Each day Beth Freeman-Kane rejoices in the many rich splendors of nature in her family’s log cabin in semi-rural Assagay near Durban in KwaZu\u-Natal, South Africa. Her unique expression of personal joy comes from appreciating the lush green valley, abundant with bird life she looks out onto from her studio window and by recreating fine scale miniature renditions of fauna and flora indigenous to her native South African backyard and from species found across the globe. These natural wonders most of us can only envision from flipping through travel guides, nature books and photos are the everyday inspiration and the fuel for her passion for the celebration of all living things.
Beth embarked on her creative journey in the creation of miniatures at an early age. During her formal education and training her instructors urged her to embrace the idea that art must be large to be of substance and to have validity. Her innate tenacity and very spirited determination enabled her to remain steadfast in her quest to “creating in little.” She has been quoted "I am a great believer in the significance of small things, and have been impressed by the power in miniature art to compel one to stop, cross the floor and take a closer look. Miniatures require an up close and personal relationship with the viewer.”
Already entrenched in her art career, it was in her late 20s she discovered the resurgence of the miniature art form and she eagerly joined several prestigious organizations that celebrate miniatures including the Miniature Art Society of South Africa, the Miniature Art Society of Florida and the Hilliard Society of the United Kingdom. Freeman-Kane was elected as a signature member of the Miniature Artists of America and was awarded Fellowship status in the International Guild of Miniature Artisans. As an IGMA Fellow, she teaches annually at The Guild School each year in Castine, Maine and offers instruction at many other venues. Beth’s creations are included in the collections of several museums and is the first and only artist working in miniature to have a solo exhibition in South Africa.
Mrs. Freeman-Kane’s drive to celebrate the wonders of nature through the creation of miniature birds, other creatures and small vignettes serve to remind us of the critical need for environmental conservancy. She states “…we need to stop and take a closer look to appreciate the birds and smaller creatures around us. I hope that we will continue to recognize their significance and look after what we have before it is too late." Her signature miniature settings compel us to appreciate, admire and study the grandeur of nature that surround us.
Beth has been commissioned by D. Thomas Fine Miniatures of Hastings-on-Hudson in the heart of the lower Hudson River Valley of New York to create “October-on-Hudson,” a vignette in 1/12th scale, depicting a typical Fall morning in the life cycle of the mighty Hudson River. The vignette typifies life on the river, both what we can see from one of the many promenades that trail the riverbanks and provides a glimpse from under the waterline. Her piece replicates the intricate ecosystem that is the Hudson River and includes a variety of Aves specific to the Hudson including the belted kingfisher and pectoral sandpiper, insecta including Halloween pennant wing dragonfly and eastern pondhawk dragonfly, Amphibia including the pickerel frog and a variety of freshwater fish including the common minnow and blue crab.
Master Class Project: Blue Jay
“October-on-Hudson” will be the featured work in the special exhibit Hudson Valley Wildlife in the Gallery of D. Thomas Fine Miniatures from October 15, 2016 through January 15, 2017. “I asked Beth to create this special work to help Hudson River Valley enthusiasts celebrate the 407th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s chance journey aboard the Half Moon into the majestic river that feeds our souls and defines our community” says Darren T. Scala, proprietor and curator. “I am honored Beth agreed to create ‘October-on-Hudson’ and to journey to North America for this exhibit, open house and master class.” Freeman-Kane will also bring other supporting works to the exhibit including her miniature versions of the great blue heron, marsh wren, barred owl, American robin, mallard ducklings, winter wren and the Carolina parakeet, now extinct in the Hudson River Valley.
Mrs. Freeman-Kane will teach a special full day, master class in wildlife miniature on Saturday, October 14 where participants will be instructed in the creation of a blue jay. Scala will host a special open house/meet the artist event on Sunday, October 15 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM in The Gallery at D. Thomas Fine Miniatures.
ABOUT D. THOMAS FINE MINIATURES
D. Thomas Fine Miniatures is a retail and gallery destination featuring top quality collectibles including 1/12th scale structure, furniture and accessories. The concept, designed to appeal to collectors, crafters and enthusiasts was created, in part, to raise awareness of miniatures as a decorative art form and to introduce the discipline not only to a new generation but to those who may just be discovering it! The gallery space showcases work in miniature by well-known artists from all over the world.