Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Smile at your painting

Toward Evening, pastel, 10 x 8 inches sold
You may remember Toward Evening from my summer post about reworking a painting from a ghost. HOW TO PASTEL. Today is a special day in part because this painting has found it's rightful home. I will be shipping it to L.M. in CT. Many thanks!

I love this painting and I loved the painting it was before it became Toward Evening. With this post I want to remind you to love your work. When a painting on my easel comes together in a pleasing way, I love it because I am bringing into the physical world an impression and emotion that I want to express. With surprise and appreciation for what just happened, I say to myself, "I love that!"

I think this reaction makes my studio a welcoming place for more good things to happen as I paint. And, I believe self-doubt and frowning at your painting-in-progress does not do either of you (you or the painting) any good.

Acknowledge the parts of the painting you love, brush off your labored areas and repaint them. Smile at your painting.


Friday, October 21, 2016

Painting from your iPad

I've been painting from my iPad since 2012. I've used my Soltek easel as a holder, I've attached it to my easel with clamps, and I've set it beside my work on my Hughes easel.

This week I officially retired my original iPad to the Studio to paint from. The holder is called Caddie Buddy and I learned about it from Jude Galbraith. It works great. I have it attached to an old, lightweight camera tripod. The painting I'm working on is the one I started in the workshop a couple weeks ago. See the progress of "September Afternoon" below.

I'm working from the top down and in a square format even though the reference is vertical.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

How to Ship Two Together

Yesterday, I packaged up two small pastel paintings to ship USPS Priority Mail to the East Coast. If you sell your unframed pastels through DailyPaintworks (or similar site) you might be interested in knowing how I do this since it has been a successful shipping method for me for national and international sales.

1. Attach the painting in the center of an 10 x 8 inch backing board using a couple spots of ATG archival tape.

2. Carefully slide the painting into an 8-7/16 x 10-1/4 inch poly sleeve (Impact Images B108).

3. Cut two 9x12 inch pieces of foam core.

4. Remove the protective strip from the flap of the poly sleeve and attach the sleeve (with painting inside) to one piece of foam core. Not show here is a small piece of tape I apply at the bottom edge of the poly sleeve to secure it to the foam core.

5. Cut foam core strips that that will act as a mat (they won't touch the pasteled area) and attach them to the second piece of foam core. When this "lid" is flipped over onto the painting and secured with tape at all four sides, it makes a great protective package. Keep in mind that I work on relatively fine toothed sanded pastel paper and my paintings don't shed much pastel particles/dust. If you work on a coarser tooth with a heavier application of pastel, you may want to eliminate the poly sleeve so nothing touches your pastel in shipment.

To ship two paintings in the same USPS medium flat rate box, I place one painting package on top of the other and bind them together with Duck brand Stretch Wrap. Then bubble wrap for shock protection, then a plastic bag for waterproofing. Air filled "pillows" go into the Med flat rate box then the painting then more air pillows, seal it up, label and mail. Voila!

Friday, October 7, 2016

From the West Unto the East

             From the West Unto the East, pastel, 13 x 14 inches                       ©2009 Barbara Benedetti Newton

Outside the kitchen door of the home my father built, the place I lived with my parents and siblings until I was twenty-one years old, there was an Italian prune tree. My father planted it there. It was one of the constants in my life.

Every September the ripening fruit coupled with the excitement of starting another school year. It was a source of food where I could eat my fill. I learned lessons of patience through eating green, unripe prunes and paying the price. After I left home to attend art school, a visit to my parents, especially at the end of summer, was also a reconnect to our prune tree.

As an adult with a family of my own, Mama saved bags of prunes for us. When my father was in his final days, I gave him a haircut outside in the summer sun beside the prune tree as he listened to me talk about Heaven. A few years after Daddy died, Mama hired someone to cut the prune tree down. I’m still trying to get over it. But, now I know it was the one thing that helped me cut my ties to the house on “M” Street when Mama moved to assisted living. 

A few shoots sprang up from the roots and my husband saved several. For many years Daddy’s prune tree lived on and produced in abundance in my own yard. Four years after my mother passed away, with a Bob Dylan tune in my head; I painted “From the West unto the East.” It is a painting of our prune tree. It is about life and death, change and adjustment. It is about being released or releasing yourself. This painting is in my private collection.

This painting is scheduled to be included in an upcoming book. The publisher asked about the story behind the painting. Thought it might be interesting to you.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

September Afternoon 80% complete

Reference Photo for September Afternoon

This is my Saturday Demo showing students how to begin with the lightest value pastel. The sanded surface is Canson Mi-Tientes TOUCH mid-value color, Sepia.

Next, I applied the darkest value. Now I have the three values - lightest, mid and darkest. It gives me a guide for selecting colors based on value. "Value does the work, color gets the glory." - quote by Richard McKinley I think.

I laid-in a few other colors. At this point I started visiting with each student and the time flew by as we talked about their paintings so I never got back to this in the workshop. Today, nearly a week later, I worked more on it.

Here it is at this moment - about 80% complete. Watch for the finished painting here soon.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Online Show Here, Now!

My pastel workshop for the NWPS is over. What fun and what beautiful work my "students" created.

Thanks to all who joined me and special thanks to the NWPS for asking me to teach and to Deb Cepeda our Workshop Coordinator.

I am honored to have met and shared three days with these artists. Enjoy this online show.
© 2016 Deb Cepeda
© 2016 Robin Charters
© 2016 Laura Deck
© 2016 Barbara DeMott
© 2016 Pat Doyle
© 2016 Jude Galbraith
© 2016 Alejandra Gos
© 2016 Annie Jones
© 2016 Sheryl Kempin
© 2016 Scott Landry
© 2016 Suzanne Masterson
© 2016 Bertha Moore
© 2016 Chris Towne

Sunday, October 2, 2016

A window for detail

I came across this photo of "Tomato and Marble," a pastel painting from earlier this year as it was packaged up to ship to its new owner. I remembered that at the time, I wanted to post about sprinkling pastel exactly where you want (and no where else).

Cut a window flap in your b/w reference photo. Place it over the painting and open the window to sprinkle to your heart's content. See pages 92 & 93 of my book, Pastel Drawing: Expert answers to the questions every artist asks