Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Gratitude and a link

FASO, (my website provider), randomly selects and posts one of my artworks. Today it was "Gratitude," a plein air pastel of the garden outside my Studio. It is tucked away somewhere in my flat files but I was happy to see it again online. 

If you have time, take a look at A follow-up to my last post on my Golden Years blog.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Saturday, April 30, 2022

AIS 2nd Annual Associate Member Online Exhibition

 Very happy to be included in the American Impressionist Society 2nd Annual Associate Member Online Exhibition. Take a look here.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Heartsong Revisited

 About a year ago I completed a pastel painting, framed it and hung it in the guest bathroom. Today I unframed it and fixed a small area that has been bugging me.

Original painting Heartsong from 2021

Heartsong II, pastel, 13 x 13 inches

 You may also notice a difference in color between the two photos. The color in the latest photo is more nuanced. I guess I attribute that to my cataract surgery last week. Everything is so much brighter now. Before surgery, perhaps I was overcompensating for lack of light? Both photos were color matched to what the painting looked like to me at the time.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Three Oranges


"Three Oranges," oil, 14 x 11 inches ©2022 Barbara Benedetti Newton

Here's the setup

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Studio Stuff Sale

Deep cleaning my Studio in preparation for a move this summer!  If you can't see the video above, try this link If that doesn't work...oh well...

I have removed my Walker Display art hanging system and painted the Studio walls. Three 8 foot sections. If you are interested and are within the Black Diamond/Seattle area, let me know. This system really saves your walls from having a million picture hanger holes.

A few books for sale. Creating Impressionist Landscapes in Oil by Colley Whisson is brand new! I studied with him in 2020, bought his book and then found I already had a copy.  All in excellent condition as I apparently have time to buy books but no time to read them.

Frames, cut mats with plexiglass, archival mat and archival foamcore backing. And, white 3-ring binders.

Email me barbaranewton at Comcast dot net if you are local and want any of these.
Happy Spring Cleaning to you!


Thursday, March 31, 2022

March! Spring is springing



These five now available on SAVOR. Take a look. There is also a video of me painting the Lilies.

SAVOR online gallery is hosted by Puget Sound Group Northwest Artists

Monday, February 28, 2022

Every Day Mocha Moment

 In follow up to yesterday's post, here are the first two steps of today's painting. These paintings aren't completed in one day but I will need 10 - 12 of them in about 8 weeks so my goal is to start a new one each day or two. After the blue pastel pencil sketch, the acrylic foundation is next, then to the oil easel for a couple sessions. After that, each painting will sit (and dry) while I figure out what to do with it next. 

The blue pastel pencil sketch on freshly gessoed and sanded wood panel.

Acrylic block-in

Acrylic - value and color decisions. Now it is ready to go to the oil easel. Stay tuned. 

Thanks to all new subscribers to my website email list. I'd love to have you join me there.  

Sunday, February 27, 2022

My Every Day Project

My horoscope today tells me to write my story and share it; add illustrations. So, here I am this Sunday morning to share the backstory of my latest series, Every Day. This project will take me into gardening season so I have about 6 weeks to develop it. It is a body of work of every day still life scenes from where I live, Mill Pond Cottage

Each of us has had an opportunity over the past two years of COVID to enjoy more time in our personal spaces - not just our studios but whatever encompasses what we call home. I believe it is important to express gratitude and appreciation for every-day small pleasures. For an artist, many of those pleasures are visual.

These still life paintings may be the lead-in to a series of interiors, something I've wanted to do for a few years. There just aren't enough hours and/or energy in the day and life gets in the way. Well, that's the my current story.

And, now a few illustrations. 

A simple moment from this morning. 

How I might crop the scene for a painting. 

And, here are two paintings-in-progress along with their reference photos.

"Most Days There Is An Avocado" oil in progress

"One of the Reasons I Drink Tea," acrylic foundation for oil painting

As you may have noticed, I'm not blogging nearly as much as I used to. My focus for sharing current work is on Instagram and on my website. If you aren't already subscribed to my monthly newsletter, I'd love to have you join me there.  

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Meet Me There Project Wrap-up

I've been working on my "Meet Me There Project" most of the month and it has been a good way to loosen up at the beginning of a new painting year.  But suddenly, it is nearly the end of January and I have to move on to other commitments. These mini pastels can be viewed larger by clicking on the group image or by visiting  my website.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

The Meet Me There Project

A new project for the new year! Mini landscape memory paintings in pastel. Each painting is pastel, 3.5 x 5.5 inches, matted, and ready for a standard 5x7 frame with glass. Free shipping within USA. We each have memories of places we've been, real or imagined. Sometimes, we see them as we are drifting off to sleep. 

The "Meet Me There" project: I've just completed number 8 of 25.

Meet Me There, 1

Meet Me There, 2

Meet Me There, 3

Meet Me There, 4

Meet Me There, 5

Meet Me There, 6

Meet Me There, 7

Meet Me There, 8

This is a fun project. Acrylic under-paintings with pastel on top. Some happen easily while others take an amazing about of give and take, time and thought. Available on my website.

Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year 2022

Today is the last day of 2021 - a year of challenges, even in the Studio. This year I finally addressed my long-time issues with the acrylic medium. I changed my attitude, changed my working environment to give the medium more respect and committed to a thirty-artwork challenge on 6x6 inch panels that I called "The Acrylic Project." It was so much fun that after the first thirty, I painted another 15. After the first few faltering steps, my new attitude kicked in and I had an amazing experience. I've never painted so quickly or sold so quickly. Thanks to everyone who supported my experiment.  I still have a few available for purchase if you would like a momento from 2021. The Acrylic Project. 

