Dina Brodsky traditionally paints tiny images. As a classically trained painter, she is loath to simplify and eliminate detail to accommodate her often 2-inch circular format. “I can’t simplify to save my life,” she says. For White Tailed Hillstar, a gouache of an iridescent hummingbird, she has expanded the format to 3 by 3 inches. The extraordinary little bird is native to the northern Andes. Brodsky cites Chilean poet Pablo Neruda who wrote, “bird by bird, I learned to know the earth.” She adds, “I want to know the earth, too.”
Ben Aronson paints large cityscapes and small, intimate, still lifes. Recently, he experimented dramatically and successfully with expanding his 12-by-12-inch floral still lifes into a format over 4 feet. The small paintings often depict one or two blossoms in a simple tumbler of water in dramatic raking sunlight. He says, “The still lifes have an ephemeral quality. They remind you of the transitory quality of life and remind you of your mortality. There’s not an infinite amount of time.” The still lifes, though, are a moment frozen in time—a moment that will be gone but that will be repeated with another flower, another glass, another window.
Jacob A. Pfeiffer recalls the former gallerist and promoter of young realist artists, John Pence, telling him, “You are full of humor so why not include that in your work?” And that he did. The humor, though, is an antidote for the world in its current state. Bleeding Hearts brighten any garden with their distinctive heartshaped blossoms with a pendulous stamen suggesting a drop of blood. Pfeiffer attaches a branch to a plaster wall with a bandage—a bit of scientific botany and a bit of Pfeiffer humor. Randall Reid literally takes bits of the past and re-contextualizes them—presenting them in a new way. Often, the bits and pieces had no relationship to one another in their past lives, but Reid puts them together into coherent compositions that
are pleasing in a new way. Strips cut from signs, letters, numbers, images, all come together in his work. In Guidelines he uses the found objects (folding rules) in their wholeness, grouping them together to form a geometric monochromatic abstraction. Folding wood rules made it easier for carpenters to carry them from site to site. The 6-foot rule folds down to about 8 inches—a bit of simple, elegant engineering.
In the following pages are small works and miniature paintings that show any subject matter can be reduced in scale, but maintain its beauty and detail. There also is insights into the market for purchasing these little gems.
Located in Los Angeles, Corey Helford Gallery’s goals are “the support and growth of young and emerging, to wellknown and established artists, the production and promotion of their artwork, and the general production of their exhibits, events and projects.” Represented are international artists who are influenced by pop culture and work in genres such as New Figurative Art, pop surrealism, Neo-pop, graffiti and street art, and postgraffiti. Among them are Soey Milk, Chie Yoshii and Nigel Cox. According to Lotton Gallery director Christina Franzoso, “Small works are charming little treasures, perfect gifts for the avid collector.” As seen in the Chicago gallery are Ukranian-born Dmitri Danish’s paintings of colorful and ambient small landscapes after a recent trip to Italy. Danish’s latest Light Rain is an evening
scene set in Venice. In the Alley is a quaint daytime composition of an alley cafe in Rome. French artist Louis Basset’s paintings are of his beloved Paris, with his new piece, Paris Market, capturing the iconic French flower markets.
Still life painter Claudia Seymour finds inspiration “in the everyday beauty of the natural world, especially fruit and flowers in the context of a still life setup with other pieces I have collected over the years,” she says. “My goal is to use the play of light over and around these objects to portray their color and their interaction with each other.”
For her paintings, Karolyn K. Farrell is drawn to light around landscapes or subjects. “I enjoy the process of creating a piece of work and hope to bring joy, peace or remembrance of good times passed,” she says. “I remember the first sketch I did at age 3, Mickey Mouse from the newspapers when I was really wanting to learn how to read.” When learning, or exploring, any subject, Chuck Larivey often starts with smaller canvases. “The first challenge is capturing the essence. Once in place the real fun starts, turning on the lights,” Larivey says. “Exploring mood, and the emotional aspect of a painting I call the ‘jump factor!’ The personal stamp that makes us unique amongst many.”
