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September 2013



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Wild busy, as usual...

I've been working on a new article for Early American Life on portrait miniatures, slashing and burning a booklet I wrote, checking my facts, poring through my huge collection of books on miniatures, adding interviews and information for collectors.  Deadline is January 25, but I'm sure I'll make it!

I've been painting miniatures for years, trying to achieve the feel of the 18th C. ones.
This was one of my favorites, and most successful!

The article is being a real challenge to write, and I'm getting to interview some interesting people and see some collections I wasn't aware of before...

I wear goggles when I paint them, though--my eyes are getting too old for such closeup work, I think!  In researching some of the early miniaturists, I came across that comment again and again...it does take its toll.   (These are 30 x 40mm, and if you're off by more than a couple of hairs, you're beginning to lose the likeness...)

Eye miniatures become popular late in the 18th C., perhaps when Richard Cosway painted Mrs. Fitzherbert's eye for the Prince of Wales, who became King George IV.  They were considered quite romantic and intimate--I've done quite a few of them!  These are the ones of my eye and kateslover 's, which we wore at our wedding.  Back when he used to have to travel a lot, he carried mine with him...(yes, we're romantic, why do you ask?)

I've got two commissioned miniatures to finish up...but of course I'm always tempted to try a new technique...


Wow! I don't know how you have the patience to paint these. Sounds to me like you love to be busy like this - your writing is full of energy :)
Hence the "quicksilver workaholic"!! <;-D

I do have a strong work ethic coupled with a short attention span!

And yes, it does take patience to paint these tiny things, and a steady hand! I often find myself holding my breath, so they're rather tiring...
love the minatures--but most especially, the eyes. they are the windows to the soul, after all...
Quite right, sweet...I like painting them best. And thank you!
I LOVE that you wore the eye miniatures on your wedding day....very romantic and beautiful sentiment! I like the young girl miniature too. I enjoyed painting miniature on occasion but, as you say, it's tough on the eyes. I was thinking of getting one of those magnification craft lamps some years ago but felt that I didn't paint, in miniature size, often enough to justify the expense.
Thank you, Serena! And yes, that was my very romantic husband's idea...wearing the miniatures for our wedding. No wonder I'm so crazy about him!

I found the goggles worked better for me than a magnifying lamp...they're fairly inexpensive at some craft stores.
Sometimes they were mourning miniatures, and sometimes just a "snapshot" of a beloved child...and aren't they lovely!

I use tiny, tiny, TINY brushes, like 00 or 000!


Article on portrait miniatures

What is the projected pub date for the article? I'd be interested to read it. I'm a specialist dealer in antique portrait miniatures in Manhattan. You may find information you can use on my website, www.archibaldminiatures.com and my blog Limnings in Little. You may also find the site of a friend of mine, Elizabeth Berdann, of interest--she paints modern miniatures. Www.elizabethberdann.com.

Re: Article on portrait miniatures

Thank you, I'll check out your website and blog, as well as Elizabeth's, in more depth! (I've seen her work before, she's VERY good.)

The pub date is June, for the article.

Edited at 2010-01-11 02:15 pm (UTC)