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Esther Jeanes - Four Thoughts

One of the things I've really loved seeing during lockdown, is the work of Somerset artist, Esther Jeanes... or should I say the mini works, because Esther has been painting a 'daily miniature' (6x6cm) during this time.

These tiny artworks of the Somerset countryside have definitely lifted the spirits in our house, and so I wanted to catch up with Esther, to find out a little bit more about the project and ask her a few questions I thought you'd love to know the answers to. So, here are Esther's 'Four Thoughts'.

1. Tell us a bit about your daily miniatures, how it all got started and your inspiration.

I started painting miniatures for a painting called ‘Feed or Family’ - the miniatures depicted an Instagram feed. There was a great reaction to the smaller paintings and I enjoyed working quickly and exploring creating depth on the very small scale.

When we locked down for the first time, our family were so aware of how lucky we are to live in East Coker, a beautiful village with so many stunning walks. I wanted a way to be creative in response to this unbelievable situation, to observe the passing of time. We were hearing the terrible news, knowing that the world was going through this immense and horrifying event as we were watching the seasons change in our corner of this beautiful planet... acutely aware of nature carrying on with its plan, as it always has done.

I decided to paint a miniature of our daily exercise every day and to mark the time spent in lockdown, the stunning place that we call home, how the sun will always rise and how much we have to be grateful for.

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2. Do you have a favourite miniature and why?

25th April 2020, Day 34. I love the layering of colour that creates depth and I really feel the space and distance in the view from one of my favourite walks.

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3. If you could share a socially-distanced walk with any painter (past or present), who would you choose and what do you think you'd chat about?

Gustav Klimt, his legacy, how many posters he sells for student bedrooms and his fabulous use of gold!

4. Tell us a secret about you or your miniature paintings that no-one else knows!

I meant to paint a miniature every day, so I would paint on the actual day of the walk. It was meant to be part of the process of marking the time. I am currently on the 8th of November, 3 months behind. I am trying to catch up.

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Well, we love the documentation of the days and really look forward to seeing those grey squares in the photo at the top of the page, filled in :)

A huge thanks to Esther (and her gorgeous dog, Meg) for sharing her four thoughts... and if you've been getting creative in lockdown, give me a shout. I'll be featuring some more selected projects both here and on my radio show in the coming weeks and months.

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Thanks Esther and Meg!


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