Some people have described Rémi LaBarre’s work as painted songs, the kind of art some may want to be surrounded
by in their living room or kitchen just like radio enriches the ambiance. LaBarre says, “I am very much inspired by music and nostalgic moments. I just love to cook so much with people over it was just natural to create a painting that would evoke that Saturday around 7 p.m. with a glass of white wine next to the radio playing Leonard Cohen in my home in Montreal. When it comes to buying art, the best compliment is to let the artist know that you actually hear the song playing in the background of the painting; that you smell the fresh cut basil.” New York-based artist Max Ginsburg often paints scenes that he finds right outside his door—scenes that exemplify what is occurring around us on a daily basis. He says, “My objective is to paint the reality of the world I see and experience, truthfully and with human compassion.”
Cecilia Brendel’s paintings reflect her earlier technical illustrating career with oil painting and the combination is a mixture of detail and representational. Most recently, her love of fine details has inspired her to create a series of miniature paintings. She has started with small oil paintings from 8 by 10 inches, 5 by 7 inches, 3 inches and most recently down to 1½ inches on solid gold and silver pendants. Elizabeth Diamond Company recently signed her on to sell her oil painting pendants at their high-end jewelry store. They also will be available at Olde Masters Galleria.
For many years, Camilla Hale lived in the Arkansas Valley of Colorado at the foot of Mount Princeton. “I watched the aspen grove spanning the base grow larger and more beautiful year after year, filling with greens, then reds and golds,”
Hale says. “This aspen leaf [in Mount Princeton Gold] was found there on the forest floor.”
Another artist drawn to her surroundings is K.L. McKenna. She says, “My goal is to create indelible images that are uniquely individual, each with their own identity, personality and purpose while at the same time exhibit a recognizable voice.”
McKenna explains that her landscapes “reveal a profound attachment to the natural geology and essence of place in my paintings of the West. Monumental rock formations meet flat plains; angular roads eerily cut through landscapes seemingly uninhabited; endless sky and natural geometries dominate. If these qualities fill a space inside of you, relive them through these paintings.”
Komilbek Kabilov is a painter of Oriental miniatures, including his work Victory Over Evil, which is from the Persian fairy tales Scheherazade, or One Thousand and One Nights. Another of his works is Royal Hunting, which is a depiction of a hunting scene from 16th-century Persian miniatures. All of his works are done using pigments, watercolor, tempera and gold leaf with a very fine brush on old antique paper from a mulberry tree.
The nature that is all around us is the inspiration for the colored pencil drawings of Tracey Chaykin. “My love of nature propels my desire to preserve it for generations to come. I actively participate in groups like the BirdWhisperer Project and ABUN - Artists & Biologists Unite for Nature so that my art, in addition to distributing with others who share my affinity for nature, can be used for the promotion of knowledge and conservation efforts,” Chaykin says. She adds, “In the words of John Ruskin, ‘when love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.’” Her own works are ones she looks forward to sharing with people who appreciate the awe of nature.
Delicate yet powerful, Sally Ruddy creates an expressive, expansive body of work that encapsulates the little joys and treasures of life, reflecting the beauty within. There is a deep, sincere tenderness that permeates each intimate painting, filling the edges and corners with a resolute sense of visceral emotion. Every moment is unique, frozen in time for the viewer to experience, each painting holding its breath and awaiting the next moment that is just out of reach.
“My paintings are a form of poetry,” says Ruddy, “you understand the ‘words’ but sometimes they are combined in a way that can
surprise and delight you.”
Beverly Fagan Gilbertson, who signs her paintings with her maiden name of Fagan because she feels it is a personal statement and something of her own, has easily recognizable work whether it measures 2½ by 3½ inches or very large at 48 by 48 inches. Working with the same palette for many years has given her collectors confidence that even if the “theme” is different, her paintings will still have the same color and intensity. Switching back and forth from impressionistic to abstract has kept each painting fresh and invites viewers to step into her world. Her favorite subject is florals, whether landscape or still life, and capturing the movement of the colors and “airs” of blooms has been a lifetime challenge.
As artist Barbara Andolsek says, “Everyone, according to the Japanese, has
an ikigai. The French call it raison d’être. Finding ‘it’ requires a deep and often lengthy search of self. Such a search is regarded as being very important, since it is believed that discovery of one’s ikigai brings satisfaction and meaning to life. My ikigai/raison d’être is painting. A lovely life equation!”
Barbara Stanton has always loved to paint small because she can start and finish the pieces in just a few sessions instead of months. “I love the details and it’s all details. I love a challenge. It’s not that easy painting so tiny,” Stanton says. “Everything about painting small felt right to me. I never wanted to go back.”
