Saturday, November 21, 2020

Homemade Pastels

When I cleaned and reorganized my soft pastels, I ended up with a paper plate full of chips and small pieces to grind and roll into new colors.

1. Grind pastel chips using a mortar and pestle.
2. Pour pastel powder onto a surface and mash tiny chunks with a palette knife.
3. Form the powder into a little mountain with a crater in the top.
4. Drop in water and mix into a paste using a palette knife.

5. Form the paste into a sausage and place onto a paper towel and wrap and roll a couple times.
6. Hold each of the two ends of the paper towel and make a see-saw motion, letting the pastel roll across the surface of the paper towel under it's own weight. 
7. Set the paper towel with pastel still on it in a safe place to dry for a few days. 

Viola! New pastel sticks.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. I have found that it is important to make note of holidays even though this year we can't celebrate as usual. Without holidays, my year becomes a time warp. I need markers of the passing of time. Take a look at special Thanksgiving pricing in my Etsy Shop, BBNewtonART.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Pastel Work-Station Update

 Remember all those pastels I discovered in my Studio? To have them accessible at my pastel work-station, I had to empty out and clean ALL my pastel boxes and even install a new wall shelf on the right side of my easel (thank you Jay!). 

Now I'm in business! The two framed pastel paintings hanging on the wall above my new shelf are awaiting rework. Next week: making my own pastel sticks from chips (see the lower left paper-plate of pastel chips in the photo above).

Update on my Holiday Sale
Yay! All the small oil paintings in my Daily Paintworks Holiday Auction have been shipped to their new homes. Also, three sales from my Etsy Shop BBNewtonArt have shipped. Thank you everyone! The Puget Sound Group of Northwest Artists Holiday Sale is in progress. I have five paintings in that sale (two are framed and ready to give as a gift to yourself or someone else). 

Saturday, November 7, 2020

A Happy Week

A HAPPY WEEK here in the Studio.

The first paintings from My Holiday Sale have been shipped. Thank you to my early-bird purchasers!

I have cleaned and rearranged my Studio. See the changes.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

My three Holiday Sales


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Hog Bristle Brushes and "Morning Light"


Yay! My Ultimate hog bristle brushes from Rosemary & Co. arrived today: long and short flats and filberts in sizes 8, 10 and 12. My old hog bristle brushes are an assortment of brands accumulated over the years. This is my first educated purchase of hog bristle brushes. They arrived when I was almost done with the 12x9 inch oil on my easel, "Morning Light." It looked like this...

With a #12 brush I simplified it to end up like this...

"Morning Light," oil, 12 x 9 inches
©2020 Barbara Benedetti Newton

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Oiling Out before Varnishing


Today is oiling out day. This procedure is done to dry paintings to even out the absorbency of the varnish. After oiling out, I can continue painting or wait a minimum of 3 days and varnish. 

How to Oil Out

  1. Apply a liberal coating of 1:1 Galkyd Painting Medium and GamsolOdorless Mineral Spirits to a dry painting. This can be applied to the entire painting or just to the area that needs to be enlivened.
  2. Allow the medium to be absorbed into the painting for approximately two minutes.
  3. Wipe off the excess painting medium with a soft, lint-free cloth.
    Continue painting. - Information from Gamblin.

Here is a  link to an Oiling Out YouTube Video by Gamblin.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Painting and Gardening

For the past couple weeks I've been putting the flower and vegetable gardens to bed for the winter and sorting out small oil paintings for a couple Holiday Sales that begin November 1.  

When I finally returned to the easel all my paint was dry and had to be removed. Once I got that far, I took the glass off and labeled paint locations so I could easily tell the difference between the dark blues. 

Two blobs of white: I recently discover T-Z (Titanium Zinc) White which is semi-transparent and added it alongside my usual opaque Titanium White. I used the last of my Archival Yellow Ochre and added a blob of M.Graham Yellow Ochre. I was surprised at the difference. The Archival is warm, the M.Graham is cool. 

I was able to put a couple more hours into the two paintings I posted last Saturday. Here is how they look today as I set them aside again. And now, I'm off to the garden again before the rains begin.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

A Fall Palette and Lily Bulbs


On the easel this week, two oils in "Fall" colors - yellows and browns. They are still in the first stages because this has been a busy week. Here are the reference photos to give you an idea of where I'm headed.

This is my favorite time of year. Making bread and digging lily bulbs. I've posted this easiest, yummiest bread ever recipe here before so here is a link to it again.

I have four big pots of lilies at the entrance to the garage. I planted them six years ago and it was time to dump them out, sort and replant. 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Goodbye Summer - painting over an old painting

 In my last post I mentioned that I painted over a few old paintings to use the panels again for a new art work. Here is the first one completed - I used the last of the garden dahlias as my subject.

