Thursday, October 18, 2018

Canson Mi-Teintes Touch

I use a variety of sanded pastel papers and have definite favorites. I haven't used Canson Mi-Teintes Touch in a long time and decided to reacquaint myself using a reference photo by friend Kathy Mishima (thanks Kathy). The original photo is less saturated than my reference - a lovely misty scene - but I decided to go for more saturated color so I tweaked the photo and took color samples (the little dots below the image).

Autumn, pastel, image 9x8 inches, framed dimensions 15 x 13 inches
©2018 Barbara Benedetti Newton

This painting is going to my Daily Paintworks Gallery and will be for sale FRAMED (but it will ship without the glass) and FREE shipping. A Christmas present for yourself. I'll post a photo of it framed.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Varnishing Day with Gamvar

It's varnishing day in the Studio. This oil painting was completed several months ago and in this photo you can see the difference the Gamvar Satin varnish makes. It brings color back to life, evens out the paint, especially when a medium is used with the oil paint and protects the surface from dust. 

I updated my varnish-only brush to three from the UK.
I hung my varnish brushes on the wall with my gesso brush so they'll never get mixed up with my painting brushes. 

Go to the Gamblin website to see videos about how to varnish with Gamvar.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Tubes of oil on the wall

My tubes of oil paint have gotten out of control. I pulled out the color charts I made some time ago and started reorganizing the tubes in their tray. Hmmm...if only I could put each tube of paint with its sample on the chart.

Hmmm...It occurred to me that I would be able to see all the colors with their corresponding chart if I mounted them on the wall beside my oil easel. Voila! With ATG tape and foam core I was able to put them on the wall where all my summer plein air studies had been. Yay!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

A little help from my friends on dark green

On the easel now - "Private Road," pastel, 18 x 12 inches. This is about 85% complete but I stopped because I couldn't find my fragment of favorite dark dark green from 2003. I LOVE the color and I guess I have been using it for 15 years because the one painting I know I used a lot of it on was called "Secret Place" and it was painted in 2003. (I had to look that up of course in my database...I didn't just remember it.)

I created a post on my FB page and asked for help in identifying the color so I could order more. Thank you to all the generous pastel artists who advised me and thanks to Craig at Dakota Pastels for suggesting a couple others. Now I'm all set!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Studio painting from a summer plein air study

In my last post I wrote about what I was doing to start painting again after a long summer gardening break. I figured it out. To start, just start. I wanted to paint a Studio version in pastel of a 6x8 inch plein air oil study, "August Lake." I used the study as inspiration and as a starting place. I changed the format from horizontal to square and changed the temperature (more blue, less green).

August Lake, oil, 6x8 inches 

After working on the larger painting for a day, I turned it to the wall but kept the selection of pastels and the little oil study with it. After a few days of NOT looking at it, my emotional involvement was tempered and I could approach it with fresh eyes. 

August Lake, pastel, 25 x 25 inches ©2018 Barbara Benedetti Newton

Monday, October 1, 2018

BABY STEPS to get going again...

I used to be a prolific painter (I also had a house-cleaner) and taught and wrote about art. Now, I prefer a more balanced life putting family and friends higher on my priority list. Over the past spring and summer I gardened instead of making art but Facebook and Instagram kept me informed and I cheered the successes of my peers.

Now it is Fall and the gardens are done. My outside work is reduced and I need to get back into the studio but what happened to my motivation, inspiration and energy for painting? I could easily let the rest of the year slide away with excuses of the busy holidays, starting fresh next year, etc. But I know I am my best self when I am making art and I can't intentionally subscribe to not being my best self.

So, here I am documenting (as much for myself as for readers) how I plan to jump-start myself to paint again.

1. Clean/organize the studio. Fortunately I had a long-scheduled Mentor Session last Friday and cleaned the studio for students.

2. Reduce online distractions. Facebook and Instagram have been entertaining but it's time to focus on my own work and the work of a select few artists who I hope to learn from and be inspired by. I will continue to blog.

3. Read a good art book. This goes along with number 2. and the select artists I will be studying.  Just got this book from the library and I look forward to spending time and making notes.

4. Restock art supplies: I just placed an order to Dick Blick for OMS and varnish. I wanted to order painting surfaces (not for pastel - I have lots of sanded papers) but couldn't decide what surface so for now I'm going back to gessoed watercolor paper. I'm going to make a note here so I can remember how I did this because in the past, it was trial and error. This is 140 lb hot press Lana Aquarelle watercolor paper. I gessoed one side with a roller application. When dry, I spritzed the gessoed side with water and laid the paper gesso side down onto a wood board, taped around all edges with wc paper tape and applied gesso to the paper. Let dry thoroughly then sand lightly with fine sandpaper before painting with acrylic or oil.

5. Browse my old art journals: Looking back reminds me of who I am and what I do when I am being my best self.
I'll print this post and glue it into my current art journal and make a note on my calendar to read it if this happens again next year. Happy Fall everyone!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Mentor Session and Inspiration

It was fun to have Deb, Pat and Susan in the Studio today for the first of three Fall Mentor Sessions. They inspired me to make a plan for my painting goals for the remainder of 2018.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

It's Fall - back in the Studio

A month ago I thought I was back in the Studio but no...Now I really am back and trying to remember who I am and what I do. Spent the morning on two Studio paintings from plein air studies from the Summer. I think it is going to take some time for me to get back in the groove. Hosting a mentoring session in my Studio on Friday will help.

