Crit Quickies #25 & #26

Check out Crit Quickie #25, featuring a figurative watercolor and gouache painting by @sxchii. Critique by Teaching Assistant Yves-Olivier Mandereau.

Here’s Crit Quickie #26, featuring a painting with a hand, key, and chain by @coop.y. Critique by Teaching Assistant Lauryn Welch.


Crit Quickies are 1 min. audio critiques on the Art Prof Instagram. Submit! Post your art on Instagram w/ @art.prof, & #critquickie. Watch more Crit Quickies in this playlist on our Youtube channel.

We accept submissions from artists in 8th grade and up. Please know that due the volume of submissions, we are unable to provide a Crit Quickie for everyone who submits. If you’re an art teacher, you’re welcome to submit on behalf of your students!


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages to learn visual arts in a vibrant art community. Imagine all of the resources here on our blog, except exponentially bigger, in greater quantity, and in more detail. Our Kickstarter campaign hit its $30k goal on July 19!  Get info on our future launch by subscribing to our email list.

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Face Yourself: How I Defeated Self-Censorship

Lauryn2

by Lauryn Welch

This year I’ve been thinking about the extent of my studio practice.  I realized my studio practice will only go as far as I’m willing to let it go. My artwork is bounded simply by my own censorship. When I thought about it, this idea that I was the only thing standing in my way was laughable. I am generally a goofy and amicable person with noodly arms and an easy smile. That image of getting in the way of myself made a powerful impact on me.

When I was in art school, I was getting thorough, and sometimes very intense critique from all sorts of amazing art professionals that sent me in all different directions. Even when there were no assignments and the work was left up to me, I knew that my paintings would be evaluated based on a set of criteria that was unique to each individual giving the critique. These critiques were incredible, valuable learning experiences, but I often internalized feedback as a set of rules, and these rules would be contradictory from person to person. One of my professors pushed hard on narrative and digital approaches, while another favored an organic and physical exploration with paint.

Lauryn1

By the time I graduated college, I had a choir full of internal voices clamouring “don’t do this!” “don’t do that!”, and I was struggling trying to paint something to satisfy all of these rules.After I graduated college, I found myself all alone in my studio with no peers or professors, no expectations or directions. I was alone with myself, and all of these rules were only voices in my head.

I realized I could paint whatever I wanted.

I want to say that again because it sounds so deliciously sweet.

I. Could. Paint. Whatever. I. Wanted.

Lauryn_socks

So I painted a pair of socks. I really liked this pair of mismatched socks, and I admired the rug underneath them, and the combination of the rug and the socks made me giddy with happiness. I had no complicated, academic motives. It was great!

Later, I drew a bunch of birds with markers, just because I am thrilled to be around these bright little flying life forms all the time. I live in rural New Hampshire, and I hadn’t realized how sorely I missed the wilderness while living in New York, or how much I had taken it for granted prior to moving. It was liberating making these pieces. This was subject matter I had refused to paint about for a long time because I thought it was boring, trite, and inconsequential.  

Lauryn Welch

However, by ignoring these experiences that brought me great joy in my life, I was only erasing a part of myself and trying too hard to fill it with things that didn’t fit. Perhaps not so coincidentally, these two projects were the first pieces of artwork that drew enthusiasm from a much broader range of people, instead of just artists.  When you can paint openly from yourself, people can sense and appreciate this residual joy and honesty in the painting. This special connection gives the artwork depth and value. How tremendous!

I like (perhaps too much) going heavy into eye crossing art theory, and I always appreciate a second set of eyes to help me pick out things in my work I hadn’t thought about. However, it seems that I missed one of the first rules in art and in life: it’s better to just be yourself!


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. artprof.org features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

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PORTFOLIO VIDEO CRITIQUES
Prof Lieu offers video critiques on portfolios for students applying to art school and working artists. More info.


ART DARES
Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories!  More info.


ASK THE ART PROF was a written column in the Huffington Post from about art related topics. Visit our Pro Development page.

Crit Quad #1

By Clara Lieu

A few months ago, we did giveaways for a free audio critique pack, which allowed an artist to receive audio critiques from 4 of the Art Prof staff on one of their artworks. Today I cut a video which features all 4 critiques along with the painting. My video editing skills went from non-existent to “not terrible” in 2 months, so I’ll be creating videos for the other 3 artists who received an audio critique pack. Hope you enjoy this new format for these audio critiques!

Below is information on the critiques in the above video and the artist and their artwork.


Jeff Wrench
“Chelsea Rose”, acrylic paint on wallpaper and paint chips, 11″ x 17″

Critiques by: Lauryn Welch, Casey Roonan, Sara Bloem, Clara Lieu

“This painting is from an an ongoing series of portraits on wallpaper and paint chips, based on my snapshots or (in this case) photos provided by someone I’ve met online. I’m trying to paint intuitively and quickly. I am interested in rough, semi-abstract marks and colors that still converge into convincing and recognizable images. The found background is another source uncertainty in the process and opportunity for happy accidents. If successful, I think such an painting can ‘vibrate’ in the viewer’s mind, and maybe excite the imagination in ways that a realistic rendering would not.”

Jeff Wrench, Acrylic Painting


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages to learn visual arts in a vibrant art community. Imagine all of the resources here on our blog, except exponentially bigger, in greater quantity, and in more detail. Our Kickstarter campaign hit its $30k goal on July 19!  Get info on our future launch by subscribing to our email list.

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Art Hacks!


For the rest of our Kickstarter campaign, we’ll keep creating new video content to give you a small preview of what ART PROF will be like if we get fully funded! One of my favorite things about being a professor at an art school is the great tips and shortcuts that artists invent totally on the fly in order to make a project cooperate, or when they’re stuck at the airport with only napkins to draw on. Sometimes, as an artist, you’ll find yourself willing to do just about anything to make your work happen!

Today, hear from our Teaching Assistant Lauryn Welch above about why “hygiene” is important for artists.  Find out from Intern Janice Chun why you might want to skip that $100 light board purchase if you need to create animation on a budget!


Consider donating to our Kickstarter campaign and help us bring ART PROF: Visual Art Essentials with Clara Lieu  to people of all ages who want and need art education, but who have no means of access. Our prototype is finished, so our final step is to raise funds to make ART PROF free for all! Even the smallest donations add up. And if you can’t donate, please share our Kickstarter campaign!