Thursday, 4 September 2008

Size Does Matter - ACEOs vs huge paintings

Excuse the slightly clichéd title, but this post is about size, in part at least :) Lately, it has occurred to me that I'm painting smaller and smaller paintings now. What's made me think about it is the fact that some of my ACEOs have migrated from my DaWanda shop to my Etsy shop (as will the entire contents of my DaWanda shop over time).


Looking at them has inspired me to create more of these miniature works of art. There seems to be something very appealing about making something so small.

Gothic ACEOs

The fact that they're cute is I suppose the simple, rather girlie, answer to what I find appealing about them. Another reason is that it's a challenge to paint something so small, and therefore detailed. Don't get me wrong - I love large works of art too, but not all art has to be huge.

It's occurred to me lately that, while I now paint tiny things, my art teacher actually spent a lot of time trying to make me paint larger, which is funny in a way. At school I was told to paint on larger paper, for what reason I don't remember. She need not have spent so long trying to make me paint larger anyway - with all the life-drawing classes, Visual Studies and other art classes I went on to do at college, working on larger paper was a natural progression. She also said I should work more in 3D, and she was actually right there. Back in school it was all about trying to work to a brief set by an exam paper, which was what made me afraid to experiment (with sculpture) back then. Leaving school and coming to a rather different environment like college triggered more experimentation in my work, not least because there was so much more to try there. I specialised in three-dimensional pieces towards the end of college, working in ceramics and then metalwork, finally going on to uni to study Crafts. Again I specialised in metalwork there, also dabbling in ceramics and other media.

The main theme running through my work there was organic shapes, including metal sculpture such as copper trees. After uni I continued with these, finding my way back to painting via the trees.

Arboreal Coppery Tree - acrylic painting on canvas

Now it was on my terms - I didn't have to paint some incredibly detailed thing to try and pass an exam. It was liberating really. And now, I can paint tiny little things if I want. Now that I've come back to painting, outside of an educational context, I have developed my own style, which is a lot simpler than anything I ever painted at school. In the past few years, through both education and experimentation, I've developed my own style in all of my work. I don't doubt that my work will change in as yet unforeseen ways in the next few years too.

1 comment:

Annette said...

Your style is very nice, great paintings.