Archive for January 26th, 2011

I just finished a small group of tiny paintings for an annual show held at the West End Gallery in Corning, called Little Gems.  Held every February, it’s a show of miniature paintings from the gallery artists.  I’ve mentioned before that this show is a sentimental favorite of mine.  The first time I exhibited my work in public was at a Little Gems show in 1995, at a time when the idea of being a collected painter seemed awfully far away, if even imagined at all.  Most of the work I was creating at the time was small and pretty much fell in line with the theme of the show.  It was a turning point in my life, opening doors of new possibility to me.

Since that time, I have always held a special spot for this show for that reason and for the fact that it has original work, albeit small in size,  offered at very affordable prices, giving  people of modest means an opportunity to collect work  they might admire.  There’s something very egalitarian about it, far from the perception of the art gallery as an elitist institution.  And I like the idea  that art is for everyone.

This is a group of tiny 2″ by 4″ canvas paintings that I frame in a slightly larger (just under 6″ by8″) shadow box frame that makes the piece seem a bit larger .  The petite canvas size creates a challenge and I like to include a few twists on my normal compositions, such as this piece to the right with the yellow flag and the divided sky.  But I often try to keep the work typical of my style and subject vocabulary.  This goes back to the thought in the last paragraph.  This might be the only piece of original art that is bought by the person who selects this painting and I would like to give them opportunity to have a piece that is obviously recognizable as my work.  That’s one of the reasons that I have always strived to paint these little pieces with all the effort and care that I use in much larger pieces.

This show, Little Gems, opens next Friday, February 4th, at the West End Gallery in Corning, NY.

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