365 Postcards for Ants was a yearlong project, from January 1 to December 31 or 2013, in which South African artist Lorraine Loots set out to paint one miniature painting per day.
Along the way, her process evolved into a kind of collaboration with visitors to her site who would “reserve” a painting, and suggest a topic that was of significance to them. Loots felt this brought the center of meaning for the work outside herself, and placed it between the artist and collaborative buyer.
After the full year, Loots found herself so engrossed in the process that she continued a new series into 2014 — this time with an overall theme relating to her home city of Cape Town, which is celebrating its designation as World Design Capital 2014.
Most of the paintings are done on squares of watercolor paper, perhaps 4 inches (10cm) square, in a space roughly the size of a US quarter, about 1 inch or less across (28mm). Her website has an ongoing showcase of the 2014 paintings, many of which are photographed with a commonplace object on the paper next to the painted area.
A full retrospective of the 2013 project and 2014 project to date is available on her Tumblr archive. She is also posting recent paintings to Tumblr as she goes. There is a video intro on her About page that goes into her process a bit.
As interesting as the project and her approach are, more to the point are the paintings themselves — done in watercolor and perhaps touches of gouache, and for all their size rendered in a fresh, naturalistic approach.