The Little Gems show opens this coming Friday, February 5, at the West End Gallery in Corning. I always look forward to this annual show of little paintings, to see how other artists tackle the challenge of working small, especially those who usually work in much larger formats. It’s usually a great display of really interesting small works
But this show has also always held special significance for me besides it just being a great exhibit. It was the first show that I ever publicly displayed my work, back in 1995. I wasn’t sure where the road would lead at that point and surprisingly, it has surpassed my hopes of that time. Without that first step, at that first show fifteen years ago, I might very well have a very, very different life now. So you see how I put some weight towards this exhibit of small paintings.
I also like this show for the format which forces me to work small. It’s a great opportunity to work out new things on a small basis,such as amping up different colors and blocking in new compositions. Or to revisit a composition that I may have used in the past experimenting with a different feel and color. Small pieces enable me to work on dynamism on a small scale, finding what elements work and might translate to larger work in the future.
Important rehearsal time.
From a collecting standpoint, small works have always been important to me. Many of my longtime collectors obtained a small painting of mine as their first piece of art. I try to make the small pieces every bit the same, painting with the same care and focus, as the larger, more expensive paintings in all aspects except for the price. I like the idea of making original work available in price to most people, opening the sometimes overbearing world of art to a wider range of the public. There is something exciting about having new eyes and new energy in the galleries and both often come from people who may have been intimidated by the idea of even being in an art gallery in the past.
And like my first foray into the world of art fifteen years back, that can be an important first step.