Saturday, November 11, 2006

Does Size Really Matter?

It was such a glorious morning earlier that I almost felt guilty for being in the studio painting. I tried to compromise by painting outside on the verandah but as much as I love the quick drying nature of acrylic paint, the sun was actually drying the paint too fast and causing my lovely new brush to harden, making painting rather difficult.

I guess I have to learn how to manage my time better in regards to things other than painting. I hardly do any exercise and often feel quite disgusted with myself for this. The main reason we moved here was for the space factor, a place that was big enough to provide me with a studio that was not part of any other room, so I could leave everything set up at the end of the day and not have to pack it all away when we had guests or wanted to use the living are for other purposes. Another reason we moved was the lifestyle factor and I feel I have not done that side of things justice. We moved in December last year and after 11 months I still have not taken up yoga again. When we first moved here I was swimming almost every day, I guess as the year went on the weather played a big part in the demise of that. However, with the weather getting better now and the beach only a 5 minute walk away, I have no excuse.

A year ago we were living in a one bedroom flat and I was using a section of our small living area as my studio or designated painting area. This makes me think of a question that was put to me recently. I was asked why I don't paint larger works, with the average size of my works being around 70 x 50cm. I wasn't offended by the question itself but perhaps a little by the way it was asked with a kind of 'bigger is better' attitude. I guess I have never really felt the desire or need to paint huge paintings, which possibly had a lot to do with the fact that up until 11 months ago I didn't have the space to paint big, so perhaps I was painting to accommodate my environment. Even now though, with the space, I don't really feel the necessity to upsize. I do paint the occasional larger piece and I'm sure I may surprise myself one day - I certainly have nothing against large scale paintings, but I certainly don't believe that bigger is better when it comes to a work of art. Perhaps I should have reminded my inquirer that one of the world's most recognised and iconic works of art measures only 77 x 53cm. Whilst I'm not saying it's the greatest work of art, there is certainly no denying that Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, in all it's modest sized glory, is one of the most famous.


sue beyer said...

Do you do sewing on your work or is it painted/drawn in? I use sewing in my work sometimes and just wondered :-)

natalie said...

I think smaller can be fantastic, I disagree that bigger is better, quality always trumpd quantity.

As far as the exercise: things come in cycles, and balance is the most difficult thing in the world to attain,
keep working and you will find a little for a little while, then you'll lose it again and have to find it again...