Painting Big vs. Painting Small

Inger Taylor

Posted on May 16 2018

For years I have painted big and struggled with the confines of painting small.  Painting big is liberating and allows me plenty of space for expression.  Broad, fast brushstrokes yield a canvas that comes alive and moves with me. 

The down side… I know what you’re thinking, why does there have to be a down side?  Painting big with four kids around the house has left me vulnerable to unintentional destruction at the mercy of little hands.  Another issue, storage.  I don’t have massive studio space so unless work sells quickly, it needs to find a temporary home on our walls in the house or be stored.  There are only so many walls and so much storage room.  Painting big is liberating until the work takes over and has nowhere to go.

Painting small has, at times, left me feeling trapped.  Uh, who likes feeling trapped?  Not me.  There’s no room for broad, fast brushstrokes that breathe life into the canvas.  Then I decided I’d take a departure from oils and acrylics for a while and dive into watercolors.  Swimming in watercolors has been almost equally as liberating as painting big.  I say almost because I’m working much smaller, but I love the play between all the colors.  I also love the ease of storage!  Somehow, my girls seem to find watercolors less intimidating than oils and acrylics and often get in on the action.  I think we’re all going to enjoy the swim for now.  Who knows how long it will last?




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