(these paintings are: Red Faced Tree: 6″ x 6″; the other 2: 8” x 8” all from 5 years ago)
Let’s face it, there’s just something awesome about a big painting.
Oh, yeah — what’s “big?”
For me, big art maybe starts at about three feet by four feet. A big painting has a presence about it. It commands attention. I’ve painted a few in my career, but not that many.
There are practical reasons having to do with producing work at that scale, and reasons that have nothing to do with the nuts and bolts of creating large works.
First, the nuts and bolts:
- Studio space. You just need a certain amount of room to paint a larger canvas, although it is possible to paint large works in surprisingly small spaces.
- Storage space. No place to store large paintings in my small house. (Renting storage space is not an option.)
- Materials expense. It’s tough enough to be able to afford paint and canvases. Working on large paintings devours those things and the budget to pay for them faster than a dog can gobble a kibble.
- Relaxed mind. If I make a painting that didn’t work out I lose a lot more time and money if it’s a big ‘un. So I’m a little freer and devil may care with the small ones. Which is good for the art.
Now for some intangibles:
- There’s something intimate about a small painting. Something very personal.
- You can hold it in your hand, or you can display it on a shelf over your desk. Small art invites closeness.
- You can put it in a small space where you want some art and would love some color but you can’t fit a larger work.
- I often think of tiny houses and flats, and there’s no reason people who live in them shouldn’t be able to hang original art on their walls.
- Small paintings are almost always more affordable than large works (lots of exceptions, but it’s a good rule of thumb). As an artist I like to see my paintings go to people who will love and cherish them, whether they’re especially well heeled or not. (Of course I still have to pay my bills, so there’s that. . .)
Having said all that, I constantly picture some of my smaller doodle paintings at 48” X 48” or larger. In fact, sometimes I can hardly hold myself back. But then there’s the budget. And the room. And. . .
Well, maybe some day.
If you’d like to support my work and truly partner with me to keep me painting, it would mean the world to me: