I once did an art show next to a painter who painted wonderful realistic paintings.
He painted mostly still life.
His paintings depicted bowls of fruit that were overflowing with fruit so real, that you felt the urge to reach into the canvas and taste the juicy pomegranates and the sour plums…
When I first met him years before, he painted very large oil paintings, but in that art show that we did together, he had mostly small paintings, and even some miniature paintings.
I asked him why he went so small……And he answered that big, realistic paintings take so long to finish, that his prices simply HAD to be expensive and beyond the normal reach of most small collectors.
He said that expensive paintings do not sell as often, and so he switched to smaller canvases, in order make some art at a price range that would sell.
He also said that miniatures are collector items by themselves, and it opened up to him whole new marketing possibilities.
I was curious about how he painted so small….. And he showed me a photo of himself wearing a contraption that he’d made.
It was worn like a helmet, but instead of the protective glass, he had a super strong and very wide magnifying glass.
He said that he wore this when he painted miniatures for many hours, and that it helped him see and paint all the small realistic details.
Only the hunching of his shoulders for many hours every day still bothered him.
He said he saw a chiropractor on a regular basis for the pain.
Oh…. The things we do for our work… The devotion and commitment that so many of us have to our work…
I asked him why he did not paint abstracts, or something that is easier and less physically demanding….. But he said this was what he knew and what he loved and felt inclined to do.
Now, that I am doing devotional art that requires so much detailed work and concentrated focus, I understand what he meant…
The scroll paintings I make take so much eye focus, that I have to wear glasses.
I do not wear glasses for reading, only when I paint in this very detailed style.
I also found a painting aid…. To help me focus my eyes for many hours on the detailed artwork I do.
I am adding some photos of my new painting aid.
It is a pair of magnifying glasses that have lights on each side of the frame, and they do not only magnify and ease my vision while I paint, they also throw light on the area of the scroll that I am working on.