Zoom Mentoring & Critiques


Zoom Critiques

Are you looking for feedback on your paintings?

For most of us, painting is a solitary endeavor. In our studio or out in the field, we work on our canvas and then step back, alone, to evaluate what we’ve done. Even if we’ve learned the important skill of self-critique, the eyes of another may better help us see where to improve. During my workshops, I give a great deal of feedback on paintings. For the student, this is often the most rewarding part of the week.

If you’re not taking workshops, you may be missing this feedback. I can help with that.

I am now using Zoom as a tool to reach out to students.  Over time, I’ve come to realize Zoom mentoring actually can be even more helpful than the ones I give in a face-to-face workshop.

Here’s why. For each of the critiques, I ask for images in advance. Then, before the session, I run each image through what I call my “Photoshop mill” and make changes to improve the piece. This is something I cannot do in a workshop because of the preparation time. And, rather than me just pointing to different parts of a painting and talking about it—which is all I can do in a workshop—I was actually able to share my computer screen and show the changes, step by step.

In some ways, Zoom is a poor substitute for the rich interaction one experiences in a workshop. But in this special case, it’s much better.

So, I want to make you an offer. For $30, I will critique two of your paintings and both show and discuss the changes with you via Zoom. If you’d like to take advantage of this offer, let me know.

Once I receive payment, I’ll send an e-mail confirmation and let you know where to send the two images. We’ll also set up a date and time for our session then.

Here are formatting guidelines:

  • JPEG format
  • 2000 pixels on the longest side (or if pixels give you trouble, just try to keep the file under 2 megabytes in size)
  • Send these as attachments to your e-mail and not embedded in the text as “inline” images

And here are guidelines for choosing which paintings to have critiqued:

  • Landscape paintings only (no still lifes, figures or portraits)
  • Paintings can be en plein air or studio
  • Paintings should be recent work; you are most likely a better painter than you were five or ten years ago, and my suggestions will be more helpful to you

I hope you’ll take advantage of my offer. Painting is lonely enough without having to do your own critiques!


Zoom Mentoring

Mentoring originated from Greek mythology, in which Mentor was a wise and trusted advisor to Odysseus. Under Mentor’s direction and guidance, Telemachus, the son of Odysseus, became a much-loved ruler. Today, a mentor is an advisor and supporter, and perhaps even a friend and role model, of someone pursing specific goals.

Because people have different goals and life experiences, mentoring isn’t a science. Instead, it requires the mentor to carefully assess each case and to respond accordingly and effectively.

A mentoring workshop is not just about advanced instruction. It’s an opportunity for the serious painter to address issues that are bigger than mere craft. As you work shoulder-to-shoulder with an experienced professional who gladly coaches, motivates and shares wisdom, you may:

  • Give your art a mid-course correction
  • Create an action plan for the future
  • Define where your career is headed

Or, if you just want to paint with a “guide” without reevaluating your life, you can do that, too!

Michael offers two kinds of mentoring:

  • A private, one-on-one “painting intensive” at his studio in New Mexico.  For details, go to www.PaintTheSouthwest.com.
  • Distance mentoring.  For this, Michael will work with you via e-mail, video conferencing or telephone.  After a consultation, he’ll customize a program just for you.  You need to be able to submit high-quality images via the Internet.   Cost is $50/hour with a minimum of 2 hours.  For details and current availability, contact Michael.