Going Small

School is about to start. My supplies have arrived and I have been in my classroom unpacking, wondering why I got four bottles of spray canvas tightener- or rather-what very important thing did I think I was ordering instead! Oh no!

I can hear the squealing tires of my creativity and energy being suddenly re-directed. I don’t want to fall out of the slowly improving art making discipline I worked on all summer. Later in the school year when things are humming along it isn’t that hard to come home and paint, but the first few weeks? Good luck with that. I know I have to maintain my own painting these first few weeks in order to set a pattern for the year. So what to do? My plan is to go small. I have a batch of ACEO-sized ampersand panels, and some even smaller squares. I tried painting on one last night and found the pre-gessoed surface unpleasant, an unworkable combination of sticky and slippery, so added my own layer of Utrecht gesso. Adding a process step really wasn’t part of my plan and I want to be wary of potential procrastination-inducing hurdles, however small. So I gessoed 20. That should keep me going. I’m thinking working so small will be enjoyable and not overly time-consuming, but still reward me with finished works.

I’m also doing this because I want to paint a little more thickly. I like my paintings where I see the brush strokes, as in this one of the water lilies I was surprised to find in Yellowstone, br />
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and this one of poppies in Giverny. I want this looseness to come more naturally, and I am hoping these little paintings will help because I really can’t get too fussy at that size. Or maybe I can, we’ll see.<

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In any case, here is my first tiny oil painting from today-

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4 thoughts on “Going Small”

  1. Very cool Betty! I don’t know a ton about painting so I had to look up “ACEO-sized” to know what you were talking about (before I saw the dime for scale). I love the detail (that shine!) of the tomato! You exhibit impressive control working at that size. Can’t wait to see more!

  2. I love your first tiny oil painting. I’d say that going small is a brilliant way to maintain your momentum and continue with the creative flow that you’ve found this summer. It seems that maintaining any creative habit includes adapting to our situation and making the most of it. You seem to have found that sweet spot. Keep up the amazing work with the tiny paintings.

  3. Love your concept of going small! So often people want it all and they want it now, then end up overwhelmed. Small, slow progress is still progress and potentially more likely to be lasting. Enjoy your small art and your big achievements.

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