Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Big vs. Small

I have always been attracted to big paintings. While perusing the masterpieces at the Louvre, I gravitated towards the huge, dramatic pieces - I spent a lot of time gazing at 'The Raft of the Medusa' with my son, and was not really impressed by the Mona Lisa (I know, that is blasphemy, but I do understand and agree with her significance in art history). Yet, when we travel, I like to buy the smaller  stuff - easier to pack? More affordable? I feel like I have a collection of small jewels hanging on my walls at home, reminding me of the great places we have visited.

When I am working in the studio, the bigger, the better! I love the feeling of painting from the shoulder, and the sheer physicality of moving pigment around on a large surface. I have a four foot by six foot work table that I can walk around as I work, and that makes it easier to create large pieces. The largest watercolor I have created is a piece entitled "Chalice"  on two pieces of cradled Aquabord measuring 48 by 72 inches. When I look at it, I feel like I am at the lake where the lotuses bloomed. 

I am, however, beginning to challenge myself to paint small pieces. They are finished faster and can be transported more easily both while traveling and to shows. I have less time and energy invested in a small piece; if it fails, I simply start another one. And, on the practical side, small works sell! 

What are your thoughts on large vs. small paintings? 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Being the Juror, For Once...

"Going with the Flow" Watermedia on Paper, 29" x 29"
This piece was juried into the Tri State Juried Watermedia Exhibit in 2013
I was recently asked to be on the jury of a regional exhibition hosted by the Council on Culture and Arts (COCA). I jumped at the chance, because I have always wanted to be on the other side of the jurying process. As chairperson of the TaWS Tri State Juried Watermedia Exhibition for many years, it intrigued me how the juror chose a show - what artwork 'spoke' to that juror and why select painting "a" rather than painting "b"? I always kept a list of my top picks and compared my choices to those of the juror. I usually matched 75-80% of the paintings picked by the juror. 

The COCA jurying task was really difficult! And, we had no time for review. The images came fast and furious, so any hesitation cut into the next image and the next decision. We rated over 160 works, and our answers were compiled and used to create the final list.  
I would love to jury a show sometime where I could take my time and review each piece on its own merits.  If you have ever juried an exhibit, what were your most favorite and least favorite aspects of the job?