Friday, November 29, 2013


Last summer I was able to momentarily subdue my frugality and paint thicker in oil. That exercise produced this 8x6 inch painting that was set aside to dry.  Above are two detail shots of the texture (click to enlarge)...yum...I love it. I just took inventory of my tubes of oil paint and though I think oil has a very long 'shelf-life,' what I have on hand really doesn't have to last me the rest of my life. I will try to loosen up and be more generous with it as I was in this piece, "In This Moment," 8x6 inches.
 In This Moment  |  oil  |  8 x 6 inches

Monday, November 25, 2013

take two - this time in oil

Last year at about this time, I painted a 7x5 inch pastel color study for a larger work tentatively titled "Dappled Path." The color study, "CS for Dappled Path" was sold on the Daily Paintworks Auction and went to a new home in Sweden.

By the time I finished the larger painting, it was renamed "Sunfall" and it went to the corporate art collection of the Puget Sound Blood Center in Washington. Then, an art patron expressed interest in having me paint the scene again as "Sunfall II."

Once again, I started with a color study, this time in oil, a little larger (8 x 6 inches), with bolder color and a different mood. Today I came across that color study and I will post it, unframed, on my Daily Paintworks Gallery tonight.

 Color Study for Sunfall II  |  oil  |  8 x 6 inches  sold

sabbatical redefined

Well...yes, I'm on a sabbatical but maybe it isn't a painting sabbatical as much as it is a pressure sabbatical. Until we finish our house building project, I'm giving up painting pressure. My galleries will be receiving fewer new works from me for awhile and I won't be entering juried shows. That takes the pressure off for painting larger pieces.

However, today I came across a few 7x5 inch oils that I started earlier in the year. And, because I'm taking art supply inventory now, I had to handle each tube of oil paint. Before I knew it, I found myself squeezing out a basic palette and PAINTING on one of the little foundations. Very fun!

Though the finished painting is small (7 x 5 inches), I consider it a finished work rather than a sketch or color study for a larger work.

Memory  Lane  |   oil  |   7 x 5 inches

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Juror's Award

Many thanks to juror Casey Klahn for recognition of my work, "All in Due Time" in the Northwest Pastel Society's 2013 Members' Exhibition at the Schack Art Center, Everett, Washingon. The show runs to December 28th.

This is one of the first pieces from my "mind's-eye memory" series; it is especially meaningful to receive an award for this new direction in my work. Congratulations to all the award winners!

Friday, November 22, 2013

while you were gone 7 x 5 oil

Last July we took care of our neighbor's yard while he was away. We mowed the lawn and watered the flowers during what was an exceptionally dry, warm summer here in Washington state. If it had been a usual summer, blooming flowers would have been spoiled by the rain and this little oil painting of his garden would be the only proof of the beauty he missed. "While You Were Gone," oil, 7 x 5 inches. I'm sending it to Auction on Daily Paintworks.  sold

Thursday, November 21, 2013

falling in love again

First, it was pulling out all those old colored pencils, whispering the names and numbers to myself while sorting them, and then letting them go - passing them on to other artists.
Then, yesterday, I selected one colored pencil drawing ("All Things Considered") from garage storage to post on my Daily Paintworks Gallery for sale.

Today, I had the opportunity to enter these three large colored pencil paintings into a local show. I can hardly believe these are mine. Such detail, such CLEAN work. I'm falling in love again with my colored pencil art.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

80 hours? Really?

This small detail is from one of my colored pencil paintings. My technique was slow and tedious. I used a sharp point, light touch and very small circular strokes. It was not unusual to have 80 hours into one painting. Now, when I look at the art from that time, I am very pleased with the work but, all things considered, I don't have 80 hours to spend on one painting so it is a good thing I moved on to a faster medium!

I have to find a new home for this painting before I move to my new studio. To see the whole painting, click here.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

color study for Follow Your Heart

Last summer, when I wrote the article for Pratique des Arts, I painted a color study in oil for the larger pastel painting that was featured in the magazine article. In my rush to complete the article on a short deadline, I set the color study aside and just found it today as I was jumping on the trampoline when my eyes were level with a nearby shelf. I'm sending it to Auction on DailyPaintworks.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Yes, I'm on a painting sabbatical but this painting has been kicking around the studio for months, framed temporarily until I decided how to resolve it. Today, I spent just a few minutes warming the lights with a yellowy white and added golden fall foliage. Back into the frame, it is titled "November," of course. Pastel, 17.5 x 11.5 inches.

Friday, November 15, 2013

100 artists of the northwest

Well, it was a long time coming but here is the official publicity blurb:  

Whether the economy is slowing down or bubbling, the Northwest region continues to foster a vibrant art scene. Given its wonderful lifestyle and natural beauty, artists love the region.

E. Ashley Rooney's intent in undertaking 100 Artists of the Northwest (Schiffer 2013) was to take a fresh look at the magical and insightful ways in which the area's artists have interpreted life in this region with its urban trendsetters and laid-back nature lovers.   

Barbara Benedetti Newton of Renton, Washington was one of the artists selected for this work. First known as a master of the colored pencil medium, Barbara is currently noteworthy for her impressionistic, abstracted landscapes in pastel.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

other topics

I don't want to lose you as a subscriber or follower of this art journal blog while I am on my painting sabbatical - I'll be back as soon as our building project is completed. During my time away I'll be blogging on topics other than painting on a new blog, Golden Years: an artist's life journal. Please take a look and subscribe if you like it.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

while we're on the subject...

While we're on the subject of colored pencils, look what artist Robin's husband made for her pencil storage. It is PVC pipe and each pipe holds 13 pencils. If I were still working in colored pencil, I'd make this! Thanks Robin - wishing you many happy hours of coloring.

BTW, here is a link to some of my colored pencil work.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

my days were numbered

Another time travel experience, this time back to my days as a colored pencil artist and instructor. My need to identify each pencil by color name and number always got a laugh in my workshops: 901 Indigo Blue, 937 Tuscan Red, 996 Black Grape...oh, I love those colors!

It took about 3 hours today but I got all my old pencils sorted and actually felt the urge to USE them. I will keep all my brands of complete sets but would never use all of these in this lifetime. I look forward to passing them on to others to work in this wonderful medium!