Stanton is most inspired by nature, color and light and the world she lives in where she never runs out of subjects to paint. “I believe that painting miniatures has helped me learn to paint better because I learn from every piece and I can paint more pieces in less time than if I had painted in full size,” Stanton remarks. “Every miniature has all the same problems to solve as a full size piece. I don’t consider myself a miniaturist. I am an artist who specializes in painting miniatures.”
Colin Starkevich is a Canadian artist who has been portraying the Canadian
Grasslands region in stunning beauty and mystery for a number of years in his constantly growing Grassland Series. Among his newest pieces is the 5-by-7-inch painting Among the Shadows – Mule Deer that captures the lush landscape and the creature in a small size.
John Cutruzzola’s paintings emerge from his personal observations; his sense that the minute, hours or days within each single event fill the space of one’s entire life. Among his small-scale pieces is Beauty in the Light, which highlights the dramatic elements of color and light that he uses in his paintings to express a sense of presence and underlying emotion.
Christine Bass, an award-winning artist whose pieces have been featured in many annual miniature shows, shares her love of nature through her landscape pastel paintings. She says, “I endeavor to share the beauty of the world around us through my art.” Bass does not uses brushes to produce minute details in her works, resulting in “a unique blend of scenic perspectives that lean toward the impressionistic yet are so realistic that the viewer feels a need to become a part of the scene.”
1. LewAllen Galleries, Gardenias in Sun, oil on panel, 12 x 12", by Ben Aronson. 2. Garvey|Simon, White Tailed Hillstar, gouache on paper, 3 x 3", by Dina Brodsky. 3. Meyer Gallery, Bleeding Hearts, oil, 8 x 8", by Jacob A. Pfeiffer. 4. Nüart Gallery, Guidelines, steel, wood and oil, 9¼ x 9¼ x 2", by Randall Reid.
5. Corey Helford Gallery, Linger, oil on linen, 12 x 12", by Nigel Cox. 6. Corey Helford Gallery, Another Face, oil on wood panel, 14 x 11", by Chie Yoshii. 7. Claudia Seymour, A Punnet of Plums, oil on linen panel, 8 x 10" 8. Corey Helford Gallery, Noname My Heart, oil and Wyandotte feather on panel, 20 x 16", by Soey Milk. 9. Claudia Seymour,Lemons and Lunaria, oil on linen, 8 x 10" 10. Karolyn K. Farrell, Flint Creek at Illinois River, oil on canvas, 9 x 12" 11. Karolyn K. Farrell, On Location – Tuscany Chapel Garden, oil on canvas, 12 x 9"
21. K.L. McKenna, Cottonwood Stand, HF Bar Ranch, WY, oil onboard, 15 x 17" 22. Dan McWilliams, Red Swimsuits, oil, 10 x 8"
23. Lotton Gallery, Paris Market, oil on canvas, 12 x 16", by Louis Basset. 24. K.L. McKenna, Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, oil on board, 8 x 8" 25. Lotton Gallery, Light Rain, oil on canvas, 14 x 8", by Dmitri Danish. 26. Komilbek Kabilov, Victory Over Evil, pigments, watercolor, tempera and gold leaf on antique mulberry paper, 8¼ x 5/"27. Lotton Gallery, In the Alley, oil on canvas, 16 x 10", by Dmitri Danish. 28. Komilbek Kabilov, Royal Hunting, pigments, watercolor, tempera and gold leaf on antique mulberry paper, 9⁄ x 5¾" 29. Tracey Chaykin, Blu, colored pencil on paper, 10 x 8" 30. Tracey Chaykin, American Lady, colored pencil on paper, 5 x 5" 31. Sally Ruddy, Buddha With Orchid, oil on canvas, 10 x 10" 32. Colin Starkevich, Among the Shadows – Mule Deer, oil on gessoboard, 5 x 7" 33. Beverly Fagan Gilbertson, Pears, acrylic on panel, 6 x 6"
pastel, 4 x 3" 35. Sally Ruddy, Coffee Black, acrylic on panel, 6 x 6" 38. Barbara Stanton, Rainbows on the Beach,36.
oil on canvas, 6 x 6" Barbara Andolsek, Sherbet Cone, oil on board, 7 x 5 x ½"oil on board, 4 x 3" 39. John Cutruzzola, Beauty in the Light,
34. Christine Bass, Rippling Through the Quiet, 37. Beverly Fagan Gilbertson, Oranges, oil on canvas, 14 x 18"