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How to Handle Obnoxious (Amateur) Art Critics
They're out there, ready to pounce.

Lurking at the gallery openings, casing the open studio events.

Undermining your confidence at every turn.

Testing your faith in human decency.

Raising your blood pressure to dangerous levels.

They're the critics. And their sole purpose is to annoy the living hell out of you.

No, I'm not talking about professional art critics, who seldom mince words, but who are nonetheless devoted to furthering the understanding of art.

I'm talking about folks with little or no grasp of what goes into creating a work of art, who insist on telling you how to do it anyway.


The #1 Most Maddening Problem in Painting (and what to do about it.) Blog Post by Christopher Gallego, for Linea.
The #1 Most Maddening Problem in Painting (and What to Do About It)

Christopher Gallego 
01/ 17 / 2019
Guest Blogging for Linea

The Online Journal of the Art Students League of NY

Christopher Gallego Blog Post: 7 powerful ways to get out of an artistic rut-Featured image: Studio Chair

7 Tips to Jolt You Right Out of Your Artistic Rut
Maddening, isn't it?

You work your butt off, spend a fortune on art books and workshops, and log in more museum hours than the people who work there.

And still, you feel stuck.

Nothing's more discouraging to an artist than the feeling of going nowhere. Except for the feeling of going backward.

Why is this happening to you and why is it happening now?


Christopher Gallego:Window Panes, 2000-2002, Oil on canvas, 48 x 54 in.

How to paint when it's the last thing in the world you feel like doing
Your goal isn't to create a masterpiece. Your goal is to create the state of mind that will allow you to create a masterpiece. [more...]

Six rules every artist should consider dumping
Rules aren't meant to be broken. They're meant to be challenged whenever a better solution arises.

Christopher Gallego, blog post: 5 unusual habits to keep you growing artistically, Image: White Pine with Broken Branch, 2007

5 unusual habits to keep you growing artistically
Working hard at your craft is not the same as working toward growth. Working toward growth means taking big scary chances with your art and risking failure.

Christopher Gallego Blog Post | Why don't we fit in?

Why don't we fit in?
Art that tries to offend no one is the visual equivalent of elevator music. Art that emanates from your soul will be loved, and hated.

Christopher Gallego Painting Studio, Brooklyn, NY 2008-2009

Selling your art?
Stay out of the way.
From the moment it’s available, ideally, from the moment you begin, don’t think of your art as your creation. Think of yourself as the caretaker. You simply helped the work along.

Artist: Christopher Gallego, "PLatter, 2001, Oil on board, 12 x 15 in., Private Collection, Acton, MA

Artists: don’t ever do another painting.
The best painters connect passionately with whatever is in front of them (or inside) and their art flows from that passion.

Why My Art Students Hate Me

Your art is the biggest impediment to creating your art.

Christopher Gallego, American, b. 1959, Studio Interior, 2011, Oil Painting on canvas, 51 x 39 in.

Mid-Career & Middle-Age

There’s always that visual bias living inside you and making mischief, usually at the most inconvenient time. It’s important to know it’s there, embrace it, and then learn the tricks to override it.

"How dare you not love my art."

The less time spent dwelling on a work in progress the more emotionally detached you become and the internal and external critics lose their power.

Copernicus called, and you are not the center of the universe.

The ego is a semi-opaque screen that interferes with a painter’s vision. Take the attention off yourself and the outcome.

Christopher Gallego, American b. 1959, "Surf #2"

The Perfect Response to Your Art. And the Worst.

Dear fellow painters…”It looks like a photo”, are not my favorite words either.

Stop Worrying

Artists are a particularly worrisome bunch. We worry about everything,”Is my work good enough, will it be seen and appreciated, am I making any progress, will lesser talents get more recognition, can I ever measure up to the great masters?” [more...]

11 Exhibition Tips for the Newbies

If you’re serious about showing your art then don’t wait until your training is over. Get into the game as soon as you can.

Josephine Halvorson

Get out of the art bubble

What Kind of Art Sells?

Answer: “Great Art Sells” While it’s impossible to define great art, artists typically sell their strongest work; subject matter is secondary. Know it or not, art collectors respond to the intangibles.

Christopher Gallego, American b. 1959, Small Studio Jar, 2008, oil on board, 13 x 8 in., The Drawing Room Gallery, Greenwich, CT

Painting Perceptions Interview

Forget about creating a work of art. Don’t get too attached to the outcome; get attached to the process. Turn this into a challenging game that will make you better in the end.