Every once in a while I get in to painting miniatures, as you may know. I love the idea of having a small image of someone/thing you love that you can carry around with you. Well, I painted a mini of my little buddy Mer looking grumpy. I took it along with me to Scotland and it was an excellent totem and I think it brought us good luck, along with plenty of heather.
Later I decided to paint his friend at the time, Zeebee. I thought that they would go along well with my pissed-off-settler portraits; Mer would be a grumpy settler and Zeebee would be nobly hopeful.
The Mer and Zeebee were a big hit, which prompted my aunt to request portraits of her furry family members too.
It was actually more of a struggle than I expected to paint at someone else’s request, and with a deadline! I managed to finish them all and they were met with great pleasure. The following are some process pictures and the final outcome.
This summer and the last two I have spent working at Lang Pioneer Village. Sometimes when working in a historic village, you take a selfie. Sometimes when you are going through the kindling bin you find a piece of wood that makes you think of a project. This year the bin had a bunch of pieces that had been the ends of cedar shingles. As I was collecting kindling, I came across some of these ends which told me that they needed to have mini portraits painted on them. I knew I had a pissed-off pioneer selfie from the year before, and I felt that this was a good place to start.
After finishing, I added a frame made from a branch that had fallen from my friend, the silver maple. I split the branch and sawed it up i to appropriate pieces, hot glued them to my mini.
Later, I decided that it would be a good idea to make a companion portrait. Curtis had been looking like a stern settler lately, so I found a picture of him from my cousin’s wedding and painted a Curtis to match.
I think that the Curtis turned out a little better. The mini me was the first mini portrait I had painted in a long time and that bit of practice made a big difference for the outcome of the Curtis as well as sped up the process. Both are wonky, but I think it gives them a certain charm…
It was my goal to post something brand-spankin’ new this week, but as it goes I haven’t had any time to work on things. Instead, its time for another oldie but goody. Plus Candace told me that I have to post these sometime. Plus it vaguely ties in to the Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
While taking Russian Imperial History at Trent I developed a Historical Figure Crush on Peter the Great. Although he was a douche at times, he had all of the magic and machismo of an important Russian historical figure. Including, most importantly to me, a death surrounded by an unlikely but awesome story: death by gangrenous bladder.
Anyway, as we studied him, I felt the urge to paint a mini-portrait of him so that I could carry it around like an old-school lover. I just looked it up and it is referred to as Portrait miniature. Good thing we cleared that up. One night when I had an evening to myself, I sawed a piece off of an old mandarin orange box and began to paint. At first I had to fight off the feelings that it was a silly plan and that I could never paint that small. But then I got into the zone, as they say and the time flew by. When I looked I had painted this. It’s a little wonky and unfinished, but I love it, so don’t mess with it.
After this I wanted to do it again. The next Russian dude with an awesome death story was Alexander II. This guy had several attempts on his life and reportedly lectured one of his would-be assassins on how he could have done a better job. …and then I saw this portrait of him, which my boyfriend would refer to as “Don” or maybe “Boss don”. So here is what I painted.
After this, I attempted to do other minis, which I may post later. None were quite as awesome as these were.
Anyway I totally recommend the Russian History courses at Trent University, so long as it is taught by Olga Andriewsky.