As much as I would like to be equally excited to work with small and large canvases, it seems my preference for extra-large paintings these days is making it almost impossible for me to feel comfortable with small pieces. I think I used to be much more facile, moving from small to large with ease, and vice-versa. But now I seem to be ignoring the littler ones.
It takes a very different frame of mind to work small. It’s like taking my artistic temperature for the day: do I have the energy for the large canvases or will it be sitting down with the small pieces. Usually, for the small ones, I have to feel more quiet than I have been lately. Especially for the smallest, six inch square pieces. I can get lost in the larger pieces. Forget myself. Make choices more quickly and change those at will. Because there is more physical space. Then the emotional space has more room to play.
Another factor in wanting to work big these days is the response I am receiving for them. I certainly cannot leave a stack of paintings lying around my studio for long. There just isn’t enough room. And when people want them, it is very satisfying. Sending them out to new homes. Allowing me to do more.
Although I do enjoy drawing, even with precision, the process of painting is much more a total body/mind experience for me. Large movements are very engaging. Probably, also, another factor is the size of the paint sticks I am using. Hardly small enough for small paintings. Even though I can work and rework a painting for years, delicate work is just not for me.
On the other hand, when a small piece succeeds, it has mystery and magic. It’s just different. Maybe later I’ll get back to them.