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Looking at Small Works

January 18, 2011

These small pieces are satisfying to do and often become ideas for larger works. But bigger isn’t always better. I also might consider doing some type of grid with a number of these small pieces of the same size. The wheels never stop turning.

Sweep - Acrylic Monotype on Freezer Paper, 4 x 4", Little Passages Series

Future so Bright - Acrylic on Canvas, 5 x 5"


Moonrise - Monotype, Oil on Paper, 4 x 4"



Reclamation – Monotype, Oil on Paper, 4 x 4″

Tonight I’m looking through some of my older pieces that may hold clues to where I want to go with some future work, along with one of the new “monotypes” shown at the top from the Little Passages series. I wonder how they would work in a larger scale.

I did a large canvas painting, shown below, based on the last small one above, and have sold several prints from it through a publisher.

The original was 36 x 60 inches. I liked painting it, and I like the result, but think I like the little monotype better.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2011 1:12 pm

    I really like the moonrise. Small is great, too (artwise at least 😉 .. I have only started going A3, and not often enough yet.

    • January 20, 2011 7:03 am

      Fadwa, I so agree that small is great, artwise at least! The more of them I do, the more I love the intimacy of a small work. I even love tiny ones. Not true miniatures, but just very small collages or paintings.

  2. donna baek permalink
    January 19, 2011 10:53 pm

    dear martha,

    i was very intersted in this posting because i’m working on painting larger. i’ve written to you in the past about how to use smaller pieces as a springboard for a larger piece which i find hard because my work is based on immediacy and accidental effects and trying to replicate that in any degree other than using the same color scheme or the composition never works very well for me. the seconfd painting always seems stilted or a little lifeless. and like you i’m not trying to copy the original painting. so it was very helpful and enjoying getting to study your 2 pieces to see how you built one from the other. do you have other examples of smaller to larger pieces that you could post so i can study more? thakns martha.

    donna from snohomish,wa

    • January 20, 2011 7:05 am

      That’s a great idea for a blog post Donna. Consider it done.

      I have all of the same problems that you describe when it comes to trying to translate a small study to a large piece. I too prefer to work intuitively rather than with a plan in mind. But sometimes I come upon an idea in a small scale that I think should be done larger, that I’m compelled to try. And I agree it’s a very tricky thing trying to make it “look” spontaneous. That’s the hardest part.

      Check back for a post about this. Thanks!

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