Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Paintings BIG and small

Golden Days, oil, 24x36

Evening Falls, oil, 24x36

Luminary of the Autumn Night Sky, oil, 30x40

Whirl the Seasons Round, oil, 12x16

Beach Path in Winter, oil, 9x12

It's always fun to shake things up a bit and working both large and small is one way to do that. The two small paintings here are not really that small considering that I often work 6x8in. But they are considerably smaller than the first three pieces. Students often ask me whether it's better to work large or small; the answer isn't really one or the other. There are things to be learned and gained from both. Small gives you the advantage of tackling all the major problems of a painting in a single sitting. Composition, value, color, brushwork, as well as painting method can all be addressed in a small work. Each time you work through those challenges you grow a little as an artist. So, a large painting may take you three weeks to finish and you've worked through one set of problems, but if you were painting smaller perhaps you would be able to accomplish six paintings in the same span of time and you would have had the experience of working through six sets of challenges. The more experience you get the better your painting skills become. Painting small allows you to produce many works in a short amount of time and gain experience quickly. This is often helpful for beginners. However, there are limitations to what can be done in a very small work, particularly in the area of expressive brush work and some of the finer points of creating a painting, like edges, subtle shifts in color and value,detail and complexity of composition. More intermediate level painters may find it most beneficial to tackle some larger canvases in order to pursue thise particular elements. And while small works may be little gems, large works tend to have the wow factor and command attention with their sense of presence. If you'd like to push youself a little then gradually change canvas size, either larger or smaller. Once you become comfortable with the next size up or down, go to the next size. Eventually, you'll find that you are comfortable painting any size. Inevitably you will have your favorite sizes and that's fine, but when you get into a rut it's nice to be able to break out a little bit and get the excitement flowing again.

As always these are available for sale. Golden Days and Luminary of the Autumn Night Sky are currently at Gallery at 85 Main Street, Centerbrook, CT. Send me an e-mail for purchase information. jan.blencowe@comcast.net

Also don't forget the HOLIDAY SALE at my website http://www.janblencowe.com/ there's a whole gallery of work on sale 50% off until Jan. 30th, 2008.

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