I am excited to be taking part in a juried on-line exhibit of small works titled the “25 DAYS OF MINIS” that will begin December 1st & also feature the art of 41 other artists. Over the years I have prepared for many shows but this project is a bit bigger than most in many respects ~ the most daunting of which is creating 25 pieces of framed art by December 1st, at which point the 25 paintings I create will be offered for sale one day at a time & ending December 25th.  So I’m inviting you to take this journey with me, week by week, as I show you what goes on in preparation for a venture such as this & I welcome any comments or questions you may have along the way!

If you’ve ever wondered how an artist’s inspiration becomes a finished painting, my “10 STEPS” will show you the phases of how I create & give you a peek inside my studio as I prepare for the “25 DAYS OF MINIS” online exhibit. I’ll begin this 10 step series with Phase One: PANEL PREPARATION, by showing you how I prepare my panels for my oil paintings. This series will end with my finished framed “Mini” painting, all boxed up & ready for shipment to the art collector who would like to add it to their collection or give as a gift for the holidays. My hope with this series, is to give some insight into my creation process & show some of the behind-the-scenes inner workings of my art studio prior to you viewing the finished framed painting.

This series will also include, videos of my painting techniques, insight into how I choose the subject & composition of my works, & the not-to-be-missed, all-exciting-world of FRAMING! 
So let’s get this party started with . . .

Creating Art is so much more than just painting pictures ~ planning is a big part of being an artist & the name given to this this project is a misnomer when it comes to how long I’ll need to prepare.   So NOW is the time to roll up my sleeves & begin working towards the unveiling December 1st (well to be honest, I should have started last month, but running behind schedule must also be a part of being an artist).

Before any painting can begin, I decide on my subject matter, composition & panel size.  I love working on a smooth surface, so that is why I prefer painting on panel as opposed to canvas. Plus, working on panels vs canvas, means less movement in the stubstrate resulting in a more permanent painting. Prepared panels can be purchased through Art Supply stores, but I prefer to prepare my own as it allows me to have more control over the finished surface & it is less costly, which means I can pass those savings on to the collectors of my art. 


Now I would love to take credit for EVERYTHING  that goes into my paintings, but truth be told, the business of art sometimes “takes a village”.  I could easily buy pre-manufactured panels, & use an outside source for all of my framing. But lucky for me, my significant other Jim, is a meticulous, talented woodworker who cuts my panels & frames for my finished works,  & then puts it all together in a perfect package to send out into the world for all to see.  I believe in giving credit where credit is due, so I’ll be showing Jim’s expertise in an upcoming email about framing.


Once Jim cuts a 4 x 8 sheet of hardboard panel into many different size panels, I sand & prepare them in several steps.  First I apply a thin glue sizing to to protect the uncoated panel from any harmful oil absorption from the linseed oils used in some primers and oil paints. After about 3 days, I apply Gamblin oil painting ground, which provides a strong, bright white, non-absorbent foundation for my paintings. I prefer this surface over the traditional acrylic Gesso because it has a vibrant white reflective base that gives my paintings increased luminosity when glazes & transparent colors are used.  After the first coating of ground thoroughly dries, I lightly sand the panel & apply a final second coat which will also get a light sanding to complete the panel preparation.



Well I hope you’ve enjoyed the riveting details of Phase One: “PANEL PREPARATION”. I’ve prepared a quick 13 second video here showing an abbreviated version of this process. If I’ve piqued your interest about life in the art studio, I look forward to sharing Phase Two: “SUBJECT & COMPOSITION”
where I will reveal how I decide what to paint, as well as my thought process & planning stage for the composition of my painting.

Thank you so much for your interest in my “10 STEPS TO THE PERFECT MINI”!!

Check in this time next week for Phase Two:  “SUBJECT & COMPOSITION”!