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September 2013



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A very busy week!

I'm just finishing (AGAIN) the article for Early American Life--got lots of questions (some unanswerable), interviewed 4 people, did lots of research on images, and hopefully will be ready to send it out again, tomorrow. (It should be in the June issue.)

The article will be on miniatures--the one above is a wonderful, worthless 19th C. reproduction piece that my godchildren found in the walls of an old farmhouse we were helping to demolish.  I love it!  With its chipped edges and still-bright colors, it has a story to tell that I wish I could hear.

Of course, the article will be about miniatures from the 16th to 19th C., focusing on American originals.  I suspect my girl, above, is mass-produced.

It's been fun browsing some of the museum sites. Visiting the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston has always been a goal for me in real life; haven't made that yet, but the website is great. They own the earliest known American miniature, by Mary Roberts, painted some time between 1740-1750, and I hope we can use that image in the article.  The Cincinnati Art Museum has a wonderful collection as well--I must have browsed several hundred graphics yesterday!

The Starr Collection at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has fascinated me since I was a kid--the Nelson's sort of my "home museum," delighting me with sights, sounds, aromas.  (They've also got one of the foremost collections of Asian art in the world...I've posted about Quan Yin here before.)  Catherine Futter, curator of the Starr Collection, was a great interview! 

Oh, and if you like antiques of any kind, Northeast Auctions has ALL their catalogs online, and they're searchable.  Their Ms. Coolidge was helpful and fun to talk to...she was delighted to hear that I paint miniatures, as well, and amazed that as much as possible I use 18th C. methods and materials.  (I paint on bone or legal ivory, with water-based paint and gum arabic.)

This is one of my favorite commissioned pieces...everything just WORKED, that time.  It's tough on the eyes...these are about 1 1/2" tall.  (It was interested to read how many historical miniature painters had to give it up when their eyes wouldn't cooperate any more.<:-})

But nonetheless, I will be GLAD to be done with this project and on to the next one! :-)

My wonderful webmistress and I worked on my website at http://cathyjohnson.info, to simplify it and make it broader to fit the newer monitors.  I've got my new Art Tip newsletter reminder on the page, but when we get finished with the update, it will be easily found at upper right, and kateslover has been helping me tweak the newsletter so it's more readable.  (Thanks, babe!  I am NOT good with html!)  The next one will use a different template, with a white background!

With all that going on, I've hardly had time to sketch this week, and I miss it...off to the City to a family birthday, soon, so the sketchbook is going along!



I'm always so envious of your talent but grateful for your generosity in sharing it. I'm going to search out that article when it comes out.

Roundrock Journal
Well thank you, Pablo! (I didn't see this till today, I'm so sorry!)
Thank you, and sorry I'm so slow in responding, Amanda!