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miniatures and orchestration

Today's picture is a miniature watercolor illustration. I real life it is about 8x5 cm. In the watercolor class, we are supposed to try doing miniatures of a motive before we go full scale. The deal: Get to know your motive, try color schemes, play with the light and don't waste paper. Not because of ecological considerations but because good watercolor paper is expensive. The same, even more actually, is true for oil pastel  paper that is, in good Sennelier quality, really! expensive. To cut cost down there, I bought half a ton of large (100x60cm) sheets that I can cut into smaller pieces. That was last week's highlight, when the paper arrived, from France.

Often, funny enough, these miniatures end up nicer than the larger pictures.

When I create perfumes, I sort of do miniatures, too. Just a few ingredients to peel the "motive". And, yes, there too:  The miniatures are often nicer, at least in my nose, than full blown formulas. Don't ask me why. Maybe it is the simplicity; less distraction by side stories from a main theme. Maybe it is just me who likes simple things (sometimes). But then, trying to be honest with myself, I realize that these simple trials are "nice" but not much more. And there is enough "nice but not much more" out there.

You know, when it comes to creation "nice" is not always a compliment. When the teacher said "nice" commenting about today's picture, he immediately also said: "really, I mean it. It is nice." You see: Nice can be the opposite of "interesting", "double bottom", "twist",...

In the class we then started discussing, about nice, and about: Orchestration. We agreed that I should actually cut the little illustration out. Put it behind a passe-partout, and frame it, at least A4 (30x20 cm). Hang it on the wall (yeah and sell it for $$$, that's what I thought).

In the end, that's about like putting together a nice little "eau" and put it into a golden flacon, with some Swarovski stones or other decorative elements, and orchestrate it in a campaign with snakes, or gold flakes inside or flowers and stuff, and then be loud about it. "the best fragrance in the world, perfume as an art, luxury perfume", anything goes basically. One important factor, though: Make it expensive.

It is all about orchestration.

This is one of the reasons, why -in perfumery- I just can't stand the term "art" anymore. It's been used so extensively, that -like niche as term- it has become obsolete. Especially when used in  a context where the objects of art are mass created by labs, like oil paintings made in China that you can get for a few $, like this one here.

12 thoughts on “miniatures and orchestration”

  • Dear Andy, good solar miniature :-) - we have the same weather today :-)

    Have a good and successful week

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  • Even art is now a word used to embrace all sorts of activities. The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition has just opened and even the stairs are "art".

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  • I like the painting! And I love the little miniature Flash perfume bottles. :-)

    Saturday I went to the Tauer perfume launch at Etiket Montreal; it was lots of fun! Good crowd and very nice reception. We hope to see you here in person soon!!

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  • what a lovely drawing andy. something about it is very calming and pensive and just a very centered vibe. p.s. just wanted to mention, enjoying very much the vetiver splash. its kind of not attracting to the insect population here so much so that i can actually wear it outside. its just great for spritzing the bedroom also, before sleep. so fresh and calming. thanks for that.

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  • Dear AnnSmith, thank you for sharing your appreciation of Vetiver&Petitgrain splash. I am not sure, but it might be that the vetiver essential oil is actually slight acting as "insect repellent". At least it seems to work against Termites :-) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11521400 By the way: The Lonestar Memories might do the same... the birch tar in there was used earlier in insect repellents in Scandinavia. I learned this when visiting Oslo a while ago and presenting Lonestar and everybody started talking about their memories of camping and using a particular insect repellent that smelled a bit like Lonestar .

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  • Thank you Tara for your feedback. I heard from others that it was great. And yes: Montreal is on my "to visit list". Autumn will see Andy flying West. That's the plan at least.

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  • Yes, Peter, I so agree. When words become useless ... right?

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  • Oh, Vladimir: I am jealous... here we had a very wet rainy day...

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  • Oh, I love that tiny painting, it's like a single ray of sunshine piercing a big cloud. I envision it presented in a very large mat in a frame, like a jewel. What impact!

    Speaking of presentation: I LOVE the Vetiver & Petitgrain packaging! Utilitarian but elegant in its brushed aluminum canister, no fussiness but only a pure essence of scent. I hope you make more of these water-based scents!

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  • Thanks so much Melissa for your enthusiasm. I like the simple brushed alu can, too. In a sense, it makes a statement.... :-)

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  • hotlanta linda 16. June 2015 at 0:59

    The Mid-West needs some of your painting`s sunshine! vs all the severe storms!! :-0 The use of Art to describe almost anything always brings back the shudder of dead human torsos - headless and clothed in torn fabrics, then placed in tanks of preserving fluids - was an `art` exhibit here in the USA....... The Doors classic ``Riders on the Storm`` :-)

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  • Right now, here in Zurich, we could need some sun, too Hotlanta Linda. And don't get me started about the torsos... yes. Shudders ahead. Riders on the Storm, however, is nice.

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