It is THAT time of year:
you're thinking - Christmas shopping, decorations, making a list - checking it twice. . .
I am thinking - it's the SMALL time of year - when artists tie themselves into a pretzel to paint miniature masterpieces that will sell at rock bottom prices at galleries all over the country.
I tell myself every year to start early - like 2 years ago - in order to be ready for holiday shows-
Insert sigh here. . .
One of those great holiday shows is the Taos Hearts & Stars fund raiser, coming up November 24 in Taos - but more about that later. This year I will also be in the Holiday Show at Tracy Miller Studio Gallery in Manitou Springs, Colorado.
So back in October I started putting together 20 miniature paintings ranging in size from 3"x 3" to 5"x 5". They have taken over my studio and, I think, my life.
For the art lover, this is an opportunity to get an original painted gem at an affordable price and buy for the other art lovers on your Christmas list.
For the artist, the challenge of painting small, is only the beginning. Working out framing and presentation can take more time than for large work.
These are just a few of the miniature paintings I will have at the Holiday Show in Manitou at the Tracy Miller Gallery.
Click on any images to view them larger.
My work tends to be contemporary and I like a clean look.
I have my framer make a simple frame in 6"x 6" and
5"x 7" sizes. It is a tidy and consistent presentation - I like that.
Once framing issues are resolved the problems of small work have a lot to do with scale and using brushes in a size that will maintain the same "painting voice" that appears in larger work.
I try for as few strokes of the brush, as possible, to create shapes that will hold the integrity of the design - as opposed to pulling out the tiny brushes and - well, you know - trying to see how many angels can be painted on the head of a pin.
With small paintings I work for more disciplined brushwork that leads to a straight forward, loose and non-fussy end product.
These pieces are painted on 1/4 inch gatorboard - which is the same type of support I use for all of my work.
The gatorboard is cut to size, gessoed on top and sides, painted as I would any other piece, except to make sure that the sides get attention as well, because they will show. Once the paintings are dry, they are glued onto black foam board so they appear to"float" in the frame.