Emma Butler Gallery
111 GEORGE ST WEST | ST. JOHN'S NL | CANADA | A1C 6K2 | 709 739-7111 | emmabutlergallery@nl.rogers.com


Historical Works
Anne Meredith Barry RCA
Anthony Barton
David Blackwood RCA
Grant Boland
Patrick Canning
Ting Ting Chen
Alistair Drysdale
Lori Doody
Yevhenii Fedorenko
Jean Claude Girardin
George Horan
Kathleen Knowling
John McDonald
Robert Mellin RCA
Shawn O'Hagan
Susan Paterson
Barbara Pratt
Christopher Pratt RCA
Mary Pratt RCA
Steven Rhude
Bill Rose
Jean-Claude Roy
Olaf Schneider
Dave Sheppard
Wally Shishkov
Lotti Thomas
Krista van Nostrand
Darren Whalen
Michael Young

In Small Packages

Krista Van Nostrand

We can sometimes feel small and powerless and the world can seem incomprehensible, and frequently overwhelming. The natural world is fragile, and requires careful stewardship. Small things are easily lost or broken, and so we are moved to protect and care for them. If our world were smaller, would we take better care of it? The miniature world is a place of refuge: it is ordered, meditative and serene, a place outside of time.

In this series of paintings I explore the many possibilities to be found in working in miniature. I intend each of my paintings to be an invitation to slow down, to look closely, to treasure the beauty of the natural world.

Decades ago, I discovered a dust-covered box of antique piano keys in my grandparents' attic. Starting with these keys and the hundreds of others which I have rescued by dismantling antique piano keyboards, I create intricate miniature watercolours. Many of these paintings are less than two inches long. Working in such a small scale requires a steady hand, an unbelievably tiny brush, magnifying lenses and quite a bit of patience.

My love of antique decorative arts, especially Japanese and Art Nouveau, has been the catalyst for works I create not only in watercolour on ivory and vellum, but also in mixed media with gold leaf, silverleaf, and scrimshaw. Painting on vellum and ivory appeals both to my love of natural and handmade materials, and of centuries old painting genres. Because the watercolour paint remains on the surface of both ivory and vellum, I am able to achieve the particular luminosity I am seeking.

For this show, I have explored new possibilities not only for composition, but also for techniques and materials. Here, I have expanded on my use of incorporating multiple keys to create a single, individual image. With your magnifying glass in hand, I invite you to step into a delicate, meticulously painted world in miniature.


Blue Flag Irises
Watercolour and gold leaf on antique ivory piano key tails
Image: 3 1/8 x 3 7/8; Framed: 9 3/4 x 10

Great Big Sea
Scrimshaw, ink, gold leaf on antique ivory piano keys
Image: 1 15/16 x 1 13/16
Framed: 9 1/2 x 9 1/8

Plight of the Bumblebee
Watercolour, gold leaf, shell gold and India Ink on antique ivory piano keys
Image: 1 7/8 x 1 13/16
Framed: 9 1/2 x 9

Pitchers in an Exhibition
Watercolour, 23k gold leaf on antique ivory piano keys
Image: 9 7/16 x 1 13/16
Framed: 9 5/8 x 9 5/8

Water Nymphs
Watercolour, 23k gold leaf and shell gold on antique ivory piano keys
Image: 3 1/8 x 3 7/8
Framed: 9 3/4 x 10

Jiggs and Reels
Watercolour, scrimshaw on antique ivory piano keys
Image: 2 15/16 x 2 1/16
Framed: 9 3/4 x 10 1/8

Fruit of Paradise
Watercolour and 23k gold leaf on vellum
Image: 3 1/8 x 2 13/16; Framed: 10 1/2 x 9 1/2

Golden Rain Against a Majorelle Sky
Watercolour, 23k gold leaf and India ink on vellum
Image: 2 1/2 x 3 9/16
Framed: 9 1/8 x 11/16

Icebergs by the Light of the Silvery Moon
Watercolour and silverleaf on antique ivory piano keys
Image: 7/8 x 4 1/16
Framed: 8 5/8 x 11 1/4

The Day the Boys Gave Up Squiddin'
Scrimshaw on antique ivory piano keys
Image: 2 13/16 x 7/8
Framed: 10 1/2 x 8

The Golden Hour
Watercolour and gold leaf on antique ivory piano keys
Image: 1 3/8 x 1 13/16
Framed: 9 1/8 x 9

Newfoundland Lynx
Watercolour and gold leaf on antique ivory game piece
Image: 7/8 x 1 5/16
Framed: 8 5/8 x 8 1/2

Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Watercolour and gold leaf on antique ivory piano keys
Image: 2 13/16 x 7/8
Framed: 11 x 8 5/8

Golden Chain Blossoms in a Lapis Lazuli Sky
Watercolour and 23k gold leaf on antique ivory piano keys
Image: 2 7/8 x 1 7/8
Framed: 9 1/2 x 8

Smooth Sailing
Watercolour and gold leaf on antique ivory piano key
Image: 1 7/8 x 2 7/8
Framed: 8 1/2 x 9

Winnowing Blueberries (1)
Watercolour and gold leaf on antique ivory piano keys
Image: 3 5/8 x 1 7/8
Framed: 10 1/4 x 8

Winnowing Blueberries (2)
Watercolour and gold leaf on antique ivory piano keys
Image: 3 5/8 x 1 7/8
Framed: 10 1/4 x 8

Winnowing Blueberries (3)
Watercolour and gold leaf on antique ivory piano keys
Image: 3 5/8 x 1 7/8
Framed: 10 1/4 x 8

Winnowing Blueberries (4)
Watercolour and gold leaf on antique ivory piano keys
Image: 3 5/8 x 1 7/8
Framed: 10 1/4 x 8

Spout Cove
Watercolour on antique ivory piano key
Image: 2 7/8 x 1 7/8
Framed: 9 1/2 x 8

Noble Fleet
Scrimshaw on antique ivory piano keys
Image: 2 13/16 x 7/8
Framed: 10 1/2 x 8

Sunlight Shines for Us Above the Clouds
Watercolour and gold leaf on antique ivory piano keys
Image: 2 13/16 x 1 7/8
Framed: 10 x 9 5/8