We recently had an enquiry about posting more than just plein air artwork on this site as artists find it harder to get outside over the winter months.
We decided it best to keep to what this site is about - plein air - as there are other sites that deal with those many other aspects of painting. Of course, it is important to share with your plein air buddies what you are doing 'off-season'. Maybe your group will still meet up but for life-drawing or to paint a still-life in the studio? For these activities there are Plein Eire's blogs and forum on which you can post other aspects of your creative output.
Perhaps your group is thinking about having an exhibition or you intend 'working-up' some of your smaller plein air paintings into larger, studio pieces? If so, we'd like to hear about it in a blog and find out how you progress.
However, with now over 400 members, Plein Eire website will be reviewing its role and whether it is serving a useful purpose and what improvements could be made over the winter. Any input from members is welcome. To start off a discussion, here is an article about the pros and cons of an online art community.
What do you think?
Great article - would be good if you had a "critique" area perhaps where the artist would post their painting for more that just positive feedback ?
We have talked about that possibility.
It seems to work on 'Wet Canvas', although that site is so big, I'm never quite comfortable on it. Don Maier has tried it on his PleinAirArtists site as a specific thread in the 'Forum' but the linear nature of that format - you have to scroll down and down - means it is awkward to talk about more than one painting at a time. There isn't a separate area as such within the site to devote to criticism.
On the other hand, the Critique session held one evening during Art in the Open 2011 festival with professional artists, David Begley, Jim Doolan, Michael Drury and Lori Putnam in front of an audience was a great success and received really positive feedback and was instructive not only for the artists who bravely submitted work but for everyone present.
SEPA has done it after paint-outs a couple of times and that, too, has worked well, with everyone chipping in and no-one taking anything other than in the spirit intended.
Therein lies a problem with online criticism in that the 'tone' can easily come across the wrong way. I've sent emails in jest once or twice and got into hot water for it, having to backtrack a bit and 'patch things up' and been on the receiving end occasionally, too. They are so informal and so quick to press 'SEND' that they should carry a health warning! The other problem online is that the comment hangs there forever, long after the advice has been digested.
On the other hand, it is a pity not to benefit from the invaluable resource of having so many experienced artists as we have on Plein Eire and the free advice they may be willing to profer and after all, we are all grown-ups and can fend for ourselves.
Therefore, I wonder whether it would be successful to put 'Critique Welcome' in the Description Box of any artwork posted as normal on Plein Eire (note, not in the title of the artwork) where the poster would like to receive some advice on it? I would certainly be open to putting out a notice to that effect if people want to try it and would be willing to periodically weed out any comments after a reasonable period or at the behest of the artist on the receiving end.
....I'll just put this out there for now and see if anyone has any better ideas or modifications to propose.
If you haven't heard of it already, we're hosting a so called 'Drink & Draw' twice a month in the Franciscan Well. Check out our blog to find out more about it: http://drinkdrawcork.blogspot.com/
What is it all about? Bring the art supply of your choice and get drawing, painting, doodling, crafting, whatever you have in mind - along with a nice drink (not necessarily alcoholic of course) and great creative company. Everybody is welcome, no matter if you just picked up a pencil the first time in your life or if you're a passionate artist for years. No skill level aquired, it's all about the fun and it's free!