Friday, January 4, 2008

"Passed" Art Form of the Day~*Little Treasures*~

"If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else."
~Lawrence J. Peter

During the Christmas break I had great intentions of painting a large painting. I usually paint on canvas that measures 9 X12, and have painted a few that are 11 X 14 and some 16 X20. However, smaller size (9X12) fits easily into my scanner and a scanned photo usually shows more detail. But, I've had a few requests for larger/ "over the fireplace mantel size" paintings, so I thought I'd paint one over the break.......

.......well, that was the plan anyway! I still would like to do that, but I got a little sidetracked while I was shopping for a frame for the larger painting. Instead, I found several small frames and decided to paint miniatures, (yes, the complete opposite of my intended plans!)

I love researching and learning about art and artists of the 18th/19th centuries and this was fun and interesting to research before I started painting. Here is a little history on miniatures:

(the oval miniature is attributed to artist William Naish (1766/7-1800)

Miniatures date back before the 18th century....but were popular in the 18th and 19th centuries due to their size and "portability". A person could have their likeness painted on a 1 or 2 inch piece of ivory, or card and give it to a loved one to carry with them, much like we carry photos of loved ones in our wallets. Miniatures were also made into jewelry, such as lockets with a braid of hair encased within, or even painted onto small snuff boxes. Something personal for the bearer of the miniature to cherish.
Over the years, miniatures became a little larger and framed, so people could display and decorate with them in their homes.

I also found a wonderful and very interesting blog while researching. I could and did spend hours reading through his many links....Don seems to be quite knowledgeable about Miniatures and an avid collector as well: Artists and Ancestors

After I found my small frames, trying to decide what surface to paint on was my next step... Of course ivory wasn't an option, and I wasn't sure what the 18th century composition of "card" might be. So I cut fiber board to size and applied clay to that surface. After it dried and was sanded and made a very nice and smooth painting surface. And when it was finished, I thought it gave the painting a nice smooth and matte look to it, yet still looked "old" and vintage-y.

I've painted Polly, who wears a light mauve dress and holds her doll in her lap. She measures 5 x 5 without her frame and 6 x 6 with it.

Have a great weekend and stay warm!


SweetAnnee said...

Polly is lovely!!
as always your work
is amazing..Deena

Nana said...

Polly is delightful.

Her face demands a 'history', don't you think?

Her father was a sea captain, I'm certain of it. Her mother, skilled in the needle arts.

She was a child of privilege, yet remained sweet spirited her life long.

Shall I go on:)?

Bluejean Primitives said...

Polly is wonderful Suzanne... but then again all your work is great!

Miss Maddie's said...

Polly is positively delightful!
Perhaps she would like a sister to pair up with like Patience.(a name I find quite often in my research)
All the paintings look wonderful on the wall. They bring color and warmth into the room.
Enjoy the weekend!

Dolls of Yore said...

I've just discovered your blog and am glad I did! You do lovely work. Polly is just wonderful!

Ruth Welter said...

Hi Suzanne, I love your Polly, she is beautiful. Ok, get ready now, you've started on miniatures...let me tell you, they are so darn addictive. Looking forward to seeing more of your minis. : )

Christine LeFever said...

Oh my but you have been busy! They are all so very lovely, Susanne.


Christine LeFever said...

I apologize, Suzanne! I misspelled your name in the last comment. Gulp.

Z is a fine letter. In fact, I was almost named Zoe, but as my parents knew it would not get the actual French pronunciation of Zwee, they negated it. I think I may have to change my name to Zwee!

Christine (Zwee)

Donna said...

Hi Suzanne,
I love the painting of Polly! And interesting story about the miniatures. Your work is lovely.
Donna :)

Suzanne said...

Thanks everyone for your comments about little Polly. She is the smallest painting I've done, and I didn't even have to use my husband's reading glasses to paint her! (I am seriously trying to avoid those things, but I'm sure I'll have to give in one of these days!).

I do think Polly might need an ancestral history Nana, and your's sounds perfect.

Yes, Ruth...I think I may have a new addiction!

Patience is another lovely name, Susan. Hmmmm?, Polly and Patience sound like two sweet little sisters.

And speaking of names, not to worry Christine,! :)
I like your spelling of my name, it looks more 18th century, don't you think?

Christine LeFever said...

Had my son, Simon, been a girl, "she" would have been Susannah for that very reason; indeed 18th century which I love so very much.

Christine er Zwee!

Lana said...

Once again, Suzanne, you have made history so interesting! And Nana's story was perfect for Polly... and I like Susan's suggestion of a sister named Patience. What a wonderful group of blogger friends!

Lana said...

Oh! By the way.... the painting is beautiful!

the feathered nest said...

Your Polly is lovely and I enjoyed the lesson on miniatures!


ShabbyInTheCity said...

Polly is precious!