I view acrylic as a playful medium, a way to sketch with paint. I love the loose, fresh result and have given some thought to how I can incorporate acrylic into my work that is larger in scale, and more contemplative; a complete thought rather than a quick impression. In the coming year, I plan to continue using acrylic as my foundation/impression and oil as my resolution/completion. 

Just before the pandemic, I delivered a series of oil still life paintings to one of my galleries. Then, COVID. Recently I picked up the work from the gallery and selected a couple of the paintings for rework. One of them was "Tomato Time," oil, 20x16 inches. I feel I can improve on the composition and brushwork.

I removed the Gamvar varnish with Gamsol OMS and sanded the painting. I wasn't sure I loved the subject enough to paint it again so to be sure, I adjusted the reference photo (flowers, tomato and lemon are long gone) to a 6x6 format so I could paint a small study. With the reference photo on my iPad, I painted the scene in acrylic.

"Understudy - Lemon," oil, 6x6 inches

This was fun! Using a generous amount of oil paint and a palette knife, I enhanced the scene I had already captured in acrylic. Special attention was taken to retain simplification of the subject to allow the viewer to participate in completion of each object. 

After painting this study, I have enthusiasm for repainting the 20x16 size again on the panel I sanded. For this study, and for the next painting, the title shifts from the obvious subject, the tomato, to the supporting player, the lemon. "Understudy - Lemon" is available for purchase and will be dry, varnished and ready to ship March 1. Contact me if you are interested in purchase.

Sunday, November 28, 2021


Leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner wait in the refrigerator as we begin to decorate the Christmas tree. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I am thankful for family, friends, good health, and I'm thankful for those of you who still read my blog after thirteen years - my first post was January 2008. You can see my first blog post here.

Tomorrow, I will add the final painting from The Acrylic Project 2021 to my website. Here are the paintings that are still available, for you or as a gift for someone else. I am happy to ship your purchase (free) to another US address.

From the top, left to right, click on the title for learn more:

Friday, October 29, 2021

All Together Now...


A couple weeks ago I received a gift bouquet from my niece. It is almost ready for the compost but before the flowers are gone I'll use them as subjects for more small acrylic paintings.

A-2021-10-28 All Together Now... 6x6 inches, acrylic

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Mid October check-in

Does anyone read blogs anymore? I wonder. Am I writing this for you or for me? For both of us I think because I plan to read this blog when I am old. When I am old...ha! This is my birthday month and as always, a time of introspection for me. 

This morning I spent some time with "Monet at √Čtretat" (a gift from My Biggest Fan) and though I got only as far as the Director's Foreword by Amada Cruz, already I have come to meaningful words that apply to me. 

Cruz writes that Monet's time at √Čtretat was a difficult personal and professional endeavor whose outcome was uncertain and that he was initially unsatisfied with his work. There is loneliness in a quest to forge new artistic territory in an authentic and meaningful way. I am reminded that as artists, we share a common bond of creativity and all its challenges and joys. Though I am alone in my Studio today, trying to figure out what to do with a painting that has been waiting resolution for many months, I feel kinship with all artists, including Monet. It comforts and reassures me. 

Upper left to bottom right:
1. The painting as it is now
2. New composition ideas using Procreate on my iPad
3. The fake flowers and real (but very old) oranges.
4. Considering adding a glassy baby.

Wishing you happy painting this week.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Another attitude adjustment

I have fancy plein air equipment that I have collected over the years. It is in nearly new condition because though I've used it occasionally with pastel, oil, and even watercolor, I have not become a fan of painting plein air. Or, at least I wasn't until today.

This morning I took my Open Box M (recently converted to hold a State-Wet palette for acrylic) outside the Studio to the flower garden. There isn't much left out there except the sunflower sentinels with their bowed heads.  

After painting the small floral still life set-ups in my studio for the past couple months, this open-air experience was unexpectedly freeing. Wheee! What fun. Big brush, big strokes. Surprisingly, by the time I  had had enough (about 15 minutes) I was happy with the result and was feeling I may have found the plein air medium that suits me. A couple things contributed to success: 

1. The goal was to paint an image that will inform a larger, Studio work. 

2. I like to paint fast and acrylic dries quickly so I can make corrections and adjustments. And, I don't have to stand at my easel outdoors very long (I'd rather be weeding).

On the Edge of Summer: Sunflowers
acrylic, 10 x 8 inches

If you have tried acrylic and/or plein air painting and aren't a fan, consider giving them another try. 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Wax and Buff

Upon completion of an acrylic painting, I let it cure for several days. An isolation coat of 2:1 Golden Soft Gel Gloss and water is applied. Several days after that I apply a thin layer of Gamblin wax, wait 24 hours and then buff to a shine that appears more organic to me than synthetic gloss varnish.


Friday, September 17, 2021

The end of the Acrylic Project.

Thanks everyone for your support of my 30-painting Acrylic Project. Here are the paintings that went to new homes. A couple went into the trash and a few more have an undecided fate.

I think I've become addicted to acrylic.  Since the project ended a few days ago, I have painted five more. 

"Love Story"

"Love Is A Choice"

"Balancing Act"

"Be Joyful"

"Simple Pleasures"

I had no idea these little florals would sell within 24 hours of me posting them so they were not ready to ship for about a week. The acrylic must cure, then an isolation coat applied, then wax and then buff. All with time in between. I still have four paintings waiting wax and buffing. If one of them is yours, it will ship Monday, September 20th Priority Mail.

I won't post the new paintings until they are ready to ship so new purchases should ship out the next day. Watch for them around October 1.  I will be happy to ship to another US address if the painting you purchase is a gift.