Thursday, May 10, 2007

Really Small Scale

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.

8 comments:

James Wolanin said...

I like these!

on painters & painting said...

Me too!...

Susan Constanse said...

This scale makes me very aware of your ground texture. It makes for an intriguing break in the space. I like them, too.

Lindsay said...

tracy, your work is very lovely. You have areally beautiful quality of light! I found you thorugh Vivnen b's taggin someone and someone else!!! Crazy bloggin world.

Maggie said...

I love the peace conveyed in these.

Tracy said...

Thanks everyone, for the compliments regarding the small pieces. I should do more:)

Steven LaRose said...

I'm going to chime in late, but, I wonder if everyone imagines these bigger? I wonder if people don't assume the reproduction is smaller than the real thing. What if these were feet instead of inches? I've got no take on it here mind you. . . other than I like these small paintings too.

What does that mean? Tracy should paint with a broom?

Scale is so weird.

Tracy said...

Steve, I only wish I could paint like this but on a larger scale. The technical aspects change, the bigger brushes don't handle the same way and my eyes see differently at a larger scale. Even if I could paint the same way, the intimacy is lost just by virtue of the scale I think. But I keep trying to catch it anyway.

You are right, scale IS weird.