Sunday, March 18, 2012

mini 33

Miniature #33 - March 12 - 18, 2012, 7 x 5in, mixed media collage

With mini 33 complete, I'm entering the final 1/3 of the Power in Precision Project.  I've been reflecting on what I hope to accomplish with the project as a whole, and one thing in particular I've been thinking about this week is the sublime.  As I mentioned a few weeks ago, for my next project, I'd like to work big; so, scale has been on my mind lately as I start to lay the ground work to move in this direction.  Several other "art-encounters" also contributed to my thoughts this week.  I had the opportunity to hear a lecture by the director of the Pollock-Krasner house about Jackson Pollock; I presented Courbet's A Burial at Ornans to my class, a painting which is almost 22 feet across; and I also got to see online part of a collection of works numbering in the hundreds by a single artist.  All this had me thinking in terms of the sublime - that which makes the mind aware of that which is beyond comprehension. I think there are a few ways of achieving this - through extreme scale or through quantity, but I think there's also another way, which I've been mulling over - through intricacy of detail.  I wonder if an extremely high level of detail can suggest the sublime?  One way I've been thinking about this is in terms of a relationship to movement along the z-axis.  What I mean is that it's overwhelming because one can "zoom in" and continue to see more detail to the point that it becomes overwhelming.  I think some of  Pollock's work may fall into this category independently of scale.  (Funny thing - I used to be a gallery guard in a museum with rooms full of Pollock paintings, and I bet you are expecting a gush right here about how I just loved them - not exactly; but I did have ample opportunity to inspect them up close, and I continue to think about them years later.)  Initially, I thought the completed series of minis would be striking in quantity, but now that I'm 2/3's of the way through the project, I don't think that's really the case. Then I thought that the scale may be extreme; this is more true for some than others, but 5 x 7 isn't really that small  (or maybe I've just gotten used to living surrounded by dozens of minis?). This leaves me with questions concerning the level of detail and how important that is to the series as a whole....hmmmmmm.

My feline assistant has graciously shared
one of her favorite napping spots. 
In other news, the tiny press is all settled in to it's new home, and I editioned mini #28 this week!  In keeping with my goal of working in non-toxic materials, I used water-based, non-toxic ink.  It was a mixed experience - there were no fumes and the clean-up was easy, but the ink tended to dry on the roller, palette and block after only a few prints, making it a more challenging to work with than oil based inks. Ultimately, I think the positive outweighted the negative, and I produced an edition of 12: 6 orange, 6 turquoise.  If you'd like to own your own tiny print (and who wouldn't want I a little mini in their life?), the edition is available through Vignette in Augusta ( ).  
The completed edition of mini #28  - I think the packaging turned out well too :).