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Painting with Panels or Canvas?

The Secrets of Priming and Preparing Panels for Painting
Part One: Selecting the Panel

For an artist, nothing beats the feeling of working on a flawless painting surface that has been carefully prepared by skilled craftsmen educated in the Renaissance tradition with recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years. These recipes included various exotic ingredients such as resin extracted from trees farmed in the Amazon rainforests in Brazil, which was then hand pressed by Monks, and aged in cellars for 30 years as the main ingredient. Also, marble pumas mined from the same quarries in Italy that Michangelo used to sculpt his masterpiece “David,” was used along with linen textile made from the heartiest flax seed grown in eastern Europe that was then hand spun in Belgium using thread counts in the thousands. All of this was applied to wood, cut harvested from the western slopes of the France and Italian Alps, milled into panels, assembled in Venice, and exported around the world.

During the early days, preparation of the surface of the panel was a guarded secret, an art in itself, a skill passed down for generations. And unfortunately, often the secrets died with the artist. Many artists hired apprentices to prepare the grounds and mediums used to create these magic surfaces. They where sworn to keep these secrets from other rival artists and would not deliver the panels until they were properly dried in fear that a rival artist could smell the medium used in the preparing the surface. The finish of the surface was often the defining difference that contributed to creating a successful result as much as the painting itself.

Nowadays, we can step up to the counter at big box art store and buy 10- 8x 10 canvases for $10, and with a coupon, get another 20% off. Students ask me, “Why should I waste my money on quality supplies or spend hours of my time preparing a canvas when I am only learning how to paint and the paintings that I’m doing are just studies or practices and will probably get thrown away?”

I answer by saying “Inexpensive practice canvases will never come close to the experience that you will have with a quality canvas or panel. In fact, if you practice from the start on quality panels, it might change the way you practice painting forever. The quality of the surface will impact the way you apply your paint, the quality of your stroke, the way your paints blend and react to the surface, and the way light reflects on your brushstrokes.”

Yes, it is true that you can practice on inexpensive canvases, but what could you have achieved if you would have done it on a superior surface? Experiencing the way the paint absorbs or does not absorb, or how transparent or soft the paint appears on the surface of a fine canvas may help you think about painting in a different manner all together. Investing time and effort in the preparation and care of all of your materials will serve you well and will greatly assist you along in the painting process. Always be prepared and ready to paint with the best supplies possible.

The post Painting with Panels or Canvas? appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

This painting may be purchased in my online store,…

This painting may be purchased in my online store,

My newest creation is a precursor to five paintings I’ll…

My newest creation is a precursor to five paintings I’ll be showing at
Sea Affaire in July. Artist Solace Wonder has chosen a fine group of artists to
accompany his second round at The Phirana Shop in Seattle and I’ve taken the
opportunity to dive into shells, nutibranches and sea slugs which are
beautifully strange and captivating creatures.

This piece is available for purchase
at If you’d like a sneak peak of the paintings I’ll be creating for the show, email me at [email protected] and I’ll add you to my collector’s preview.

Artists for Equamore Fundraiser at Equamore Horse Sanctuary this Sunday, May 31st, from 3-6PM

This Sunday, May 31 from 3-6PM is our first “Artists for Equamore” Event at Equamore Horse Sanctuary in Ashland! Twenty-two local artists, working in various mediums, will be at the sanctuary selling original works, prints, cards, and more, with 20% of the proceeds benefitting horses in our community. Join us and help support this wonderful non-profit. In addition to art, Band Du Pays Swing Band will be playing, local wine & finger food will be served, and you can mingle with the horses on a beautiful day in the countryScreen Shot 2015-05-27 at 5.11.03 PM! The event is free, but we hope you will purchase something while you are there.





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Thanks for subscribing to Boni dé Laire – Capturing the Timeless Beauty of Southern Oregon! Here’s my most recent post:

12″ x 16″ Pastel on Paper

I stopped to enjoy this lovely view of the confluence of Little Butte Creek and the Rogue River on my way to join family for Thanksgiving dinner in Prospect, Oregon.

This post Confluence appeared first on Boni dé Laire. Until next time, Boni dé Laire.

“Nature may reach the same result in many ways. Like a wave in the physical world, in the infinite…”

“Nature may reach the same result in many ways. Like a wave in the physical world, in the infinite ocean of the medium which pervades all, so in the world of organisms, in life, an impulse started proceeds onward, at times, may be, with the speed of light, at times, again, so slowly that for ages and ages it seems to stay, passing through processes of a complexity inconceivable to men, but in all its forms, in all its stages, its energy ever and ever integrally present. A single ray of light from a distant star falling upon the eye of a tyrant in bygone times may have altered the course of his life, may have changed the destiny of nations, may have transformed the surface of the globe, so intricate, so inconceivably complex are the processes in Nature. In no way can we get such an overwhelming idea of the grandeur of Nature than when we consider, that in accordance with the law of the conservation of energy, throughout the Infinite, the forces are in a perfect balance, and hence the energy of a single thought may determine the motion of a universe.
Nikola Tesla (via inthenoosphere)”

Nikola Tesla

Organic repetition in geometric form. To view similar pieces…

Organic repetition in geometric form.

To view similar pieces available for sale, visit

“Ether” is the last painting in my alchemical elements series….

“Ether” is the last painting in my alchemical elements series. Quintessence is considered as permeating the whole of creation and binds all things together, the foundation without which the Elements would be dead matter.

“Ether” is the only painting still available in my elements series and may be viewed or purchased at True Love Art Gallery in Seattle through May 10th.

In alchemy,  the divine silver waters are associated with the…

In alchemy,  the divine silver waters are associated with the moon, which resides over the feminine. 

Palette Knife Painting Workshop with Sylvia Trujillo RESCHEDULED FOR THIS WEEKEND!

Techniques in Palette Knife Painting

Here’s information about a workshop I’m teaching in Medford starting this Saturday, May 2. As of now there are a couple of spots left, so if you’re interested, please contact The Rogue Gallery to register: (541) 772-8118  or

Tuesdays and Thursdays, April 14, 16, 21, and 23; 5:30 pm-7:30 pm
NEW TIME: Saturday and Sunday, May 2 & 3 11am – 4pm
Skill Level: All Skill Levels, 16 and older
The direct approach of applying paint to the canvas with a palette knife was very popular with the Impressionist, and of particular interest to artists like Van Gogh and Monet. The palette knife can render luscious texture and depth, while maintaining rich pure colors. In this class, you will develop skills with the palette knife to enhance your work in value, design, and color harmony.
$170 members, $195 non-members

*Attached are some recent palette knife – plein air paintings that were completed on the Oregon Coast. I’ve been living on the coast for the last few months and have become well acquainted with quite a few lovely plein air painting locations. If by chance you’re planning a trip to the central coast and would like to do plein air work or would like a studio lesson, let me know and maybe we can get together.

** If you’re in Florence, stop by the KB Gallery in Old Town on Maple St. to see my work and many other local talent!

Blessings and best wishes,