Archive for July, 2019


Some artists work on a grand scale.  But others work on a small scale, or even on a miniature scale, producing work that is every bit as skilled, intricate, and beautiful as much larger works. In the pre-photography days, being able to to paint small portraits was a highly valued skill.  Portrait miniatures were about the size of our smallest school photos, and they could be worn as jewelry.  They were usually watercolors painted with tiny brushes on ivory.  Some artists specialized in portrait miniatures.  The actual size of this portrait is about 1 5/8″ x 1 7/8″.  (Portrait of Alice Walker by her father Horatio Walker, ca. 1891.)

People who love small church ministry are like the portrait miniaturists.  It takes just as much skill and creativity as working on a larger scale, and the results are beautiful with the fruits of lives made better and filled with love.  Unlike the large paintings that dominate museum galleries and can be seen from a distance, you have to get close to portrait miniatures to truly see them and appreciate them.  They are tiny treasures.  We small church folk appreciate it when someone comes in close enough to see what the Spirit of Jesus is doing among us and recognize the gospel treasure there.


One of my most-used paintbrushes.

The Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina, has a large collection of portrait miniatures.  Here is a link to a video about how these tiny treasures are made.  You can also view the collection online.


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