Thursday, July 26, 2012

Good things come in small packages

"The Guest Room", 4"x5", oil. Available at Abbozzo Gallery 

Recently I created these two miniature paintings. Each is 4"x5". I find small paintings fun and freeing to paint. Many people ask me if they are more difficult to execute, and generally no, they are easier. Not only do they take less time, but something about only having a small surface to focus on makes me relax. When I am working on a huge painting (like right now) I have to focus on one area...otherwise it can get overwhelming!

Little paintings are like little windows, little peepholes into other realms. They have just as much weight as large paintings I think. They require you to look closely, to stand near, to put your ear up and listen to their story that is whispered and not shouted.

"Self-Portrait, Daughter", oil, 5"x4", private collection

Now large paintings have their place too. They take up your entire field of vision often. They are doors flung open, waiting for you to step inside. They have impact, they have a lot to say. I suppose that ultimately it is not the size of the painting, but the message contained within it. Often I think a lot of art is painted very large because human beings have a tendency to think that if something is painted on a HUGE canvas that it is somehow better, that it is superior art. Why? Because it is on a large format? I am not convinced. It should be good art because it is good art, not because it is placed on a huge scale.

I loved that these little pieces fit in the palm of my hand. I propped them on my coffee mug while I worked. What a wonderful little easel it provided! 

Here are two book covers that my artwork is on! The first is a Dutch publication about finding the sacred in every day things. The publishers found my painting of a clothesline from Newfoundland and thought that the clothes looked like Tibetan prayer flags. I thanked them for providing me with this copy of the book. I wish I could read Dutch!

The second book has my painting "February 2005" on the cover. It is another book of poetry by esteemed poet Samuel Peralta. "Tango Desolado" is currently #1 on Amazon Kindle's hot new poetry list. Here is the link: "Tango Desolado". I am very grateful to Samuel for including my work alongside his work. I have an incredibly high regard for his poetry. Please check it out if you are inclined.

A last thought about creating art. Sometimes we falter in our motivation. Or perhaps fear or anxiety grip us and we worry about starting, about how to finish, about what to do next. I can say this: practice patience with your work and your life. Keep at it diligently and do not live in the future but focus on the present, where your painting is today. Often we become deflated if a painting doesn't develop quickly enough or look like our mind's eye imagines it to look. Try not to be hard on yourself. You are there at the easel, or in your studio. Creating art requires courage. Trust that it will end up where you want it to. Work on the today, rather than trying to control the tomorrow. It will help you enjoy the process even more and thus produce better art.

Dates for my solo exhibition this autumn at Abbozzo Gallery are as follows!

Surfacing: New Paintings by Heather Horton
November 2-17, 2012
179 Lakeshore Road East, Oakville, ON
Opening Reception: November 2, 7-10pm
Artist meet and greet Sunday November 4, 2-4pm

"Greatness is a road leading towards the unknown."~Charles de Gaulle

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