Posted by Maggie
I recently had the honor of jurying the Small Works Exhibition for the Pastel Society of New Mexico. This is a presentation of small paintings which is shown in conjunction with the organization's annual juried national exhibition.
The paintings were amazing. All in pastel, of course, and all within the limit of 48 square inches, or, say 6x8. That's pretty small.
But that got me to thinking about another show held here in New Mexico as part of the Masterworks exhibition—the miniature show, which has a size limit of 20 square inches. That would be 4x5 or some other proportion which added up to 20 or less.
When I paint with pastels, I think of 9x12 as small. My favorite sizes are 16x20 or 18x24. If glass wasn't so expensive and so heavy, I'd probably work even larger. I love the freedom of movement of a large surface, the expressive sweep of a stroke of pastel laid down swiftly and firmly.
But, having juried this show, I decided I'd try my hand at a really small painting, using the under 20 square inch limitation of the Masterworks miniatures. I used as reference an oil painting I'd done on location not long ago, which was 6x8. How hard could it be to reduce that to fit onto my little scrap of paper?
Now I'm going to go paint something big, like maybe 11x14.