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Small Stuff

Miniatures fascinate us - makers, viewers, and collectors alike. From illuminated manuscript illustrations across centuries and cultures to today’s tiny toys (Hatchimals, Lego minifigures and more), the world, rendered small, can evoke reverence or tenderness in the beholder.

In 1930s Chicago, Narcissa Niblack Thorne commissioned artisans to create a series of miniature rooms at 1:12 scale, each referencing a specific historical style or locale. (The Thorne Miniature Rooms can be viewed at the Chicago Art Institute.) Above the tiny red couch in her modernist “California Hallway” hangs a commissioned miniature painting by the Cubist innovator Fernand Léger.

In 2021, England’s Pallant Gallery commissioned 30 British artists to create super-small works for inclusion in a tiny model gallery for the show “Masterpieces in Miniature.”

Much of the fascination with miniatures lies in their intricacy of execution or replication. Renaissance portraits tiny enough to fit into lockets. Infinitesimal versions of brand-name groceries, marketed as “Shopkins” toys.

My small paintings further dwarf most of the foregoing examples: my smallest images measure around 3” x 4 ½”. While such miniscule turf could be painted in seconds, I tend to labor over these pieces meditatively, adding texture and line; allowing shapes and images to appear to further guide me.

Take a look at my shop and see if anything catches your eye!


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