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June 02, 2021
By Chelsea Reed
Did you know that the miniature art genre first began as portraits? In medieval times, illustrators painted miniature portraits of prominent figures in manuscript books. Pocket-sized miniature portraits were also popular in the European royal circuit. Sometimes, royalty would even select their suitors by looking at miniature portraits that revealed their personalities!
The dating scene, of course, is very different today. Miniature art is not just for royalty anymore. Now, anyone can partake in the fascination of portrait miniatures. Here are some of our favorites at Seaside Art Gallery.
By Colton Calhoun, Graphite Drawing
What is it about the pencil medium that makes portraits seem extra special? Perhaps it’s how the texture of graphite captures the intricacy of facial expression. Or, maybe it’s the classic pop of the monochromatic shades that adds the depth and drama. That’s certainly the case for this amazing miniature portrait. From the clothes to the eyeshadow to the lips, viewers are easily intrigued by this woman’s remarkable features.
By Cathleen Martinetto, Oil on Ivorine
Observing this novel mini painting is like being immersed into a moment of the past. It features a craft trade in its prime during simpler times in America, perhaps a century or two ago. It may even recall the Civil War period for some. This miniature is sized 6 ¼” X 5 ¼” with the frame, making it a great collectible desktop piece for history buffs and art lovers alike.
By Brenda Morgan, Oil Painting
Cultural significance adds depth and meaning to a portrait, and this Native American child is no exception. The artist’s expert hand of the oil medium creates softness and subtle detail in the youth’s traditional powwow attire. The title of this miniature piece suggests geographic specificity, as the style of powwows differ for Native American tribes in each area.
By Yvonne Wright, Acryllic Painting
We love the subtle messages going on in this painting. The symbolism clearly shows there is much more than meets the eye to this unassuming lady at the diner counter of yesteryear. Did she just hatch a groundbreaking business idea? Is she smitten with love for the handsome fellow behind her? Or is she simply an angel in disguise? Perhaps the “wings of creativity” are synonymous with women equality, or the freedom of speech. Also, note how the flyaway touches to her hair match so well with the wings. Yes, we noticed that, too!
By Elizabeth Elgin, Oil Painting
What would it be like to talk to a black bird, a pidgeon, or even a swan? Thanks to the imaginative power of art, it might look something like this. A lady sits gracefully on a park bench interacting with an approaching swan. The spectacle might recall the naughty shenanigans of a certain famous goose for some. Fortunately, this playful scene is peaceful. The lady retains her composure and appears relaxed. Even the birds on the pavement seem to be enjoying the unlikely company.
Whether you fancy the idea of a miniature portrait for your sweetheart or simply admire the genre, the miniature portrait scene does an excellent job at capturing the creativity of the human spirit. You can find more miniature portraits at Seaside Art Gallery’s website year-round and also during the annual Miniature Art Show.
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