IMG_3481 That’s a tall stack of potential. I’m so excited to dig into this bundle of mini-panels. They measure just 6 x 6 inches. Fifty of them. When I first started writing this blog in 2008 (has it really been that long?!), I started a similar project. I’d taken a break from working with encaustic and wanted to start again. How to incubate the new ideas I had in mind?

We had a piece of smooth plywood leftover from a house project, so I asked a friend if he’d cut it up for me on his table saw. The result was 36 eight-inch panels to experiment with. Over the course of working those 36 panels, my ideas were tried, edited, and developed. A whole body of larger works grew out of that series of tiny paintings.

I’ve been drawing experimentally this past year, and am continuing on these panels. Silverpoint and water media on gesso. I’m going to gesso all of them today, and work on all fifty at the same time, rotating around as intuition dictates, and see what happens.

This is a wonderful way to explore a new medium or idea, to play around without committing very much space or time or materials. I highly recommend this approach. Last time I did it, I went from this….


To this…


To this…


I just never know where it’s going to take me.

14 thoughts on “Potential

  1. Elaine Gitalis

    very exciting Lisa. Would you please tell me how you mounted your plywood pieces????
    Thanks from Canada

    1. LisaK Post author

      Elaine, I bought long strips of wood, approx. 1 x 1/2 inches, and cut them to lengths that fit onto the back of each panel. Then I glued a pair, vertically, onto the backs, several inches apart, but an inch or so from the side edges of the panel. This makes the panel appear to hover in front of the wall. To hang, I used eye screws inside the wooden strips, and attached picture wire. It was inexpensive, and they showed nicely in a grid. Hope this makes sense!

  2. Elizabeth Margeson

    Thanks for sharing your process Lisa. I always love your work and it’s so helpful as an aspiring painter to get tips and ideas for sparking creativity. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with that tall stack of potential 🙂

  3. Kerry C. Mitchell

    I think it’s a great idea what you are doing. Whenever I feel stuck, I start to play. I paint with no idea of a specific “painting” coming out of my efforts. I use the time to explore new avenues, just like you are doing. I have found new ways of painting and grown as a result of doing this. It looks like you’re going to have a lot of fun painting on those new panels. Keep us posted.

  4. Sher

    I, too, have had great success working from small panels and then with the creative development am now working on a 6 ft by 5 ft panel (which I may never do again). One of my favorite paintings that started my largest series was a wee 6″ x 6″ . . . so glad to hear others work the same way.

  5. Dan Hurley

    Wow, it is exciting to see that much opportunity waiting to be fulfilled. I can also agree that the opportunity leads to unknown possibilities. Once you get in the groove it just flows with materials on hand.

  6. Alma

    I wnted to thanjk yyou for this vvery goood read!!
    I definifely enjoyerd every littlle bitt of it. I have yyou book masrked to lolk at neew
    thungs you post…

  7. zorinalight

    Thank you so very much for sharing your process. Your inspiration has come to be my inspiration. Great how that happens. A question please; the 50 panels… plywood or particle board? And, what kind of gesso do you like to use? Thanks again. Into the Light…

    1. LisaK Post author

      glad to provide some inspiration! The boards were pre-cut and drilled particle board, and were provided by the gallery. It was a great project! For these works, I used acrylic gesso in white and black, and a silverpoint ground that is made by Golden.


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