Last week, I was invited to critique work at our club meeting - The Akron Society of Artists. It is an exciting event and I can rarely sleep afterward. To be surrounded by so many people of like mind is just the best......people who are stimulated by the many ways of visually expressing the world around us. Thomas Edison said "I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world". This is how I feel about my painter friends. Of course, some painters leave the meeting elated after having received positive affirmation from their peers. And.....some are discouraged and disappointed. We have all experienced a little of both. For me, the goal is always to be able to self-critique as much as possible, so that the visual problem-solving is somewhat resolved before the painting is presented. I took the painting "The Red Shoes" to critique many years ago and will never forget what the critique-leader said (do we ever?).....that he liked the painting but wasn't sure about the red shoes. Well, for me, the whole point of the painting was indeed the red shoes, and the character of the person who dares to wear them! Definitely my son Nate! I this case, I ignored the comment and have continued to enjoy the painting.....and especially the red shoes.