Cool Waters, 2007, Oil on Panel, 3x5
The Lake, 2007, Oil on Panel, 4x6
When I began painting again a few years ago, I worked on very small panels. 3x3, 3x5, 5x7, maybe 6x8, but 8x10 was really pushing it. I did this for several reasons. I was experimenting and I didn't want to blow through all of my supplies too quickly. We were taking a real leap of faith by my attempt to paint and make some kind of career out of it and I felt I had to be very careful with the financial investment that was necessary. Mostly, though I was extremely intimidated by working on a larger scale. I was afraid to really let loose on a big panel and frankly I haven't completely gotten over that, although I have made much progress. And I think that even though I simplify my imagery, there is also a bit of a "noodler" in me and working at a small scale really lets me noodle a bit. I am too impatient to noodle extensively!
Now I am gradually working my way up in scale and 8x10 is the smallest size I do at this point. And wouldn't you know it, once I decided to not work small anymore and to not inventory panels smaller than 8x10, I was asked to participate in a miniatures group show at the local arts association. They asked for at least six paintings of the local lake, officially named Otsego Lake, but called Glimmerglass by most who live here. I don't paint the water too often, but I felt this was a good chance to do a few lake images, which are pretty popular around here. I didn't have any small panels on hand, but I was at Soho Artists Materials in the city in March and noticed that they had a whole table of tiny little cradled wood panels which I can only describe as really cute. Not one of my usual adjectives, but there you are. I bought some 3x5's and some 4x6's, but they had a whole range of, well, really cute sizes. I plan to go back and buy some more next time I am in the city. I really enjoyed working so small again, and while I was a bit flustered on the day that I painted a 3x5 AND a 36x48, I was exhilarated by it as well.
Pink Lake is one of the series, as well as the ones that I have posted today. I admit to being quite intrigued with the shape of the hills around the lake as well as the particular palette I used that week, which accounts for the similarities in each piece. I wish now that I had varied them a bit, but I can do another series again.
Doug and I will be going to the opening for the show tonight, which will be a nice social event, with many people we know in attendance.