Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Intimacy of Small Paintings

I really enjoy working large - big grand paintings making an impact and commanding a room.  There is an undeniable power in that.  It's a statement.  It's impactful.  Some of my best paintings have been feet by feet.  The King of Nothing Special is 4' x 5'.  Galatea was 5' x 7'.  The Struggle was 8' x 10'.  Working big is fun.  Big brushes slopping around.  High energy.  Full movement.

However, I also work small.  I think it developed out of a space constraint.  I just didn't have room for an 8' canvas.  Also, at the time I began to predominantly make small paintings, that was when The Little Boxes took off.  The Little Boxes are only four inch squares.  Most of the paintings from the Self Portrait Series are four or six inch squares.  Working small is tidy.  It's easily organizable.  It's neat.

There is more to it though.  A small painting seems the more appropriate conduit for small ideas.  For little notions and private memories.  There is an intimacy.  To view the subject the viewer must get closer.  He must enter the space nearer the painting.  The intimacy of a small painting lends itself to telling secrets.  To paint one's secret thoughts or quiet memories onto a giant plane would seem vulgar.  

But quietly, closely, little paintings do quite nicely.

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