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In the end it will have taken approximately seven(ish) months, counting from the day I took the photo reference with my iPhone, to viewing a finished painting in Dallas.

I thought it would be fun to show my collectors and friends what the planning and schedule looks like behind the scenes to enter art competitions. I enjoy timelines, so for the second part of this series I thought I’d show you the basic timeframe to submit a new work to the Oil Painters of America National Exhibition. It would be somewhat different if I submitted a painting that was already completed.

Join me on the rollercoaster of inspiration, panic and celebration! Panibrate!


October 24 – Before my son’s wedding I took a photo of my granddaughter on my iPhone.

November – Thumbnail sketch for composition and scaled drawings to fix iPhone lens distortion.

December – Small-scale “oil “study” to set color scheme.


January 24 – Finished full-size painting.

January 25 – Digital Photography

January 26 – Upload digital image to Juried Art Services (online submission website) and pay fee.

  • Panic. Received error message (ironically in error) that the deadline is past for this competition.
  • Re-check exhibit prospectus: deadline Jan 29. Whew!
  • Email Oil Painters of America and Juried Art Services regarding the error.

January 27 – Email from Juried Art Services correcting deadline. Resend submission. Digital file accepted online. Panibrate! (Panibrate: verb, pan-e-brate, to simultaneously panic and celebrate. To observe an otherwise happy occasion with both joy and panic.)

January 29 – Deadline for submissions.

February 25 – Approval Deadline. Check OPA website for my name on the acceptance list. Celebrate!

Upcoming Deadlines:

March 24 – Varnish deadline (3 months dry time.)

March 28-April 8 – Framing deadline. (I like to allow a couple weeks for this as material needs ordered and I can’t know how busy the framer will be with other customers.)

April 18 – Shipping deadline.

April 20-26 – Delivery deadline for artwork to Southwest Gallery, Dallas, TX

May 13 – Exhibit Opening Night. Celebrate!

Coming up next: Fun with fumes (varnish) and a field trip to Terri’s Frame Shop.