Good Things Come in Small Packages

Taking the plunge.

When I first decided to take the plunge and invest in my panels, canopy tent, card rack, tables and everything else  I would need to show and sell my art at shows, I was a little scared. It was late 2008 and people were hesitant to spend money on large pieces of art after the economy decided to take a plunge.

So, I knew I would need to have price points, and offer smaller items at affordable prices.

As I was trolling the art supply store one day—which for me, is like a candy store filled with chocolate—I came upon these miniature canvases. They were so cute and had these tiny wooden easels next to them—I grabbed them all up.

I’ve been familiar with painting on very small objects for a long time because I used to paint on eggs, some of which were uncharacteristically tiny. I sold many of them, but they were hard to display and of course very fragile. I also wanted to paint on a flat surface for a change, so I ditched the eggs and switched to watercolor on paper.

However, I always missed painting all those tiny scenes. I enjoy painting small. It’s satisfying for me because it allows me to paint more subjects in less time.

I brought these miniature canvases home and had a great time painting them. I now had something I could offer: An original piece of art at an affordable price that doesn't take up a lot of space.  

I paint larger, too, but the miniatures are very fun. I love to paint them in a series and when they are displayed together they tell a story.

I’m very passionate about my art and always on the look out for the best materials I can find. The more I painted these minis, the more I wanted a better canvas surface, so I began searching for a smooth canvas that allowed me to paint fine details.  

The ones I was using were mass produced and didn't come any better, which is why I was excited to see an ad in the Open Studio calendar about a man in Santa Cruz, Alex Crouch. He’s a furniture maker who's wife, also an artist, was also searching for superior materials. Alex's wife asked him to make her some canvases, and that was the beginning of his business, Pacific Fine Art Canvas.

I wrote him and asked if he could make these small sizes for me, and he happily agreed. They’re  amazing, and put together perfectly with a beautiful, smooth surface. When I took them home and painted on them, I couldn't help but do the happy dance.  

They’re a dream to paint on because the wood is thicker and the canvas is wrapped around snug and tight. They’re hand-stapled, not glued, and are very high quality.

Thanks to Alex, I’m now able to present  my art on a canvas that’s a masterpiece before any paint touches it. Alex's  work can be viewed on his website, and the beautiful works of Micqael, his wife, can be viewed on her personal website.


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Jim Shuster February 24, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Interesting story. I've always liked the little people, little houses, little cars/trucks, and little trains but you paint little and that's tough. I would be interested in an idea you may have for painting little things for Dutchman's in both Morgan Hill and Gilroy.
Sandra Dean-Marlowe February 25, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Good stuff, JoAnne! Keep it coming . . .
Ann Krueger Spivack February 28, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Well, now I want to know what JoAnne is going to paint for Dutchman's. When they're up, can you post so we can come see?
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