Small detail of a larger painting by A Horsnell Wade
Stop. There's a lot to be said for taking a break, pushing the pause button and enjoying the moment. Deep breath. Time to notice the details around you. The big stuff is bold, but there can be great power in small. Beauty often lies in the tiny details or small portions of the big picture. Take a closer look. Seeing small can be a revelation.
In painting, the artist can choose to work on a small canvas, or perhaps enlarge a small detail on a very big canvas. In this way, the artwork directs your attention.
It's also fun to isolate small portions in a large artwork to notice the details - the brushstrokes, the subtle colours, or maybe the texture. Take a closer look at your favourite painting and find those special spots where either the artist took great care in mastering just the right effect, or something magical was achieved by happy accident.
The National Gallery of Canada presented the exhibit, "Van Gogh: Up Close" this past summer and though I was unable to visit the show myself, I have long admired the work of this Dutch Master. I think he realized the importance and beauty of small as well.
Vincent Van Gogh - "Great things are done by a series of small things brought together."
Anna Horsnell SCA
Canadian painter of contemporary abstract art