Another useful tool is a magnifying glass. This can be used in the studio to check your own work, and I like to keep a pocket size one with me to look closely at details on artwork in galleries and museums. It is amazing to me what I learn this way.
I recently saw an exhibition of Linden Frederick’s work – a collection of 6 inch squares of small towns and back roads seen at dusk. Realistically rendered landscapes, a few depict a solitary home or building, in which one can see tiny luminous reflections in the ¼ inch rectangles of a window pane. As these minute areas reflected the space behind the viewer, it had the effect on me of feeling right in the middle of the space even as experiencing a remoteness – as if I were an invisible giant.
The magnifier revealed beautiful paint handling in even the very smallest sections. The experience I took away was of having walked around within a tiny painting as if I were also tiny and being able to step back and become huge and knowing, aware of the contents of the ‘scene behind me’ based on my glimpses at the reflections.
From San Diego to Vancouver, 100 Artists of the West Coast II covers 100 artists with over 400 full color photographs of their work. The collection includes art from private as well as public collections and installations, including the collections of LACMA, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art New York, and the New York Public Library to name just a few. I'm happy to be included.