Sunday, August 28, 2011

First Mini Print

So in the last month, not 1, not 2, but 3 friends have spontaneously sent me art work or printed examples of their work. Getting these surprises in the mail has really brightened my days, and I feel so lucky to have such thoughtful friends. I'd really like to send them each something in return (and particularly a mini); however, I also want to try to keep the minis that are part of the project together for now - fortunately there's a solution to this problem - printmaking! My goal for this week was to make a small edition of prints. (I say goal, because in actuality, I completed the block and hand printed a few images, one of which is the miniature for this week (below), but I'm still working on the "editioning" aspect. In my defense, I will say, the absence of a press does present some interesting challenges.)

Miniature #5 - August 21 - 27, hummingbird, 2 x 3 in., hand printed, woodblock on 5 x 7 in. mulberry paper.

sheet of proofs - adjusting the ink viscosity and pressure.

Friday, August 19, 2011

First Mini Sculpture

I love painting (especially tiny painting), but I also love sculpture. An odd fact about me - my undergrad work is in sculpture and my grad training focused on mixed media, general arts. Despite this, I haven't made much sculpture over the last few years, because I let myself be overwhelmed by the logistics involved - accessing equipment and tools, the cost of materials, moving and storing the finished work, etc. However, I'd like to be the kind of artist who works with logistical issues rather than against them, and I think this project provides a helpful framework for me to dip my toes back into the sculpture pool.

Miniature #4 - August 14 - 20, 2011, 4.5 H x 2.25D, mixed media

So making this sculpture was an adventure. It includes dirt from my yard and some of the tiniest drawings I've made so far.

I included a close-up of the birds which are ink drawings on paper below. While drawing/painting small may be challenging, I've learned that cutting out something this small - and then not loosing it - is a challenge in itself.

The task had an added element of difficulty considering I had a purring "helper" sitting on my paper and occasionally head butting my elbows. While this did complicate things somewhat - could you ever be annoyed at a creature with a face like this? Didn't think so :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Miniatures 2 and 3

Two weeks worth of Minis. The first two images are one, two-sided, piece. It's ink, colored pencil, and water color on paper, placed between glass in a metal frame. I've been wearing it as a necklace - acquiring some jewelry out of this project has been an unforeseen bonus (though personal adornment is one of the traditional uses for miniatures). The second piece is oil on canvas. It includes metallic pigments, which, unfortunately, do not photograph well, but the background is layered silver and the eyes have accents of gold. I bought the canvas pre-stretched (because I haven't found miniature stretcher bars anywhere yet) and thought it was a slightly unusual size (3 x3 in.); however, I was out the other day and came across the perfect frame for it. It is not framed yet (because it's still wet!), but I will try to post an additional picture of it in the frame in the coming weeks. I'm finding that a down side to doing one work a week is that I'm photographing the paintings wet. Luckily (though oddly), my natural clumsiness seems to dissipate around the minis, and no paintings have been harmed during the photographing process thus far.

Miniature #2 - July 31 - August 6, 2011, 1 x 1 in, pencil, watercolor, ink on paper

Miniature #3 - August 7 - 13, 2011, 3 x 3 in, oil on canvas

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Power in Precision Project

So, I've decided to take on a new project! Beginning with the last week in July, I will be making one miniature for each week of the year for a year.

WHAT: miniatures, defined for the purpose of this project as 5 x 7 inches and smaller

HOW: any medium, any technique

WHEN: one work to represent each week (with the exception of the week between Christmas and New Year's, because, let's be honest, no work gets done that week.) The majority of the work will be done during the week which the artwork represents, though I will go back in and revise as necessary.

HOW MANY: one for each week (52) - the week after Christmas (-1), and allowing one week for emergencies (-1) = (52-1-1 = 50)

WHY: I love anything tiny - tiny paintings, houses, perfume samples, even travel size shampoo! I think that by reducing the size of the artwork, but maintaining the potency of the content, I may be able to make the ideas denser. Working small will hopefully enable me to produce one work a week, and therefore explore many ideas and techniques. At the end of the year, the 50 miniatures will act as an archive, documenting of my life and work from July 2011 - July 2012. And let's not forget the practical advantages to miniatures - the materials are relatively inexpensive and transportation and storage are more straightforward.

Here is the first attempt...

Miniature #1 - July 24 - 30th 2011, 3.5 x 2.5 in, oil on board