Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Working Small

I used to think I was an artist who did big paintings, which was fine, except that it became my excuse for not doing anything at all. Working big is great but it also takes bigger amounts of time and space than I often have. And as a consequence, I did nothing, for many years. Recently, I've given myself permission to work small and guess what? It's great! I can start and finish a piece in a relatively short time, and do more artwork than if I were working on a single, large piece. Of course I'll still do bigger pieces if I want to, but I'm so happy for this newfound freedom, and burst of creative energy I've found by doing something different and being willing to let go of an old, unhelpful constraint.

This is a small collage I did this week on a busy day, sandwiched in between my work and family responsibilities. In fact, on this day, I did six 4x6 collage paintings with watercolor in under two hours. While waiting for paint or medium to dry on one, I would switch to another for a time. Working back and forth this way gave me time in between to figure out what do if I was stuck on one.


  1. Yes! It makes it so very do-able, doesn't it? This is really quite beautiful, and exactly what collage should be (in my opinion).

  2. Thank you for your comments! I love the comment about letting a collage breathe. In a workshop I took recently, the instructor talked about giving the eye a place to rest in a composition. It's a challenge with collage, but it's something I'm striving for even though I know I'm not always successful.