These Tiny Paintings Will Make Your Heart Sing
They would also go swimmingly with Derek Zoolander’s center.
Artist Lorraine Loots, 29, is based in Cape Town, South Africa, and she makes paintings for ants.
Gareth Pon / Via lorraineloots.com
Her series 365 Paintings for Ants started as a side project after Loots took a business course for artists and decided she didn’t want to pursue that career anymore.
But she still wanted to paint, so she allotted herself an hour a day to do so. Since the only thing she could finish in that time was a miniature, the idea spawned.
The paper is a 10-centimeter square, and each miniature can take her between three and seven hours.
MAKING SUGGESTIONS: It's almost time to release the first 14 paintings for sale! If you book a #fursday or #freefriday, you are welcome to suggest topics for the painting you have booked. Please enter your suggestion in the Comments box when finalizing your booking (suggestions cannot be altered after submission). For #fursdays bookings, please suggest at least 5 animals. If you would like me to paint your pet, please make sure that you have some great reference pictures handy (this is essential). For #freefridays bookings, please suggest at least 5 topics. You can suggest pretty much anything, but avoid personal subject matter (eg. portraits of people) and make sure the themes are universal (eg. burger / beach scene). I love hearing and incorporating your suggestions, and will always go out of my way to create a piece that you will love. Please remember, however, that I still retain the right to make a final decision about subject matter and use my discretion as an artist at the end of the day. 🍔 #potluck100pfa #miniature #watercolor #paintingsforants #suggestions
As the project started rolling in 2013, people started asking her what she was going to do with paintings so small, and so she started saying they’re for ants.
“I guess I’ve always wanted to find a way to document things,” she says in a video made about the project. “This just gives me a way to put something down and make a mark on each day.”
She’s made everything from creatures, like sloths…
INTRODUCING : FURSDAYS! As the third part of #potluck100pfa, Thursdays will be dedicated to our furry (and feathery) friends. So yes, this means that you'll be able to commission a painting of your pet. This is day 3/100 (1/25 Thursdays) : Timoteus the Sloth (the year should be 2015, I've fixed that now. Oops.) 25 x 24 mm. 🐼🐭🐰🐨🐦🐵🐴🐻🐱🐤 SOLD. #potluck100pfa #fursdays #miniature #watercolour #pet #painting #paintingsforants #sloth PLEASE NOTE THAT I WILL BE INTRODUCING THE PROJECT THIS WEEK; SALES WILL ONLY OPEN NEXT WEEK. Paintings cannot be booked yet. I will announce the way bookings/sales will work on Monday 9 March, and I’ll give a heads-up here of the exact time when sales will open via my website.
…to critters like mice.
She’s encapsulated entire nebulas.
INTRODUCING "Potluck 100 Paintings for Ants"! 100 miniature paintings scattered over 25 weeks in 2015. There will be four paintings done each week, and each day will have a theme: the first being "Microcosm Mondays" (this means that the subject matter can be anything space-related). So this is day 1/25 Mondays : Pillars of Creation | a photograph taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of elephant trunks of interstellar gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula, some 7000 light years from Earth. 30 x 30 mm. SOLD. 🐘🌌 #paintingsforants #potluck100pfa #microcosmmondays #paintingsforants #miniature #watercolor #art PLEASE NOTE THAT I WILL BE INTRODUCING THE PROJECT THIS WEEK, AND SALES WILL ONLY OPEN NEXT WEEK. Paintings cannot be booked yet. I will announce the way bookings/sales will work on Monday 9 March, and I'll give a heads-up here of the exact time when sales will open via my website. All will be revealed in time! 💛
And pastoral scenes from life on Earth.
At first Loots drew whatever she felt like.
INTRODUCING : FREE FRIDAYS! As the 4th and final part of #potluck100pfa, Friday's theme is wide open, meaning that the person who has booked the painting can suggest pretty much any 5 topics (within reason: nothing too personal like family portraits; the theme still has to be universal). This is day 4/100 (1/25 Fridays) : PIZZA! My favourite.🍕🍕 26 x 13 mm. SOLD. #potluck100pfa #freefridays #miniature #watercolour #pizza #painting #paintingsforants PLEASE NOTE THAT I WILL BE INTRODUCING THE PROJECT THIS WEEK, AND SALES/BOOKINGS WILL ONLY OPEN NEXT WEEK. Paintings cannot be booked yet. I will announce the way bookings/sales will work on Monday 9 March, and I’ll give a heads-up here of the exact time when sales will open via my website. 🍕
But as more people booked paintings, suggestions began to filter into Loots’ process to make the art more intimate.
Day 6/100 (2/25 Tuesdays) : "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Cover art by Francis Cugat. The Great Gatsby received mixed reviews and sold poorly; in its first year, the book sold only 20,000 copies. Fitzgerald died in 1940, believing himself to be a failure and his work forgotten. Today, it is widely considered to be a literary classic. 22 x 17 mm. 📖 SOLD. #potluck100pfa #tinytuesdays #miniature #watercolour #paintingsforants #thegreatgatsby #fscottfitzgerald
“I wanted to create something people loved as opposed to just creating something for the sake of making something,” she says in the video.
It was hard not to procrastinate, but after a while, it was just no longer an option in her brain.
Day 244 : A little bird, he told me so | he said come on, get on the go | open your eyes the sky is full of butterflies | the blossoms on the trees stir up the honey bees | Spring makes my fever right. – Spring Fever, Elvis Presley. 🌸 28 x 28 mm. #365postcardsforants #miniature #watercolour #wdc624 #spring #blossom #capetown #art #lovecapetown
Each painting is titled with the day it was made.
That way each one has a unique name for as long as she continues.
As the days passed, Loots grew sad knowing the project was coming to a close.
Day 280 : A section of the Large Magellanic Cloud – located next to the constellation Mensa (which was named after Table Mountain). The cloud is associated with the puff of smoke from Van Hunks's pipe, or the way the clouds roll over the mountain on a windy day. 27 x 27 mm. 🌌 #365postcardsforants #wdc624 #miniature #watercolour #mensaconstellation #largemagellaniccloud #space #tablemountain #vanhunks
But there’s a twist in the plot: It didn’t end.
Gareth Pon / Via vimeo.com
“I just started thinking: What if I just don’t stop?” she says in the video. Her follow-up series, 365 Postcards for Ants, focused on Cape Town last year.
Her latest project is called “Potluck 100: Paintings for Ants,” which are 100 paintings split into four categories: Microcosm Mondays (space), Tiny Tuesdays (books), Fursday (animals) and Free Fridays (whoever bought the day gets to suggest five topics, so long as it’s universal).
And get more about the first 365 project below.