We meet miniature art enthusiasts and artists Chrysoula Argyros and Karyn Wiggill Bell who show and tell all about their incredible minuscule works.

When it comes to art, many believe that the bigger the scale, the better. While monumental pieces often grab viewers’ attention and dazzle with their larger-than-life dimensions, there is something equally captivating about tiny works of art that showcases big talent on tiny canvases.

The qualities that qualify as miny artwork is the size. The Miniature Art Society of South Africa, who follows international guidelines, specifies that these artworks be no bigger than 100 x 100 mm.

We meet two locally and internationally celebrated Johannesburg-based artists who specialise in tiny canvas works.

Watercolour and oil artist Chrysoula Argyros and artist Karyn Wiggill Bell.

Greek-born watercolour and oil artist Chrysoula Argyros has had a passion for painting since her schooling in Vereeniging, and her 30-year+ career has seen work exhibited across the world in countries such as Hong Kong, Tasmania, the UK and USA.

Karyn Wiggill Bell took an early interest in art and remembers drawing from as young as 6 years of age on any paper she could find. In doing so, she developed a lifelong passion for pencil, watercolour and oil work.

“A miniature painting is an extremely detailed painting that can fit in the palm of your hand. It must incorporate all the same elements as a large painting, which is composition, tonal value, and also have exquisite colour and detail,” comments Karyn Wiggle Bell.

“I think that people love miniature art because it’s such delicate work, in such a small space. So it’s painted perfectly. The composition, the colour, everything is just perfect. And people collect these miniatures,” shares Chrysoula Argyros when asked about her craft and passion.

Pencil, watercolour and oil painter Karyn Wiggill Bell.

Both Karyn and Chrysoula are highly accomplished members of the Miniature Art Society of South Africa.

We asked Karyn and Chrysoula about their approach and views on “living better”.

Chrysoula Argyros

What does ‘living better’ mean to you?

“Better living [for me] means creating your own happiness with those around you. Enjoying my art and aspiring to succeed in the goals I have set for myself, while fulfilling my journey to the best of my ability. For me it also means making time to connect with family and friends, when possible”.

What legacy would you like to leave behind?

“The legacy I would like to leave behind is of being a good mother, grandmother and overall good person who always showed kindness and helped wherever and whenever needed.”

What lessons / advice would you like to share with South Africa?

“Lessons and pieces of advice I would like to share is to spread kindness, to share and help others who are less fortunate than yourself. Kind words and actions have a ripple effect on human kind.”

Where do you go to escape and connect with yourself?

“My studio or going for a walk.”

Do you have an encouraging quote to leave us with?

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his picture.” – Henry Ward Beecher.

Karyn Wiggill (Bell)

What does ‘living better’ mean to you? / How are you aspiring to live better?

“Living in a way that takes into account the environment and my fellow humans, and taking care of my health and body. I’m aspiring to live better by improving in all these things.”

What legacy would you like to leave behind?

“Good values.”

What advice would you like to share with South Africa?

“Follow the career path you set your heart on, not what you think you should do and believe in yourself!”

Where do you go to escape and connect with yourself?

“My art studio where I’m all alone and I can focus on me.”

Do you have an encouraging quote to wrap up for us?

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me ~ Phil 4:13”