What’s So Great About Square Foot Paintings?

I love working in 12x12 format, and (spoiler alert) I have five new paintings coming to the Abstract2 Square Foot Show August 11-13th.

Wondering what all the fuss is about with the square foot format, that there’s a whole show series dedicated to these small works?

Here’s some of what I LOVE about this size:

It’s easy to experiment and take creative risks. I try new ideas and sometimes new techniques or materials.

I like to get into a sort of flow state when I’m working. A painting in progress is a living thing, a history unfolding as I work. Not only do I have ideas for the painting, but the painting has ideas for me. I listen. I learn. Any size I’m working at, I always have several in progress at that size. With the 12x12 size, I can have them all on a wall together, and see what’s working, and what I should change.

The paintings talk to each other as well—having several lets me move the ideas around from painting to painting. If I love something I can easily try it on the others.

The 12x12 format lets all of this conversation and experimentation happen quickly and intuitively. There are no huge areas of painting to cover. Changes are easy.

There’s a lot to love about the finished paintings, too.

Small paintings encourage close viewing—you want to stand close and take in the surface. The tiny details that I love so much are important and you can really appreciate them close up.

Not to say that they’re not also a great painting to look at from across a room. A small painting can make a huge statement. And it can be slid into almost any size of home, shelf or wall.

A collection of square foot paintings makes a great grid wall, too.

Beacon, painting by Janet Taylor

Beacon, 2022, 12x12", Acrylic and Mixed Media on Cradled Panel

If you love this format as much as I do, you can pick up some of my 12x12s including ‘Beacon’ (above) , as well as work from over 70 other artists at the Abstract2 show at Squarefootshow.com at a super-attractive price. Just make sure you sign up to be on the preview list at the SquareFootShow website.