THE SIZE THING

In general, I don't make pictures much larger than your average postcard. If this site had an FAQ, number one would have to be "Why are your pictures so small?". The stock answer was that when I started painting again there was only a cramped bedroom to work in and money for materials was short, so keeping sizes down made sense.

Quite convincing, but the truth is I have a long-term affinity with diminutive art and a love of worlds in miniature (I'm a sucker for model villages, action figures and fully working mini-engines in the Science Museum*), and probably would have begun working small even if the huge loft studio of my dreams had been a reality.

No surprise that when I started looking again, the art that spoke to me most was relatively small-scale: C17th Dutch Painters, Corot landscape studies, miniature Tudor portraits and early Freud. In any exhibition, no matter what size the painting, I tend to go in close to the surface and 'sniff the paint' before standing back. Being bashed over the head by huge art is fine for a while, but I prefer the intimacy of diving into a small piece. I like to think that making small art might encourage others to become paint-sniffers too.

Lately, more and more artists seem to be embracing the small art ethic, apparently quite independent of each other. While I dread the possibility of falling briefly into fashion, there's a properly organic feeling about the way diverse people are getting into the miniature after decades of six-foot-square monsters on gallery walls.

*Recently I had one of those "What superpower would you choose to have?" exchanges. I can already fly, so I said I'd like the ability to shrink to any size at will. Incredibly useful - think about it.

1-6th-village-948b

Possibly the most depressing model village in the world.

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