Two 16 x 20 Studio paintings in progress using plein air studies from the Summer as reference.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Plein Air to Studio and Mentoring

It is the end of summer 2018 and time to move back into the studio (which I just found yet another way to rearrange!). A few of the small plein air studies of August will become studio paintings - here is the first one in progress.

3, 6 or 9 hours available: I will mentor artists in my Black Diamond, WA studio 3 Fridays this fall, 11 AM to 2 PM. Bring your supplies and whatever you are currently working on or start a new painting. Any medium. I have room for ONE more student each day. Let me know if you are interested. Email me at barbaranewton at comcast dot net. Sept. 28, October 12 and November 2. 

9-26-18 Thanks everyone for your interest in my Fall sessions. All sessions are full.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Figure Drawing

Today I had the opportunity to draw from a live model. Somehow, nearly 50 years have gone by since I last did this. I'm not joking...the last time I remember doing this was when my two children were babies.  Conte crayon on newsprint. It was fun!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Is it plein air?

plein-air plānˈer | adjective [attributivedenoting or in the manner of a 19th-century style of painting outdoors, or with a strong sense of the open airthat became a central feature of French impressionism.
As with most days this August, I headed outside to paint this morning. I admit I wasn't very inspired but I thought I'd paint the Studio garden and winding path again. After about an hour I had a cute little painting. I'm not a fan of cute little paintings. Surprisingly, I hadn't taken any photos of my location or progress steps as I usually do so I can't show you how really cute it was but without hesitation I wiped the whole thing off with a paper towel and began again with a big brush then a palette knife. So, there I was, painting outdoors. but instead of the scene before me I found myself painting from memory until this woodland scene emerged. I don't know if this painting would be called plein air but the experience was so I titled it Plein Air Morning.
Plein Air Morning, Oil, 8x6 inches
©2018 Barbara Benedetti Newton

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Dock and brushes

This is how Marlene's Dock began
This morning was much cooler and overcast setting the subdued mood (no bright sunshine, no sparkly water or bright highlights) for painting our neighbor's old dock plein air. I started with a gessoed panel that had been toned with acrylic. Yes, you CAN paint oil over acrylic but NOT acrylic over oil.
Marlene's Dock, plein air, oil with acrylic underpainting.
6x8 inches ©2018 Barbara Benedetti Newton

I've been painting for months with Rosemary & Co. Ivory brushes which are new to me this year but I've been thinking about mark-making and how these brushes differ from the marks made by hog bristle. I already have too many brushes so today I sorted them to see what I have before I order more.

My favorites: Assorted hog bristle, Rosemary & Co. Ivory, Rosemary & Co. Shiraz and Princeton Umbria 6200 Series.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

28 minutes - August Sunrise II

August 8, 2018. August Sunrise II, oil, 6x8 inches, Plein Air

Started before 6AM with very little color in the sky.
Painting fast because 28 minutes later it was all over.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Painting our lake

August 1, 2018 Lake Sawyer wc
August 2, 2018 Lake Sawyer wc
August 3, 2018 Lake Sawyer wc
During the first 3 days of August I painted our lake plein air with watercolor each day. Those days produced pretty bad paintings and I was reminded that I hate wet wavy paper (need some 300lb) and how much more I enjoy watercolor in the Studio, painting nearly flat.

On the 4th day I considered why I was painting in wc: mostly ease of cleanup. So I switched to oil but used water-soluble oils for easy cleanup and now I'm having fun. It is obvious that I need to get up earlier for different light on the lake.

August 4, 2018 August Lake, 6x8 ws Oil
August 5, 2018 Boat House, 6x8 ws Oil
August 6, 2018 Lake Sawyer, 6x8 ws Oil

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Oil over acrylic foundation - figurative

Best summer in recent weather by the lake, lunches with good friends, my Critique Group for the Fourth Annual overnight here, our To Family gathering complete, good health, my new kayak. I'll also remember 2018 as the summer I went back to working with the figure, this time my two grandsons in oil. The oldest will be leaving for college soon and family dynamics will change so I wanted to capture this sweet moment of camaraderie between two brothers.

Clear gessoed birch panel and acrylic paint
Blocking in the shapes with acrylic

Acrylic underpainting complete

Now the fun part...oil. This is about 80% complete.  Stay tuned.


Thursday, August 2, 2018

Watercolor Plein Air - my August challenge

Every time I post in yet another medium on this blog, I lose subscribers. I wonder if my pastel followers are still around? I like to experiment and will eventually get back to the medium you were interested in when you subscribed. Thanks for those who hang in there with me through my journey.

Yesterday I became interested in painting plein air with watercolor. Hahha. Watercolor was difficult enough for me many years ago in a controlled studio atmosphere so now I've decided to try it plein air? I actually had fun with it years ago and even taught workshops then decided I that at my age I wouldn't live long enough to learn all it has to offer so I moved on. My admiration to all watercolorists. However, now that I have forgotten all I ever knew about it, I'm back at least for the month of August and am not concerned about in-depth study of the medium. I don't care which colors are transparent, translucent, staining, etc. In fact, when I found this lidded palette in my Studio I wonder if it is even mine? I don't know what these colors are but I painted with it yesterday, 8-1 on a little block of cold press.

8-1-18 in progress. Well, actually done because I didn't finish it. I started painting in the cloudy morning and didn't have a chance to photograph it until sunny afternoon.

8-2-18 lake again. Pretty cold and gray today. I added Neutral Tint, Burnt Sienna and Cerulean Blue to an additional palette and began painting on 140 lb taped down. My HUGE annoyance is wavy paper so I will definitely order some 300 lb. because I don't want to stretch the 140 lb.