Artist Creates 30 Mini Plein Air Paintings In Altoids Tins
Art inspiration can come from mundane moments and artists can create unique art on any given canvas, and size is never a limit. What about vintage Altoid tins? Say no more! Using small wood panels and a compact palette of paint, Remington Robinson paints mini Plein air paintings that could fit in your pocket.
Originally from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Robinson moved to Boulder, Colorado, in 2004, following his passion for landscape paintings, especially those of mountains. During his awe-inspiring escapes to beautiful nature, or city wanders, he transfers breathtaking land and cityscapes into tiny boxes without losing any of their glory and intricacy.
"I saw someone else doing these miniatures paintings, and gradually started painting smaller and smaller things until I just said, ‘why not?’ and started doing these. That was about 2.5-3 years ago," the artist told Bored Panda. In a fairly short time, his mesmerizing travel diary in miniature oil paintings gained 81k impressed followers on Instagram.
If you are as excited about Robinson’s beautiful paintings as we are, you can join him on an adventure for your daily dose of tiny yet beautiful art and creative inspiration.
We asked what inspired the author to create this artwork and he told us: "Philosophically speaking, actually, the biggest inspiration for my work is nature itself. I consider every single painting I produce to be a study of the creational-natural laws which govern all of nature, which I learn partly through my own experience, and partly from a very special acquaintance and teacher of mine, my absolute most favorite Swiss author ‘Billy' Eduard Albert Meier. Meier has written over 60 books dealing with the nature of reality, cause and effect, meditation, etc., and so while I am painting, I am often in deep contemplation of something that he has written. The takeaway for me is that the act of painting becomes a deep meditative study of the natural world and the nature of reality, and thus each painting is essentially a visual artifact of meditation. Also, the work of Claude Monet and other plein air painters provides me with motivation to keep producing work, and I am always striving to become a better painter."
The artist told us that the mini paintings take him from 1 hour to 3 hours to finish, however, there have been times where it has taken him even 6 hours to complete a tiny painting. " None of this includes the time it takes to find a spot to paint, which also indirectly adds time to each painting."
"Every spot I choose is different in some way, and it is dictated by different things each time. Sometimes I choose a spot based on how much time I have, and so I pick a spot near my house which I already have in mind. Other times it is dictated by my mood, and other times it is dictated by a preconceived idea of some goal I have in mind, like the desire to paint something indicating the current season or a peculiar weather event." - the artist told us when asked how he chooses his painting spots.
When asked about his future plans Remington Robinson told us: "In the future, I would really be interested in extensively exploring Europe and painting all over the continent there. I also have a fascination with lush green landscapes, and would be very interested in painting a lot of that at some point."
If you're thinking of painting mini artwork, here is some advice from the artist: "There are so many skills that can be included in the process of painting, and they all transfer to painting small. To produce a small painting, it is exactly the same as painting something large, just on a smaller scale. Painting small requires detail, and it helps to have a background in photo-realism painting. Then, each miniature painting can be likened to a small section of a larger photo-realism painting. One thing that maybe makes painting in miniature different is that it is important to make the work readable to the eye. Don't try to include too many distracting elements in the composition. This is a relatively tricky concept to get right, and I'm also not perfect at sticking to this idea."
"I have been dealing with paint in some form for most of my life. I am always studying and learning about painting, and have been learning new things the whole way since the beginning. The hardest part is always the trial and error and failing, but in the end, it's always rewarding to stick with it because every skill is earned, and is not handed over on a silver platter. Everyone has different inclinations to be skilled at different things, but the majority of any skill is self-created and is not the product of some magic or heavenly ‘gift'. Every skill requires persistence and work for it to develop into something beautiful." - Remington told us when asked about the struggles he faces with his art.
We asked Remington which painting is his favorite and he told us that he has many favorites for many diffrent reasons: "One, in particular, was that I really liked working on this nocturne of some colorful buildings in Guanajuato, Mexico in March 2019. I had nowhere else to be, and everything was right. The temperature was nice, and I wasn't getting a sunburn. Since it was nighttime, the light stayed consistent the entire time, and there was almost nobody around. It was totally relaxing. One funny thing also happened during the middle of the painting. There was a group of drunk American college students who stumbled onto a stoop at the end of the street in the scene I was painting. For 45 minutes, they were all acting as support for their friend who was puking his brains out from drinking too much alcohol, and the sound of their cheers for him every time he vomited were quite comical, although I also felt bad for the guy. It was entertaining though!"
Note: this post originally had 99 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.