In recent weeks, this Iris piece that I did several years ago came to mind. I was thinking about how I always liked the look of it - especially the tooth of the paper and how it responded to the pigment that was applied. So after some thinking I headed to my closet to check out my paper stock. I knew this was done on Strathmore paper so I dug up a pad of their 500 series Bristol medium surface paper. Why not do my next piece on this? Good idea.This would be perfect for what I wanted to work on for my next idea.
Now I think this idea falls into the fine category - I am starting to create a series of what I am calling 'minis'. Working small will give my collectors a new purchasing option. Lots of people today are downsizing. If potential buyers already have an art collection well under way then it can be hard to find wall space for larger pieces. Of course smaller translates into not so costly to buy. Not everyone is willing to spend a fair bit of money on a large work and some people simply can't afford a larger piece. In this case, a smaller drawing is perfect. Less money also brings the art into a gift buying price range. Finally, having mini works on the go gives me something to work on while I am in between bigger projects or when I simply wanting a break from the larger works.
The picture below shows one of my bigger pieces, how I normally like to work. The two pieces below are minis that are works in progress. Well the left rose is a work in progress. The right one is trash. That idea to use the Strathmore paper - turns out it was an idea that wasn't a good one after all. As soon as I started to work on it, I disliked the paper. I persevered, remembering how much I liked the iris piece. Yet I finally had to call it quits. I found the paper got gummy with hardly any pigment down, it was 'dirty' (pencil grime was harder to brush off and forget trying to lift pigment with tape, yuck). I was left grumbling at my muse - or whatever trickster entity influenced my thinking (it couldn't have been me that can up with that daft idea). Obviously I stopped working on that paper years ago and for good reason! Duh... So I am re-doing that wee rose on Stonehenge. Ahhhh!!! Bliss from the moment my first pencil hit the paper.
To give an idea of size, the two minis below, once cropped to the final size, would be smaller than 4 inches by 6 inches.
This next idea was an excellent one...just ask the goats! After Christmas my husband hitched on our trailer and headed out to two neighbouring subdivisions. The purpose? Why to nab some tasty goat fodder of course!!! Goats are like deer and they prefer to browse off of shrubs and trees as opposed to grazing like cattle. They love to eat pine trees! Now we have a great recycling program here in Ottawa. All used Christmas trees that are put out at the curb on garbage day are picked up and put through a chipping machine. Mulch is created for the city gardens and parks.
But we had a different sort of recycling in mind...Including our own tree, we ended up with 20 trees for the goats to supplement their diet with over the next two months. Trees do add a variety of nutrients that goats don't get just from eating hay and corn. Of course, everything else is covered in snow and/or dormant right now. In these pictures a new tree is being dropped into their field.
Below, in the picture on the left you can see Dukah and Jonah butting heads (a favourite goat activity)...this one was a rather lazy confrontation, Jonah is still chewing on his twig. The little guy on the right is my precious Noah. I worked hard to save him last summer. When he was born, he was sick and needed bottle feeding. Some antibiotics and many up in the night feedings got me a pet goat extraordinaire! He thinks I am the greatest thing since pine trees were created (or corn chips) and he follows me everywhere expecting lots of attention. He gets it. :-) He has the sweetest disposition and is truly adorable.