The Little Things in Life


By Katelyn Malloy

Painting by Lorraine Loots.

One coin-sized painting every day for one year. That’s the commitment artist Lorraine Loots made for 2013.

The finished series, 365 Postcards for Ants, includes tiny depictions of Vespas, flowers, cameras, owls, and all sorts of subjects. As the project evolved, its online popularity also expanded.

In early 2014, the 365 miniature paintings were placed on display in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa. The collection was exhibited for a week before the works were given to their owners. All 2013 pieces were sold out before the show even began.

To honor Cape Town as the World Design Capital of 2014, Loots is continuing her challenge this year by basing the miniature paintings off of the South African city.

Each miniature but realistic icon takes Loots between three to seven hours to complete. She uses 300 gsm Canson Montval watercolor paper, a circle stencil (to mark the outside boundaries of the image), light grey Faber Castell watercolor pencil, Windsor & Newton Artist’s Watercolours, size 00000 paintbrushes, size one paintbrushes, and Faber Castell HB pencil.

Photo courtesy of Lorraine Loots.

Although Loots earned a BA in Visual Communication, then an MA in Film and Media, she believes–regardless of her education–she was destined to pursue a career in art. It’s been her serious passion since 2012. After she participated in group shows to display her watercolor and oil paintings, Loots made the switch to creating “self-motivated” artwork.

Up through today, Loots has created over 900 miniature paintings. When asked about her favorite, she picks the red apple from Feb 8, 2014, “for its simplicity.”

Given the strict daily schedule, does Loots ever paint two a day? She says doing double is incredibly difficult.

“The only times I’ve ever done that has been when I painted the wrong thing and had to redo it–in which case I’d keep the first painting and post it on the right date, and then I’d get to take that day off,” she admits, adding it happened twice this year.

Only once, she completed a painting ahead of time because she was “going on a Yoga retreat and really needed a break!”

It takes massive commitment for Lorraine Loots to continuously create miniature paintings.