Monday, December 29, 2014

Most Popular Posts 2014

Rainy, cloudy, stormy, snowy, the most visited posts on my blog this year are all on artwork focused on the weather.


#5 Painterly Progression
 "...varied and broken brushstrokes, sketchiness,  impasto..." 


#4 Billowing Clouds Go By and By
Inspired by Scotland, this painting went to Palm Springs, then Monrovia, and then found a new home.

#3 Suburban Murmuration Drawing
An imaginary flock of birds and a suburban home.
#2 Chasing Clouds Another painting that went to Palm Springs, heading soon to Burbank.




#1 A Little Snow On the Marsh The most popular 2014 post from my blog is this simple charcoal sketch.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Marsh Snow © 2014 Katherine Kean 
oil on linen   12  x 16 inches

Wishing you joy and peace this holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Holiday Greeting Cards

I've added to a small selection of holiday greeting cards I've made available through Zazzle. Available as a note card, greeting card, or as an extra large, 8 1/2 x 11 sized card. Click on any one to purchase directly the Zazzle website.


Separation Anxiety, Panel One card

Counting Raindrops Variation card

Holiday Still Place card

Autumn's Veil with Snowflakes card

Monday, December 01, 2014

"Little Gems"

Girl With a Red Hat Vermeer 1665-66
oil on panel 9.1 x 7.1 inches
I can’t tell you who coined the term “Little Gems” when referring to artwork. I first heard it from a professor during an outdoor watercolor class. “We call those little gems.” he tossed the words back, over his shoulder, while sauntering off down the trail. I was working on an 8 x 10 page torn from my Aquabee sketchbook.

After the Rain Private Collection Katherine Kean
watercolor on cotton rag paper 4 x 7 inches
The term goes back at least to the 19th century. James Jackson Jarves, a newspaper editor and art critic, describing Fra Bartoleomo’s works:

     "In his earlier works, which approach miniature painting in fineness and delicacy, as for instance those little gems, the “Birth” and “Circumcision” of Christ, in the Uffizi, the composition is noble and beautiful, and the finish Leonardesque. Yet they have the force of large paintings.”


 Circumcision and Nativity Fra Bartolomeo circa 1500
tempera on wood 7.7 x 3.5 inches

For artists, working on small surfaces are an opportunity to try out new ideas, colors and composition, the small size means less cost for materials and less time committed. Plus they travel well and are easy to pack and store.

Willows at Sunset Vincent van Gogh
oil on cardboard 12 1/2 x 131/2 inches

Red Poppy Georgia O'Keeffe
Although Georgia O'Keeffe became known for her large flower paintings, her earlier flower paintings were enchantingly small. She began enlarging them to attract the attention of busy New Yorkers, however small works have also been known to draw focus. Crowds lined up in New York to view Carel Fabritius's The Goldfinch.

The Goldfinch Carel Fabritius
oil on panel 13 x 9 inches
There are advantages to the collector of small works as well. The small scale is ideal for those with limited space. They are easy to install – they work well in groupings, or in those niches in home or office. Really, you can put little gems of art anywhere; on a table, a shelf, or a tiny spot on the wall or they can be displayed on a tabletop easel. They are easy to store, easy to pack, easy to ship. They are very affordable for collecting and gift giving, and there just seems to be something inherently fascinating about miniaturization.

Angeles Forest Circling Storm 
Private Collection 
Katherine Kean
oil on linen 
6 x 6 inches

View or shop from a selection of little gems here: Little Gems Collection .