"Goodbye Summer," oil, 10 x 12 inches
©2020 Barbara Benedetti Newton

Finishing touches on "Goodbye Summer"
See the progress photos below.

This is the painted-over panel
with a sketch of the set-up

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Selecting, Reworking, Obliterating

I'm selecting artwork for my Daily Paintworks Gallery Holiday Sale and also for an online Holiday Sale with Puget Sound Group of Northwest Artists. If you would like to sell your work in the PSG upcoming sale, join PSG as a member before October 10. Membership info is in the link above. 

Five of these paintings will be in the PSG Holiday Sale; the rest will go on auction at super prices

Devotion II, oil, 10x8 inches
This one got a slight re-work and I'm happy with it now.

But some paintings just have to go. I painted over 5 paintings today with a mixture of all the oil paint on my palette. Love doing that!

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Are you a VIP?

Great news this week. I received the Pastelagram Award for my painting "Boat House" from the Pastel Society of America 48th Annual Enduring Brilliance Show. This is a big deal show with beautiful art! Many thanks to PSA and to the Jury of Selection: Duane Wakeham, Anna Wainright and Claire Shroeven Verbiest. My special thanks to the Juror of Awards, Marjorie Shelley, Conservator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. 

Boat House, pastel, ©2019 Barbara Benedetti Newton

On the easel today are peonies. At the midway point, I needed a mahl stick. I used to have one but I haven't seen it for years. Jay donated a vintage shotgun cleaning rod. I taped part of an old cotton T-shirt around the end. It is wood, old and beautiful. Yay!

My Summer Super Sale is over. Whew. Lots of work. I need a marketing/packaging/shipping assistant. This is yesterday's trip to the post office. The final two paintings will be shipped tomorrow.  Thanks to all who welcomed my small pastels into their collections.

I'm already starting to think about my Holiday Sale. If you want to receive a heads up about which paintings will be in the sale, sign up for my BBNewtonART News at the bottom of my contact page. 

I have 19 people who have reached the VIP Collector status because 3 or more purchases through my DailyPaintworks online gallery. VIP Collectors will get special discount coupons for purchasing art. Of the 19, only 4 people are on my official BBNewtonART News mailing list. So please, if you deserve VIP discounts, sign up on the link above.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Radiance and the Summer Super Sale

Just off the easel: This one was painted on black primed canvas as an experiment. See the steps of progress below.

"Radiance," oil, 10x10 inches
©2020 Barbara Benedetti Newton

Have you checked out my Summer Super Sale? As we approach 2021 when I will return to working in pastel, I realized I had to find new homes for twenty-three small pastel paintings that I have been enjoying in the Studio. They are on my Daily Paintworks Gallery starting at $12 each. Take a look and help me clear space in my Studio for new work. Thanks! And, thanks to all who have already purchased a small painting.

My next shipping day will be Tuesday, September 8th. 

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Weekly check-in: Mock Apple Pie, Summer Super Sale

 I never do this but I just can't help myself from sharing this recipe with you. Are you growing zucchini? You need this.


I'm posting many small pastel paintings for my annual Summer Super Sale. I was going to post a couple each week but people are beginning to ask about them so I will try to post them ALL within the next few days. If you see something you like here on my Studio floor, let me know and I'll set it aside for you. Or, go to the sale on my DPW Gallery and also on my Website.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Orange Vase and Mini Pastel

Happy Saturday Everyone. Posting each Saturday morning as a recap of the week is working well for me to keep in touch with all of you. Off the easel this week is the finished oil painting from last week's post.

"Orange Vase," oil, 10x10 inches
©2020 Barbara Benedetti Newton

During the week, I gathered up 23 small pastel paintings for my annual SUMMER SUPER SALE. These are paintings that need a new home, practically just for cost of shipping ($10) within the US. I posted the first one on DailyPaintworks several days ago with a starting bid of $12. Click here to learn more.

"October Sunrise," pastel, 5x7 inches - update: sold

The next pastel on the sale will be a mini (6x4) matted and ready for a 5x7 frame. It is unique in that it is a study done on a gesso'd surface for added texture. Click here to learn more.

"Color Study for Two Apples," pastel, 6x4 inches - update: sold

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Glad about Glads!


"Glads," oil, 10x10 inches ©2020 Barbara Benedetti Newton

I'm glad I painted this subject and I'm glad it is done. What a lot of pink paint decisions in those flowers; warm against cool, bright against dull. It is getting a good response from online viewers and I'm glad about that. Here are the three paintings still on the easel.