Monday, March 24, 2014

The Cottage at Lake Lilly

Dawn Shreiner took over the Artist Critique and Conversation series at the Maitland Art Center from Josh Garrick. Dawn asked me to be a panelist on the evening of January 28th. The Facebook invitation said that the Critique would be at the Cottage at Lake Lilly, 701 Lake Lily Drive, Maitland FL.  I decided to get to the cottage early and sketch. As the sun set, it projected wonderful golden beams across the lawn. Big ugly ducks waddled right up to me to see what I was up to. Maybe they thought the paint was food. They eventually lost interest.

I found it odd that no one entered the cottage as I sketched. It was getting close to the start time of the critique as I finished up. Dawn finally arrived and I joined her on the porch. A small card was taped to the door that said the location had been changed to the Maitland Art Center. "Josh darn it!" Dawn said and she took off. I shouted out that I would be there soon.  I threw down a few more washes on my sketch then packed up to head over.

This artist development series offers artists a unique opportunity to have their work reviewed by a panel of professional artists. Camilo Velasquez was the other panelist. Ironically Camilo was the guest panelist the last time I was a panelist over a year ago. There were only three artists who wanted feedback on their work so the session was quick and to the point. Delores Haberkorn showed a large painting of a Christ like figure floating in space cradling a fetus in his out stretched hands. He stared out at the viewer in an unnerving way. We stressed the need for some soft edges and warmth in the fetal form. I pointed out that Christ should probably look at the child in his grasp. This painting was a big departure for Delores, so it was exciting to see her tackle new ground. Dawn offered insightful feedback on composition and maintaining a center of focus. Another artist showed paintings done from photos and there is always a sort of uncommitted calmness to work filtered through another photographer's lens. Another artist showed a sumi brush painting of a horse. I thought it was direct and bold but would become simpler and more direct after she did several hundred of them. I encouraged her to find a horse barn and do these brush paintings from life. Camilo advised her not to mimic a culture that developed the style over hundreds of years.

Camilo ended by saying there was plenty of love seen in all the work shown. Our comments were meant to help guide the pieces towards completion, but as long as each new painting was approached with love, then the artist is on the right track.

The next critique takes place on Tuesday, March 25th at 6:00 PM
Featuring Lead Panelist Rebecca Sexton Larson
March Guest Panelists: Famed Gallerist Mindy Solomon
210 W. Packwood Avenue, Maitland

The Art & History Museums – Maitland (A&H) proudly hosts Artists’ Critique & Conversation, an exciting initiative to assist in the professional development of local artists.   Artists’ Critique & Conversation is held bi-monthly, on the 4th Tuesday of every other month at 6:00 p.m.

Artists’ Critique and Conversation is FREE and the public is encouraged to attend. A bar is available with beer, wine, water and soft drinks.  Artists of every medium and skill level are encouraged to participate in the critiques.  Each critique will review up to 9 artists, and all artists must sign up in advance. Interested artists can sign up in advance for one of the nine slots by emailing 

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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