Size Does Matter

Nothing can ever prepare you for seeing Michelangelo’s David in person. Remembering my own first experience with the famous sculpture, I still get chills down my spine all these years later.

I can clearly recall the quality of the light through the dome,  the swelling and tightening in my chest as my feet rooted into the Galleria dell’Accademia floor.
This flood of emotion caught me off guard. I’d seen images of David hundreds of times before! I wasn’t expecting to be so…enraprured.

But  there I stood, losing all sense of time and scale, gasping at the existence of his epic beauty.


Size is deeply tied to our experience of art. Painting something very small invites a closeness in observation while scales wow us into stepping back for a full view.

It is important for every artist to consider size as an essential part of an artwork’s message.

I enjoy painting in all different sizes and frequently use size to give interesting information about my subject.


Tiny Tea Service is painted life-sized on a 10×10″ birch wood panel. The painting was inspired by my friend’s collection of  tiny cups (more like thimbles!) and tea pots. Their uniqueness lies in their size so I knew I had to paint them true to life to capture this quality. The pot is maybe 2″ tall.

I loved the jewel-like qualities of the Tiny Tea Service so I decided to experiment with size a little further.


Delving into my curiosity cabinet,  I found an old bees’ nest I had collected on a walk several years ago.

The resulting painting is titled Incognito and  is painted life-sized on a 4×4″ canvas.

If you don’t look closely you’ll miss something! The title of the painting is a hint and the brushwork purposefully camouflages the way nature hides its treasures.

Both paintings are currently for sale. Contact for details.

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