I recently taught a class, “Painting by Process” at the Cedarburg Cultural Center. The purpose of the class was to take students step by step through planning and execution. Often my students ask me in such classes, “Do you really work this way?” The truth is no, but I should. The class involves composition studies and value studies on the first day. The second day we do a study focusing on color. The last two sessions are spent executing a larger final painting. Each day also involves journaling with prompt questions. While this is not the only way to work- it is a beneficial one. Not all people are planners. I know I am not (at least when it comes to painting). Many painters are spontaneous and in the moment and I think that is important too. But at least once and a while it is important to slow down and plan. Even if it does not result in a masterpiece. The process will force you to think more critically about your art and that habit will carry over even when not intentionally utilized.