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I have always felt more comfortable handling black and white art because I enjoyed exploring different ways to control the Japanese Waterfall ACEOmediums I used. When it came to color, I felt frustrated because there was TOO MUCH to control. I was on control overload and this frustrated me. I guess as an artist, I am too much of a perfectionist. However in 2009 I discovered an art form quite by accident while scrolling for art on Ebay. It was a tiny version of a regular piece of art. I saw art that was original and I also saw art that was shrunken down and made into giclee prints. I joined a couple of groups on Ebay that created mini art, and started rising to their challenges each month to create ACEO’s of my own.

ACEO’s are 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ sizes of art. This is near to a business card size. ACEO mean Art Cards Editions and Originals and are collector items like baseball cards are. In fact an ACEO is usually protected in a hard plastic baseball sleeve. The story for these tiny pieces of art came from long ago when artists in Europe wanted to give a sample of their art to prospective buyers. They would create these and pass them out. Over the years, they became collectible. I’ve personally seen them sell for as high as $250 on Ebay. I’m sure there are those that sell for more. I have both created and sold my ACEO original Art and Editions.

Japanese River ACEOAt the top is my most sold art for ACEO Prints. It is a piece that was created from a testing area I was using for watercolors for another painting. (See above.) When I saw all of the colors in this area, I thought, “I can’t waste this, I have to do something with it.” So I looked it over and decided it looked like an abstract version of a Japanese Waterfall. If turned sideways it looks like a river (See left photo). So basically there are two pieces of art in this one piece. It’s never been so easy for me to create a piece of art and this one was truly a surprise.

Watercolor continues to be my biggest challenge as an artist. I tried creating several ACEO’s with watercolor. Because these are small, the frustration of handling color is still there for me, but on a smaller scale. I don’t feel as overwhelmed. My watercolors continue to look overworked, and I have not yet been able to capture the fluid and carefree style that true watercolor artists display in their work. It may take a long time before I’m able to get to that point of true fluidity. They make it look easy for sure. This butterfly was my first attempt that I made in an ACEO form. Following it are other attempts.

So as I work with tiny art, I keep exploring techniques that are uncomfortable for me to increase my understanding of both the technique and my skill using it. It is less of a risk this way, but produces good results. At some point I’ll be ready to create a full size piece of art to use the new skills I’ve developed.

How about you? What challenges have you overcome and how did you do it?

Rainbow ButterflySea Shell #2 Watercolor

Sea Shell #1 Watercolor

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