Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Laundry Room Shelf

Laundry Room Shelf

6x6in  oil on canvas  $100.

Day 6 in the.30 in 30 Days Challenge
My personal goal  for this challenge - to paint only what I have
never painted or thought of painting before.
This is a perfect example!

Artist Note:

I am at a figure workshop so I did this painting and post before I left.
I actually did a couple ahead, an interesting experience for me
because I have never been able to paint more than one in a
day before. I usually do my small daily painting, which always takes
at least three hours or longer, and then I move on to a larger

I wonder if any of you artists share
or have an opinion on the following.

I find small paintings are harder for me to do than large paintings.
I challenge myself to produce something I would normally paint larger
onto this tiny area.
Organizing the space for full advantage takes a different approach
than with the larger size. Why is this?
Enter a room in any museum and usually the larger paintings catch your
eyes first. Color and strength of design can be quickly seen .
It doesn't mean they are the best paintings, just the ones with
the initial impact.
Place a tiny 6x8in on the wall without a big frame and it has to
have substance, emotion, design, and good color harmony, and even
then it can be a "walk on by" painting.
Looking at all the wonderful  paintings being done in the Challenge
can you judge their sizes before reading what they are?

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  1. Painting small is very hard for me....I would much rather be working on a large canvas. Good for you for posting ahead....takes the pressure off. Nice painting.

  2. Dear Julie, I am one of those who find it difficult to do small watercolors!
    Trying something came out but it was hard!
      The flow of water takes up space, I think the type of acrylic that I'm dealing with it might be easier. I am very farsighted and to see things I have glasses, ... as telephoto lenses. If you do not have these lenses the little things are just a colored mist.
    When I saw good, I painted bouquet of violets in two "cm" square boxes of porcelain!
    Perhaps our ability to see affects how we feel the painting?
    You are very good at synthesizing in small spaces, great masterpieces.
    With acrylic colors may open new spaces for my small sizes (always armed with a magnifying glass)! Thank you for addressing this matter.
    Your laundry is a masterful composition of colors and shapes!

  3. Here's my theory: It's hard to ignore a large painting. Period. It does take up some space and demand attention. Smaller ones though draw me in, especially next to their larger cousins. I have the reverse issue-I don't paint larger. Painting larger means being noticed and making a statement-two things which are difficult for me. Getting your insight is useful since it is different from mine-so thanks and good luck at the workshop!

  4. Yes, they are all small and all as amazing as you say. But consider how you are looking at them--on your computer screen, they are a tad farther away from you than a book; so they look big. In your hand for real, they are really tiny--thumbnails actually. The gestural workshop and the pastel class I took this year made me a tad easier with thumbnails, but only for practice. I still prefer 16 x 20 and a size or two up for figurative. 36 x 36 and 36 x 60 for landscapes. the figurative sizes would work for florals and still lifes.

    Meanwhile I got side tracked by your question and the intriguing topic, which I really could go on about. I love your laundry bottles as I am sitting here waiting to change loads. They made me smile. For the 3030 challenge, you can only do simple shapes with limited values. While the 3030 thing was enticing, the more I thought about it, the more I realized it wasn't for me--at least not with paint, (three good hours at least). Charcoal or pastel would be my choice for that challenge. I think the Twenty Minute Challenge is my style for warming up drawings.

    Happy New Year Julie. I haven't been by in a while. Yet I have been noticing and enjoying your awesome work on my blog list. I'm back and wordy obviously.

  5. Your series is great. Love all the new subject matter. Not only are small paintings a challenge, but you learn so much! The constant practice really gets the mind regularly thinking!

  6. This is fabulous, the laundry room! Turning something ordinary into extraordinary!

    I am having a hard time with the small paintings. I was used to painting 16 x 20 and it's been difficult for me to remove details I normally could put in a larger painting. It's got me readjusting for sure!

  7. I am absolutely in awe of what people can put in a 6 x 6 inch painting. So no, I cannot visualize the size of the painting first. I am probably most comfortable with an 8 x 8 at this stage although I am trying to go larger. Lots more to consider....those negative shapes can get really big and must hold your interest. Interesting conversations.......and a great laundry shelf.

  8. Your painting is lovely, again! I am the opposite to you - I find it very difficult to set up for a large painting!

  9. There is no doubt what this is, and I love it. You managed also to put red in front without it stealing the show. Not sure if it is the size or the fact that it is a very cool red. The composition rocks.... Good work.

  10. I LOVE this painting , wonderful color choices ...and awesome subject :-)) I absolutely prefer painting big, being it watercolor or oil, but on a computer screen you don't notice the difference. If bloggers don't put the size under their work you wouldn't know if it is big or real life clearly big has an immediate impact !

  11. For me, painting smaller helps me with the compositions. Somehow the smaller area helps me make a quicker decision. Actually I do prefer the larger sizes, I guess I just like flinging my arms around. But these smaller trials and tribulations are helping me to put "miles" on my brush and will be great to discipline me for quick sketches before I jump into a larger piece. How is the figurative class going?

  12. What a fun and wonderful painting! The vacuum, now this. Looks a lot like my life.:) I went from painting murals to doing these small dailies... whiplash. I love painting small from still life set ups because for me, it's all about learning to see again.

  13. I have gone from painting 36" x 36" and larger canvases over the last year to painting 6" x 9" for this challenge so I am feeling your pain!! I find it much harder to paint small. It's almost as if my mind has to switch into a different gear. On Thursday, I will start back painting my larger canvases in addition to painting these small 30/30 paintings. Should be interesting. Hope I can handle it!!
    Love your choice of subject matter... beautifully painted as always!

  14. I like how you are taking everyday objects and transforming them into beautiful art. Love it!

  15. it is a great painting....I have to agree, small paintings are a challenge. I like working on something about 12x16...that is a nice size for me! I am going to try to work smaller, just because I think it is good practice and I'll learn things (I'm sure)

  16. Great painting... good composition, the color of the cup and the way you have placed it lead the eye in..and love the subject!! I read this quote (not sure who said it) 'Real art is to make something small and impressive' I think it has to be because it does not have the same impact as a large one!! I only ever painted large before I started daily painting and must say I found it difficult to begin with. It has been good practice and some I will use as studies for larger ones later on!!

  17. Love your subject, even if I don't like the mountains of laundry I do! Great treatment. Congratulations!

  18. I love when you post your thoughts, Julie. Sometimes something I've never thought about. And I so agree with Claire's comment.

  19. I find painting smaller paintings are the hardest...Especially when I paint a portrait and those smaller details are so important to the painting. Your laundry room shelf is perfectly painted..nice colors, Julie!!!

  20. I am really enjoying your new subject matter, Julie. I think that is the biggest challenge of all...just coming up with new compositions day after day.

    When I started daily painting, I more or less stopped painting larger, so now, small paintings are easier for me. Over the past year I have started including larger paintings too, and I am now enjoying them more.

    For me, the beauty of painting small.....I can keep my entire inventory on one shelf in my studio!

  21. I hated painting small when I first started, then I tried ACEO and I felt I was suffocating and constantly went too close to the edge. Then I went back to a larger painting and was overwhelmed. I think every painting has it's own set of challenges. I don't know if the day will ever come when I sit down to paint and it comes easily.

    I can tell on Daily Paintworks how big the painting is before I look. In fact I make it a game. However because of the cropping on 30 in 30 if a painting isn't square, it's harder to tell and it really messes with the compositions.

    Love your paintings of ordinary every day life, after all that's what many masters did because they couldn't afford to pay models or go on trips they looked around the room for something to paint. I still think the Vacuum Cleaner should be for sale. I see a budding Damien Hurst.


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