Little verses Big
I was born legally blind in 1959.
My parents didn’t know about my eyesight until I was two years old.
I also lack depth perception.
All my life I’ve been an artist. From the first time I held a crayon I was drawing, mostly horses.
I have always worked hard to create work that is representationally true. I want my horses to look like horses and my people to look like people.
It’s been the teeny tiny little details that have thrilled me most. My eye doctor told me that was a result of my nearsightedness. Without glasses the world was a very fuzzy place indeed! But when I brought things right up to my eyes, as close as my nose, they came into to sharpness so I drew and painted little tiny things.
Once, on a backpacking trip, I found a columbine flower all by itself on the edge of a path. I marveled at it! I could get my nose right up to it and study its contours and color shifts. Then, when on another backpacking trip in New Mexico, I stood on the top of a mountain and stared down into the desert below and realized that panoramic view was not nearly as exciting as that little blossom! Looking over the rim of that mountain was like looking at a post card to me. It was impressive but flat. I could not compare it to the beauty of the Columbine!
Now I have near perfect vision due to early onset cataracts. I have permanent artificial lenses in each eye. I still lack depth perception but I no longer need glasses to drive or see the overhead at church or a dozen other things. But I put readers on when I paint.
The Milan Art Institute taught me how to paint on larger canvases than I have ever painted before. Anywhere from 16x20 and up to 24x30. I even have some canvases that are 3 feet by 4 feet that I will use to paint landscapes.
But I still love to paint small! I’m currently working on a series of mini paintings, 6x6 inches and 5x7 inches, where I can hunch on over and get my nose to the canvas and paint those teeny tiny details.
Which is better? Not sure yet. I’ll let you know.