My artistic endeavors have come to a halt for the winter - it's pretty cold in the space I use as a studio.

However, when I get the urge to paint, I can still work on some small canvases in the house.

I wouldn't dare bring the large ones in with my cats tearing through the place. They would probably jump right in the middle of my palette and make colorful paw prints across my beige carpet.

But that doesn't mean that I have stopped completely. I can always paint miniatures, so I really got excited when I read an article in the Ruralite magazine about pint-sized art.

Ruralite came Wednesday and I immediately sat down to peruse the issue. I can always find at least one article I want to read and this time was no exception. As I was leafing through the magazine my attention was drawn to an article about artists in Arizona.

The article, "Pint-Sized Paintings," was written by Pam Blair and it profiled two women: Sylvia Turner of Cochise, and Betty Leithead of Willcox, Ariz.

Willcox was my husband Wayne's hometown, and all his relatives still live there, so naturally I focused on that article. I was fascinated when I read that Sylvia and Betty painted tiny canvases from 20 to 35 square inches.

Can you imagine working on a canvas as small as a postage stamp? I can't. But Betty Leithead painted one.

That would take good eyes and delicate brushes with only a few hairs. The article said Betty has even painted a scene on a single ivory piano key.

When I read that Sylvia and Betty, along with three other artists, had painted a mural at the Rex Allen Museum, I got even more excited.

We visited the museum the last time we were in Willcox, a few years before my husband was diagnosed with end stage renal failure. We saw that mural.

My husband went to school in Willcox with Rex Allen, the famous western recording artist, television and movie star. We have records and tapes of Rex Allen singing favorites like "Crying in the Chapel," "Son Don't Go Near the Indians" and "The Streets of Laredo."

I also loved his television series; I believe it was "Country Doctor."

Sylvia's work with miniature paintings led the Art League of Willcox to establish the Willcox Miniature Art Show that takes place from the end of January through February. This is their 10th year and people come from all over the United States, Canada, England, and even France to be in this show. It's a show I'd love to see.

For those of you who enjoy painting miniatures, you should look into exhibiting your work at this juried show. We have so many talented artists in this area, I am sure some of you would love to submit a painting to this show.

There is still time, the deadline for submissions is Jan. 28.

For more information on the Willcox Miniature Art Show, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Art League of Willcox, P.O. Box 1074, Cochise, AZ 85606.


Betty Kuhn of Boardman can be contacted at:

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