25TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW
featuring Ed Cook
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"Talent is a gift from God. None of us has anything to do with receiving a talent, but each of us has everything to do with what becomes of it. I am convinced that God gives us a talent -any talent - for a reason, and that talent imposes two responsibilities: to use it. And to use it for good."
Miniature art is a Fine Art Specialty. Most artists can work in a large format but do not have the skills and discipline to work in the smaller more demanding scale. Many viewers wonder how so much detail can be found in a good miniature painting. The answer is talent, good eye and hand coordination, time, and patience. A good miniature painting should be able to be magnified several times and still hold together as a fine piece of art.
The word miniature comes from the Latin word minium meaning the red lead used in the Medieval illuminated manuscripts. Over time the word evolved into miniature. Miniatures have a history dating back to the 7th Century. Different schools of miniatures developed - the Moguls of India, Persia and Europe to name some of the most important.
During the Renaissance portraits became popular and have continued to be popular through the years to the present time. However, many artists also paint miniature landscapes. In all cases there are certain requirements to meet before it can be called a miniature. There is the 1/6th rule which features most prominently in portraiture. For instance, the average head is 9 inches and so the portrait cannot exceed 1/6th of that or 1-1/2 inches. Also the image size cannot exceed 35 square inches. My paintings average 11 square inches.
Miniatures have been painted on many surfaces of materials such as Ivory, Vellum (a parchment made from Lambskin), to name a couple. Ivory was preferred for portraits but because of restrictions on ivory, other materials have taken the place of ivory. Watercolors, casein, oil paints, tempura and acrylics are common mediums in use. My paintings are done using acrylic paint on Arches 100% rag hot pressed water color paper. The technique is basically that of transparent water color to give the finished works the luminance of that medium. I use many layers of transparent washes to achieve colors. effects and texture unavailable by just mixing them. Acrylic paints also offer permanence beyond other mediums and with proper care these paintings can offer pleasure to the viewers for centuries.
Because miniature portraits were popular and carried in lockets or other portable cases a tradition developed, especially in England and Europe, which carried over into America, that the miniatures had to be framed so as to be able to be held in the hand. This artist – among others – however, believes that the paintings deserve a better setting and so they are framed with the finest materials in a size to best present and protect what have been called – Fine Jewels...Timeless Treasures...