W Somerset Maugham observed;

“People ask you for criticism, but they only want praise.”


Of his sister’s paintings, Sir Joshua Reynolds declared, 

“They make other people laugh and me cry.”


I neither flatter nor mock but steer a course between!



I offer constructive criticisms of paintings to art societies whose members welcome an outsider’s view of their work.  The paintings are appraised objectively with particular emphasis on composition, colour management, drawing skill and, if appropriate, presentation.

As each painting is reviewed, any teaching opportunities that arise are used to give general guidance not only to the artist concerned but also to as many of the members present as possible.  Questions and participation are encouraged.

It is usual for members to bring two paintings each to the criticisms and I appraise one work for every member before taking “seconds” if time permits.  An easel is requested to present the paintings for review. 

My approach is entirely positive and there is no reason for beginners or nervous painters to worry!  I carry out criticisms for a number of art clubs on a regular basis and they have become a popular booking in the clubs’ calendars.

Criticism?  I’ll be fair.    Praise?  Where it’s due

Laugh?  Yes, we’ll have one or two.    Cry?  Definitely not!