I’ve been thinking about drawing miniatures again lately. I work small naturally but, although most of my work would probably be considered “miniature” by most people, I have an on again off again emotional block to being labeled as a miniaturist. If you look in my gallery, you’ll see “Miniature Art” in the file structure. I rebuilt my gallery section during one of my “happy to be a miniaturist” periods. Then, after I’d cycled out of that accepting frame of mind, I removed almost all traces of the word “miniature!”
I love to take off my glasses (I’m very near sighted) and draw about six inches from my nose, and I love to use very finely pointed leads to create tiny detail. I can work like this for hours and feel refreshed afterwards. This kind of drawing feels very intimate to me, like it’s part of who I am. I was born to be a miniaturist!
I’ve been struggling to understand why I don’t embrace this knowledge about myself. After all, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Is it? Well, yes, as a matter of fact it was something to be ashamed of when I was in college. Those were very formative years for my art. I listened to and absorbed all the ideas I heard in my art classes during those years and what I heard over and over again was that only “big” art was good art. Drawings had to be large and quickly made, and they were only studies for even bigger things. This was during the 70’s and there was simply no room for small refined art.
To tell you the truth, I thought I was a failure as an artist and I became an apprentice jeweler after college instead of pursuing fine art or teaching. Good old Abe taught me all about goldsmithing and carving wax and everyone appreciated my ability to create tiny detail. Looking back, I think I took that job to prove my abilities had value.
I’m revisiting this issue once again because I have several drawing ideas queued up and waiting to be drawn, and they’re starting to get impatient! I don’t want to make these drawings miniature out of expediency, though, I want to make them miniatures because that’s how I draw best. I think I owe these ideas my very best.