The Birch Forest

Yesterday was the final day of the Student Art Show sponsored by our HFAA club. I went to the library in the afternoon to assist with the take-down. It was a good show, and there was certainly a lot of talent on display.

My husband and I did visit the show last week after the judging had taken place. Yes, “The Village” received a first-place ribbon. Yes, “The Hamburger” also received a first-place ribbon.

As I walked through the exhibit and noted the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each grade level, I found myself very much in agreement with the judge except for one or two pieces. I’d planned to get more photographs but got so wrapped up in seeing the art that I completely forgot!

Yesterday was not only “take-down” day for the student art, it was also the first “drop-off” day for the library’s own “Tiny Art” show. When I received my tiny canvas, I thought first of doing an oil painting, but there wasn’t time for oil paints to dry, so instead, I chose oil pastels.

Now, technically oil pastels never dry, but even so, they’re not as messy as oil paints, especially if a fixative is used. So I decided that would be my medium. I looked at a few recent oil pastels I’ve done, and this one caught my eye:


I liked the colors, so I decided to use part of this painting as my inspiration. I looked at the right side of this scene and made a quick sketch on my little 3″ x 3″ square. Next, I took a deep breath and said, “Yes, I can do this!”

I began with the sky, laying in a light blue color with my Gallery pastels. Once I had the pigment on the canvas, I used a small brush dipped in Turpenoid to soften the pastel so that I could paint with it almost like a thin wash.

With my harder Pentel pastels, I roughed-in the basic elements of the scene. I then added and blended colors with my Gallery pastels and touches of my Sennelier oil pastels. It’s been all but impossible to get a good photo or scan of this little piece of art. Here, I’m showing it on a black background — which is not actually part of the painting.

It’s definitely no work of art, not a miniature masterpiece, but I really enjoyed doing this. To me, it’s a bit of an affirmation. Yes, a librarian can hand me a tiny canvas and ask me to paint something, and yes, I can do it. Yes, I’m capable of creating a bit of tiny art, and yes, I’m pleased to have my little painting on display as part of the show.

When I first brought the canvas home, I’ll admit I had a few doubts. More and more though, I’m able to push my doubts aside now, to remind myself that I really am an artist, and that whatever I do will be uniquely my own and it will be good enough. 

I think my Tiny Birch Forest is good enough to be on display. I’m proud of myself for rising to the challenge and fearlessly creating a bit of tiny art.



I'd Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s