Friday, August 27, 2010

Miniature show

My friend Mary VanMeter at Water Street Gallery in Petersburg, W.Va., is excited to be organizing a small exhibit of small paintings!

We've engaged in an ongoing, friendly debate over calling the paintings "miniatures."

Inevitably, it seems, we fall into calling them miniatures out of convenience and habit, but I've argued that, technically, I don't think a small painting necessarily equates a miniature painting. To me, a miniature is created when an artist consciously attempts to paint a realistic scene or object in as small a scale as possible.

Much of what I do in small scale isn't so much a matter of attempting to paint as small as possible, but as conveniently and quickly as possible (e.g. my lunchtime paintings).

So are my lunchtime paintings minis? I guess it's up to the viewers to decide?

What do you think? What is the definition of a miniature, and is size the determining factor?

At right is one of the small-scale paintings I did for the show, which will open in October. I'll pass along details when Mary gets everything arranged. The size of the painting is 2 inches by 4 inches, and it's matted in a 4x6 frame. It's one of four little scenes that I completed, which, as a set, complete a larger landscape. So I guess it's part one of a "tetraptych."

The image is a little blurry because I forgot to photograph it before framing. So I shot through the glass with a polarizing lens to neutralize reflections. Sorry!

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