Last night was a meeting of the Arkansas League of Artists. One of the highlights of these meetings is the demo and talk by a local artist of note. Last night's demonstrating artist was Emily Wood. I have been a fan of her work for a while now. She paints loosely and on wood panels, both of which are common traits between us! She paints pretty much only figuratives these days. I love her approach to using the natural wood grain and selective opacity/transparency for focal point emphasis. This seems to be very similar in nature to my current exploration of thick/thin dynamics. I encourage you to visit her site, she does really cool work!
But more to the point of this post, she said something that struck me as interesting and I think I'm going to try to it as an exercise. She said that when she started her MA work, an instructor had the class select 20 favorite pieces and write exactly what they liked about them. It was an exercise to help define your personal tastes as guidance for what you want out of your own work as well as developing critical analysis skills in looking at art. Now, I think we all pretty much do this in some form or fashion and I know I have been for a long time. But the formalization of a process is sometimes key in gaining the most out of it. So look for this to get started in the coming days. I already know a few paintings which will be on the list. If I had no idea what to put, then I would be worried, I should know by know what I like!