Dundee artist in transatlantic contest to create smallest painting

A Dundee-born artist is locked in a bizarre transatlantic contest to see who can create the smallest painting.

Roderick Watt Adam, who’s originally from Dundee but now lives in Ontario, and Margaret Maclean, from Stornaway, have both managed to produce works which are half-an-inch square.

And the next step in their battle of the brushes is the eye-straining quarter-of-an-inch square.

Margaret and Roderick both produce miniature artwork for a living.

But their creations are normally four to six inches long.

The friendly “feud” started on Facebook when Margaret posted a daringly small 3in x 3in oil on canvas of the view at Garenin, Lewis.

Roderick hit back with a 2in x 2in watercolour of the now-defunct Windmill Bar on the Hilltown.

He cheekily captioned the work: “How come your paintings are so large?”

Since then, the pair have been trading blows by repeatedly lopping off sections of canvas.

Margaret painted a view of Princes Street, Edinburgh, sized 2in x 2in inches.

Roderick (pictured) then produced a 1in x 1in watercolour of Urquhart Castle at Loch Ness, which he posted on Facebook with the boast: “This took three minutes. For my friend Margaret Maclean, beat that.”

Margaret did beat him with her own ½in x ½in watercolour of a house, called Pentland Airidh.

Roderick evened the score with his own piece featuring Broughty Ferry Road.

Roderick said: “I usually do six-by-four-inch work but I produced the two- by-two in retaliation to Margaret’s three-by-three.

“I should not have made the comment promising the one-by-one on Facebook but when it’s out there, why not?”

Margaret said: “The challenge is more about precision and there is so little margin for error both in outline and colour and to remain accurate.

“Roderick and I had talked about miniatures before but I think it was really him who spoke about a proper challenge and I took him up in it, as I love a challenge.”

A version of the Mona Lisa, the size of a third of the width of a human hair — created in Atlanta, USA — holds the world record for the smallest painting.

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