I have a mini exhibition coming up in 4 weeks and am totally enjoying painting my small canvases for it. I plan on finishing 20 mini paintings over the next four weeks and have already completed six of them.
There’s something about small paintings that’s very liberating. They don’t take up lots of space so I can hang two side by side and work on them simultaneously- while one sky is drying I can paint the other. Somehow this makes me loosen up and at the same time pay more attention to each subject as I switch back and forth between them. I didn’t expect this and I think the paintings are better for it.
Although they’re small I can still pack a lot of detail, or suggestion of detail, into a 6×6 inch canvas. It’s a great way to try out an idea for a larger work, painting two or three versions and refining the composition before I commit to a 100 x 100cm canvas. (Yes… I know I’m mixing my units!)
Because there’s only a tiny area to cover I find it relaxing using a fine brush to pop in detail. I don’t tire as I can do when I’m working on large canvases. It seems more like play.
I have so many potential subjects waiting to be brought to life and working in a small format let’s me experiment at little expense of time, materials and heartache if it all fails miserably!
Not least of all I end up with a collection of affordable mini paintings perfect for someone on a tight budget who wants an original work of art, a traveller with limited space to carry a painting home or an avid collector who has no more wall space. ( I know about all three of these!)
Some things are easier than others when it comes to painting and trying to get water to look transparent is not one of those easy things. Still – I ‘m fairly pleased with my latest painting – I think I’ve managed to settle the seaweed under the water . I could find fault but today I’m just going to celebrate the parts that worked!
Here it is as it progresses:
The finished painting ” Underwater World at Freycinet”
It’s been a busy year for me since retirement. I’ve been dabbling in any number of artsy projects, taken a 6 week holiday in Europe, had a solo exhibition, been on the organising committee for the very first Etsy Made Local Christmas market in Hobart and done 38 custom paintings!
I’ve been working on a few different projects over the last couple of weeks and been very slack about blogging! Not sure why , perhaps I’ve just been enjoying doing and not wanting to be distracted by writing. Anyway I’m making amends by posting a few photos of some of those little projects….
I collected up all the twigs dropped by the possums from our silver birch and spent a happy hour turning them into Christmas wreaths. The cat had a ball pouncing on the twigs as I twisted them around and then the string I used to tie them together.
Next I sewed up some cotton cushion covers and drew botanic designs on them all. They’re all nicely packaged up for the Etsy Made Local Christmas market now. I love the minimalist approach with these.. balck and white line drawings.
Then I picked up a Christmas snowflake punch at the local recycling centre for $5 and made a few little Christmas tags. I love that the hole makes a design and then I can use the punch out for another!
I also started teaching a pastel class and did a few video demonstrations for them as well as the classes.
I also picked up some white china mugs at the recycling centre and tried out some homemade alcohol inks on them- it’s very satisfying seeing random patterns appear and not being in control of the final outcome.
….and there’s more!
So please forgive me for my lack of writing – I’ve just been too busy doing!
I’m finally winding down after the exhibition. It went really well, I sold lots, met some lovely people and enjoyed it all BUT was I exhausted after it!! I spend a few days just tidying up the studio, storing the unsold paintings and then got straight into a couple of commissions so it’s been pretty full on until today.
I did promise a client to start her painting today but as it’s small and not too detailed I felt justified in just sketching it up and giving myself a play day. I just finished a very detailed house portrait yesterday and really felt like loosening up artistically speaking. I started with some acrylic blown flowers ( yep – I know one of them looks like a dropped a fried egg in the middle!)
….and then moved onto a bit of marbling with some nail varnish. These little tealight holders look pretty spiffy with their new marbled coat.
I did do a bit of cutting and sewing of cushion covers in between but you don’t want to see pics of piles of white fabric.
Ah well – it was a good day but it’s back to the commissions tomorrow. That’s a good thing though as I just ordered a complete set of handmade pastels online and I’ll need a few clients to pay for them!!
Day 8 at the exhibition was a busy day. I made another small handmade watercolour book, did a little pastel painting and tried out a daisy design on a white lamp shade. & more days to go so a few more art projects to go!
The paintings are all up, the opening night went well and the red dots are starting to appear. I’m enjoying meeting people and chatting about the paintings, my travels and beautiful Tasmania. There’s a bit of quiet time so I’m trying to do a painting of some sort each day. I’ve done a few little art books, a couple of pastels and started a small canvas today. Have to admit it’s pretty tiring sitting 2 weeks straight every day so maybe I need to stock up on a stash of chocolate…..
Only 16 days to go and I’ll be hanging these paintings for my exhibition. Time is really flying now! I’ve been working 8 plus hour days in the studio and this last week boats have featured on the easel. I’ll be posting a catalogue page on Monday for those who can’t get to the exhibition.
With only 3.5 weeks to go until my exhibition time is flying and I’m madly painting. This is today’s acrylic on canvas which I’m pretty happy with. Just loved the light the day I took the reference photos and feel I’ve managed to capture the morning magic.