Monday, February 27, 2012

How big is big?

A fellow artist friend , Louise Sutton has been encouraging me to paint larger.  For her that means three or four feet, but larger for me means two feet.  There is something about staring at all that space that strikes fear in me.  I have produced larger work by combining smaller pieces but that's cheating.

Over the last several days there's something bubbling up in me that makes me want to go for it.  I've done a series of smaller pieces 4 x 6 in. that Louise thinks would make great fodder for a large work.   I think because I have figured out the composition etc before, that it would just be a matter of increasing the scale.  It will be interesting to see if that is really the case or will I have to make the work a lot more textured or layered to make it interesting.

 These are the pieces I'm considering using as inspiration.  I'm aiming for much looser and interpretive. Let's see how that works out.

If you have any tips for confronting and mastering painting large, please pass them on.


Jeanette said...

Large pieces do have impact, but I understand the comfort (on several levels) of smaller works.

I've ventured into larger pieces and still cling to my smalls at times for instant gratification. :)

the largest I've gone is 30 x 40 and that seemed huge! I toy with tackling a 48 x 60, but would probably need a new house just to find space to put it to paint.

I found several lessons that painting larger brings with it. 1. Quantities of paint. Larger canvas, larger quantity of paint, wax, etc. etc.
2. You need space to step back from it and view at a distance. Up close, large pieces become very abstract and its easy to lose track of what you do. Having enough space to move back 15 feet away from a large piece helps enormously.
3. Painting on a large scale is a workout! Delicate little dabs and strokes become a thing of the past and you'll find arm and shoulder muscles you didn't realize you had.

hmmm, I wonder what the calorie usage is in painting a large canvas...;)

Margaret Ryall said...

Thanks for the advice Jeanette. I'm going to need it.