The habits and interests we establish when we’re younger often go on to influence our lives in powerful ways. When artist Dina Brodsky was eighteen years old, she discovered two passions that would become permanent fixtures in her life. “The first was painting,” she writes. “The second was long-distance bicycling.” In her series Cycling Guide to Lilliput, she demonstrates how the two work together to inform her exquisite miniature landscape artwork.
“Long distance cycling tours became my preferred form of travel, a way to gather ideas and information for the next year of painting,” Brodsky explains. “Specifically, I was drawn to miniature painting, studying first Islamic miniature art, then medieval manuscript illumination, combining that with the classical painting techniques I learned through the years.” Each of her small works encapsulates a memory she had while traveling, from moon-lit scenes to snowy roadways to reflecting ponds. Painted with an incredible realism, the circular life-like compositions allude to a larger story in which Brodsky guides the way.
What compels Brodsky to paint at such an impressively tiny scale? “I like to think that the reason my works have gotten so tiny over the years is that painting itself is partially an act of meditation,” she muses, “of being able to hold something still enough in my mind that I can capture an image of it. As it becomes easier to slip into that meditative state, the object I need to concentrate on becomes smaller.”
If you’re local to London, Cycling Guide to Lilliput will be on view at the Pontone Gallery from February 2 to March 4, 2018. Some of the works are also available as limited-edition prints through Brodsky's Etsy shop.