Lonely Planet Writer

See miniature versions of US landscapes painted onto breath mint tins

There are many ways to capture a moment. Modern day travellers have proven increasingly inventive when it comes to recording those special memories from trips, whether it’s creating unique, themed Instagram accounts or stunning hand sketched travel journals. One such example is Heidi Annalise, a US-based artist who paints miniature landscapes and nature scenes on tiny canvases mounted inside Altoids tins.

Heidi first began experimenting with the tiny 2×3 inch paintings last year, while out hiking in her home state of Colorado, a location with no short supply of beautiful scenery, mountain trails and stunning vistas.

“As a self-taught painter with almost no experience working outdoors, traditional plein air painting equipment intimidated me. It was bulky, heavy and expensive. I quickly became hooked on this extremely portable system, and started bringing my tins on all my adventures.”, she told Lonely Planet Travel News. The method also allowed Heidi to set up in just a matter of minutes, with the clean-up proving extremely easy too.

The project quickly took off, and to date, Heidi has completely around one hundred mini paintings. This year saw her documenting numerous locations while on a road trip around the Pacific Northwest coast, and she also visited places such as New Mexico, Tulum and Mahahual in Mexico. “Creating art while travelling has the added benefit of searing those memories into your mind and heart. I remember the places I’ve painted so vividly compared to the ones I’ve only photographed,” Heidi said.

To her delight, the response to Heidi’s work has been overwhelmingly positive, something that she attributes to the philosophy behind the project. “I think that my art reminds people that they can also incorporate a creative practice into their daily lives. Creating art doesn’t have to be a monumental undertaking. It can be small and simple.”

Heidi says that there is more travel to come later this year. She is currently serving as the artist-in-resident at the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument, and she plans on visiting the UK and France in September to add some historic castles to her repertoire.