The Lure of Painting on a Small Scale

I so love painting my ‘mini’ land and seascapes – usually only 7-10cm across. There is no fear of the canvas, it can fit in the palm of your hand, what is to fear?

Sometimes when as a painter you have a crisp white canvas in front of you, a few feet across, it’s like staring into a timeline of torture!. There is a joyful first kind of phase, when the first colours and brush or knife marks are applied, and the final phase when you feel like you’ve accomplished what you wanted except for a few little extra lines or tones. Or you know just a few more marks is enough so that you can put it aside, look at it tomorrow, and then feel satisfied with it. BUT there is that long and painful middle phase when every mark is a disappointment. Every colour not quite what you wanted, every cm of the canvas not quite how you envisaged it, like mentally trudging through a particularly unpleasant smelling, foot cloying swamp!

None of this applies to painting mini landscapes, you begin, you get engrossed, you finish it – just like that. It’s like a creative sweep clean, the inspiration, the method and the momentary overwhelming joy of a finished piece of artwork.
I often get asked ‘Do you paint anything larger?’ and I do, when I have to, but it’s so nice working small!

These small paintings have another spin-off use that I find inspiring. Once I have photographed them, I then blow them up larger on my Mac and changing the scale makes you look at them in a new way. A number of times these close-ups have inspired new paintings. The lines and texture within the paint, on a new scale show the landscape in a completely different light.

Here are a few of my mini land and seascapes. You can find more examples in my shop.

Mini Paintings by Sarah Knight