Saturday, 7 December 2013

Exquisite Miniatures

BAASA Gauteng was honoured to have the Miniature Art Society of South Africa visit us for a talk and demonstration at our last meeting of the year. 'Exquisite' was the word most uttered around the room.

Some samples of miniature artworks

These delicate works of art are not simply small paintings. Neither are they novelty art. They are meticulous works of fine art and are rendered in fine detail with tiny brushstrokes, good composition, perspective and colour balance - all the aspects of any good fine art.

Val Christie demonstrating her delicate watercolour technique
Work is done using a magnifier to ensure correctness, as the size allows no tolerance for error; a single brushstroke that is out of place becomes a glaring error. Judging is also done using a magnifier so that detail rendering and technique can be carefully scrutinised.

This picture and the one below were part of a 'stamp' challenge
Pen & Ink rendering - cellphone cover gives scale
It is a flawless art form that invites the viewer to look more closely and conveys a feeling of intimacy when held in the palm of one's hand.

The history of miniature art is an ancient one, probably one of the earliest forms of art after rock art. It can be seen across Western and Eastern traditions, from Europe to India and China to Persia, in the illuminated scripts from the 3rd century onwards, sharing links with the miniature portraiture that flourished from the 16th century in Europe. They were usually painted in oil, watercolour or enamel on vellum and even ivory, the latter imbuing the painting with a radiant glow. Nowadays a synthetic form of ivory called 'ivorine' is used, but paintings and pencil work are more commonly executed on hot pressed watercolour paper.

Strict framing rules are applied

As with botanical art, all framing must be archival as these works are treasured by collectors. Guidelines for the strict size requirements of miniatures can be found on the MASSA website where the one sixth rule is explained.

Anyone wanting to know more about this art form can click here to visit the Miniature Art Society of South Africa's website. Thank you Val Christie, Daphne Carew and Massimo Leone for inspiring us with your enthusiasm and dedication to this delicate art form.

For more photos of this event click here.

1 comment:

  1. Letter from Daphne following the event:

    Massimo and I so enjoyed ourselves, at Witkoppen Wildflower Nursery , telling you all about miniatures. What a lovely morning, meeting some of your members. We are also so proud of our, highly talented, Val Christie.

    We both thank you all for showing such interest and being so friendly to us, we felt quite at home. We do hope that our two Societies will keep in close contact in the future.

    Thank you so much for the wonderful gift voucher, Massimo and I have decided to share this unexpected gift, so, many thanks, wishing you all a blessed Christmas and a peaceful, painterly 2014.

    Best wishes,
    Daphne Carew

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