on the person, not the work. That is very common, that the art work is held to be  valueless because of the artist, not because of the nature of the work. If the artist is not part of the clique, it’s not likely to be reviewed on the basis of the art itself, but on how much the members like the artist.

That is not a good way to grow as an artist, nor is it a good way to support  a fellow artist. One knows, when one hears “I don’t mean to be rude” that a personal attack is coming. That does NOT help an artist grow, but does provide valuable information on the poster. They DO mean to be rude, they DO mean to hurt feelings, and they DO feel superior doing it. I find those who behave this way to be pathetic and to be people to avoid. If the members of the group are not capable of delivering an objective critique, it may be time to find another group.

The other problem with that mindset, is that the attacks do NOT further growth, but they do have the intended effect of driving people out of that group. And I think that is the point, isn’t it? If that were not the point, then the commentary would be on the art, not on the artist.
That is tragic, as it does not further the growth of the art world, either. It would be nice to see artists get over this dog eat dog mentality. It would be nice to see commentary based on the art, not on the position of the artist in some imaginary hierarchy.


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