Friday, December 9, 2011

Size Does Matter

For a while, particularly while in graduate school at the University of California, San Diego, everything about my paintings seemed to have been larger than life. The works, you could walk with them, following their path down the wall to come to understand the piece. I used ladders and step stools and chairs to reach the top of the canvases to apply paint or often worked with the canvas flat on the ground. Tubes of paint where out, instead I used cans of various sizes, mostly pints and quarts. My brushes and palette were enormous and even my drawings took several sheets of 30 x 40 paper to be realized in the form of a diptych or triptych or I used rolls of paper. When I have had some health issues that were quite serious, of one type or another, my work diminished in size dramatically. As of late I’ve come to the belief that it is a good thing for the paintings to take up less and less physical space. Maybe reducing the size of my work is a personal way of lessening my footprint. I have moved from oil, though not necessarily permanently, to water-based media, which at least without the solvents, feels healthier. I have a healthy-sized collection of Daniel Smith paints, I like that he makes them at his factory in the US and I am using some Golden Acrylic products as well. I am thinking of going macro. I am toying with the idea of creating ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) and have some cards waiting to be painted on. I also have a sketchbook which is a work-in-progress that contains miniatures done in mixed media and using digital transfer. These two images connected to this text are two of my favorites. It is a map to a mythical landscape called “Sacred Land 1” and Sacred Land 2” and they are very tiny—pretty much ATC sized. These miniature paintings are done with tempera, something I seldom use but it seems the perfect medium for these pieces. On the Welcome page of this blog I showed a piece called Universal Energy. It is 12” square. That is my preferred size to work these days and it even feels quite large compared to the structures I worked on previously. The regularity of the square has a certain, comforting predictability that I need right now. Squares lend a nice sense of containment. They are dependable shapes that can hold a lot of visual information.


  1. Wow! Your art is amazing. Thank you for sharing this, and good luck on your blog! It's a fun way to meet people. =)

  2. Thanks so much Kelley! It's nice seeing you here.


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