Art Quality

Tofino Study, 8x10, acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki



Quality is such a big word, it can mean many things to many people, and nothing to others. What does it mean for us artists? How can we convince ourselves that our creations have the quality that we expect from them? What in particular is within our control?

The criteria will be different for every person and can change over time. For example, when I started painting, I was obsessed with composition - my every piece had to follow the strict rules of the Dynamic Symmetry. Then, I studied many color theories and defined very specific criteria for selecting color mixtures. These days I am into mark making and will not consider a painting of mine satisfactory unless there is a variety of brush marks in it.



Work in progress - a piece for my solo exhibit in the Studio Connexion Gallery in Nakusp, BC in July - stay tuned!



My Art Quality Checklist


Step 1 - PREP

- The best materials and tools that I can afford (canvas bars straight, corners crisp, gesso layer thick, canvas tight like a drum, paints of artist quality, brushes well shaped)
- Generous palette (squeeze out huge blobs of paint)
- Lighting perfect
- Reference material clear and deeply inspiring


Step 2 - CRAFT

- Values
- Color
- Composition
- Lines and shapes
- Edges
- Marks
- Originality
- Freshness


Step 3 - REVIEW

- How does it look on the secondary easel?
- How does it look on the wall in my home?
- How does it look with or without a frame?
- Identify surface issues (sloppiness, ignored passages, craft-related issues)
- Identify deep issues (originality, emotional response, overall style, and direction)
- How does it fit with my body of work?
- What can I learn from this piece?


Step 4 - SEND-OFF

- Show it to my favorite gatekeepers
- Document it for my records
- Impeccable presentation (varnish, backing, edges, hanging hardware, frame, etc.)
- Where does this piece want to go?
- Show it to the world!


I hope this will help in defining your own creative quality checks if that's what you need.

Happy painting!

Tatjana

Huge thank you to everyone who visited during my artist residency in the Federation Gallery. It was a fun weekend in the company of wonderful art lovers!