Chasing Gnats and Small Paintings

March 11, 2015

Sometimes I paint with pastels. I have been using the Faber Castell brand, Pitt Pastel. This particular type pastel is in pencil form and I am using paper or board to work on, just depending on my idea.  The paper that I use is Canson and measures 20"x 25." The Ampersand board is 11"x 14."

 I have known for quite some time that I prefer to do larger pieces of art. Maybe doing large scale murals for years set my brain to certain size patterns. Here is one of the murals at Trevitt Hall in Dalton GA for reference....  


I was 2 stories up on a scissor lift and loved every minute of it! Plaster and paint in an old burnt out building being restored at that time. Now a beautiful place for meetings, ceremonies and parties.


Maybe, I feel less restrained to fit my idea into a larger format. For me it is like feeling the presence of the painting in comparison to just seeing it. I have seen artist that do a wonderful job with a small to tiny format and, in fact, they prefer it. If you want to see the extreme, take a look at paintings on pin heads. Unbelievable! 


Back to where I started; the larger size pastel paper is fine, obviously takes more work and I can generally see the composition of the piece, in my mind, before starting. This one is a 20"x 25"....


On the other hand, the 11"x14" drives me crazy. I compare it to trying to chase down a tiny, lunch eating gnat, getting all the bones out of a filleted fish, or not stepping on the gum someone has dropped in a parking lot. Those tiny things that are nail on the chalk board irritating, but I persist anyway.


I’m trying for a more involved small painting. Here are a few starters done with pastel and silver leaf (I seem to stick my fingers together with the adhesive for the silver leaf. Nevermind, that I accidentally brushed a page of it off with my sleeve which ended up in the floor as reusable dust)....


So, not only have I painted on the 11” x 14” board but, I also had to go out and buy these small easels just so I can see what I’m doing. Transitions are happening.





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