We must learn to critique our own work, and part of our critique process is to identify what we like about what we do. There are two practical reasons why this is important.

We have to inspire ourselves to put time into our art. To get good takes practice and effort. I’ve found it’s much easier to put in the effort if I have a sense of hope. Hope is energizing. If I can find one or two things I like about each painting, however small, it’s as if a seed has been planted and just needs time and nurturing to grow. If I’m frustrated with everything, it takes a real act of willpower to return to the studio. I need the counterbalance of small successes. And sometimes they are really small.

We also need to recognize our own developing styles. Identifying just one small area that works within a painting or collage can keep our artistic growth headed in the right direction. When we sense some pleasure in seeing those areas develop, it is valuable to take note. This is not hubris, it’s observation, and it is certainly not necessary to be pleased with the entire painting.

Keep going with the hope that with time, practice, and faith, you’ll get better!

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