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Painting My Way From 2 Inches to 2 Feet and Back Again | Debra Keirce

Debra Keirce is an award winning, internationally collected artist who lives in Northern Virginia, USA.

 Art critic Brian Sherwin said, “Artist Debra Keirce approaches her still life paintings with a playful sense of surrealism. The work I observed appears to capture a dream-like quality. This quality is heightened by Debra’s love of unique still life arrangements.
Awarded BEST OF SHOW in East End Arts Gallery’s 5th Annual National Show by art critic Joyce Beckenstein, Art historian, arts writer, contributing editor to Sculpture magazine, and a contributor to the New York Times, Woman’s Art Journal and other professional arts publications.

Holly Jolly - Oil,Painting My Way From 2 Inches to 2 Feet and Back Again | Debra Keirce


Painting My Way From 2 Inches to 2 Feet and Back Again | Debra Keirce

“American Dream” by Debra Keirce, 12″x16″ Oil

Some of my art fits in your palm. I paint pieces as small as two inches and as large as 2 feet. Miniature art invites a more intimate art experience. It draws you in. You want to look closer. Before you know it, you are looking through a magnifying glass and exploring my little corner of the art world.

“Bright Spot on a Rainy Day” by Debra Keirce, 4″x2.5″ Oil

In true miniature fine art shows, the framing is judged and juried along with the artwork. The history of miniature fine art is rich, and includes the manuscripts back in the days of scribes which were often elaborately presented, the European pocket portrait artists like John Singleton Copley, and contemporary artists who often create their own metal or carved wood framing.

“Chocolate Bliss” by Debra Keirce, 20″x16″ Oil

Miniature art is often judged and viewed under magnification, so it is important to render details sufficient that they hold up under intense viewing. Most miniature artists are realist painters and sculptors, but abstracts and impressionistic pieces are often seen in today’s exhibitions.

“Mani-Pedi” by Debra Keirce, 4″x2.5″ Oil

Even though many people would be surprised to hear it, there are hundreds of miniature shows where the work is less than 25 square inches in size, and the objects are all less than 1/6 life size. The Miniature Artists of America and Miniature Art Society of Florida, and The Miniature Painters Sculptors Gravers Society of Washington DC are committed to maintaining the high standards of miniature art in America. The Hilliard Society and Royal Miniature Society continue the tradition in the United Kingdom.

“Pink Ladies” by Debra Keirce, 16″x20″ Oil

There are things to consider when painting in miniature vs. larger. For instance, because you only see a small portion of a large painting at any given time, you need to leave places for the eye to rest in larger works. With miniatures, the entire painting is often in your field of vision, so the entire painting must be detailed to fill your center of focus. The smaller the painting, the more detailed it needs to be for a successful composition.

“Sips” by Debra Keirce, 16″x20″ Oil

True miniature paintings take longer to paint than their larger counterparts. At first this sounds wrong. But when you consider that the artist uses the same number of brush strokes, applies them with the same care and precision, and often is working under a lighted magnifier while doing so, it begins to make sense.

“The Stand Out” by Debra Keirce, 2.5″x4″ Oil

The reason miniature art is often less expensive than larger paintings is not the labor. It is because smaller art is less expensive to frame and transport.


“Straight Up” by Debra Keirce, 4″x2.5″ Oil

Traditionally, miniature art depicts landcapes or portraits. As the camera transformed the art world, miniature artists began painting other subjects like wildlife, architecture, still life. Whatever you fancy, the miniature art world invites you to explore, consider and experience a different sort of art.

“Sugar Fix” by Debra Keirce, 6″x6″ Oil