Saturday, January 28, 2017

Goodbye Winter?

Rock Creek Winter #4, pastel, 5x7 inches Available
This may be the last of the Winter series of this subject. It is the end of January and it is beginning to feel like Spring! Progression steps of this one are on my FB page as a slide show. See my plein air set up, reference photo and steps below.  Goodbye winter?

I received a question from Diana H. about my set up when working outside the Studio.

1. Easel: My easel is a Soltek that I invested in years ago. Google Soltek easel to learn more about it. It has two built-in compartments. I used to have pastel boxes that fit exactly but now I use some of the foam from my Pastel Porter to hold my pastels in place. At the far left of this photo you'll see more foam pieces that look like little ladders or fences - I can't remember where they came from. I put these on top of the pastels before I close the compartment lids. (I could take the entire Pastel Porter with me but that would be another item to carry.)

2. Reference photo: You can see my reference photo in this shot. I print it out 5x7 (same size as the painting) on glossy paper. The photo is from our neighborhood, early morning a couple weeks ago when it was very cold.

3. Pastels: This portable selection is a mixture of various brands and a warm and cool stick of each hue as well as white. I also take my hard Holbeins and NuPastels with me when painting away from the studo. And, a few pastel pencils (as you can see in yesterday's post).

4. Paper: Still loving Clairefontaine Pastelmat in several colors.

5. Backing board is 1/2" Gatorboard and tape is Dick Blick Artist's tape, white, 3/4".

That's about it. If you have any questions, make a comment on this post and I'll answer on this post.  Steps are below.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Intuitive/Memory Painting

The second painting from my Friday afternoon painting group is called "Country Memory" because I borrowed a meadow scene reference photo from another artist to get an idea for a starting point on the scene. Then, I just painted from memory of all the country scenes I've known.

It is very relaxing to do this kind of painting after painting one from a reference photo. This one took about 10 minutes and it is more in keeping with the direction my work is taking these days: intuitive and loose.

Country Memory, pastel

No video or step by steps of this one but here is a link to my YouTube playlist. I can't believe I have made 15 videos!

Barbara Benedetti Newton Pastel Painting Playlist

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Steps to RCW #2

A good painting day last week at our Friday afternoon Paint Group*. I painted two little pastels.

For the first one I took a reference photo with me from the Rock Creek Winter Series photoshoot and spent about an hour painting this large scene in a tiny format. The paper is wine colored Clairefontaine Pastelmat. Here are the step-by-step still shots; scroll down to see the finished painting - available on DailyPaintworks - click the painting to link.

Rock Creek Winter Series #2, pastel
* Cost $1, 1-4 PM every Friday at the Maple Valley Community Center. All artists welcome, any medium. Bring whatever you are working on. See you there!

Monday, January 23, 2017


In this photo of my painting on right (and the reference photo on the left), I have completed the darks and the lights.  I'm using NuPastels and am concerned only with value at this point. Starting at each end of the value scale gives me a value "map" to help me make color choices.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

PAINT ALONG WITH ME? Rock Creek Winter Series: #1

I'm starting to figure out how to make a demo video - shorter is better for many reasons. But, if the video is only a couple minutes long (the average time a viewer is engaged) then it will be only a small part of the painting time. What can I do with that?

How about Paint Along With Me*? You can even use my reference photo (below) for this project. Each time I paint, I'll post a still shot of the painting as well as the video.
Above is the reference photo. Print it out for yourself in color and in gray scale.
This is how I begin. I draw an X through the ref photo and on my sanded paper. This helps me transfer the scene onto my working surface in the correct proportions. My painting is 7x5 inches and I'm working on Clairefontaine Pastelmat with hard and soft pastels.

When you view the Step 1 video, you may want to view the additional 8 short videos of this project or you can wait until the next day for my post and the link. The videos for this project are all titled BBNewton RCW1 (Rock Creek Winter #1). Click on the link below to see the YouTube video.

*I just came across a blog I forgot I had. I created it nearly four years ago and named it Paint With Me. That is where this type of post belongs but for today, I'm posting it here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Baking Soda Fresh Start

ROCK CREEK TUESDAY, pastel, 7x5 inches.
See the video

Purchase the painting

Before it was "Rock Creek Tuesday", this piece of Wine Pastelmat had another image on it. Here's how I removed the previous pastel image with a "baking soda massage."

Monday, January 16, 2017

More fun on black paper

WINTER CREEK, pastel, 6x4 inches with white mat. Frames to 10x8 inches.

Available on DailyPaintworks
Winter Creek, 6x4 inches, Step 1

Winter Creek, 6x4 inches, Step 2
Winter Creek, pastel 6x4 inches

Friday, January 13, 2017

Voila! Mystery Solved (maybe)

Today my brain recalled more of the details of my mystery of years ago. I logged into my Comcast Email and VOILA! there, in the SPAM folder, were all my posts and all the emails and comments from YOU letting me know that you have been receiving my posts but for some, they started ending up in your spam folder. I suspect this pertains to those of you who have Comcast like I do. 

So, I called Comcast and explained my past experience of someone reporting my post as spam instead of unsubscribing and that created a spam filter that blocked emails. They looked and say they saw a spam filter on my account causing the problem and they say they fixed it. The real test will be tomorrow to see if I get this by regular email or if it ends up stuck in the service provider spam folder again. At the bottom of each post delivery there is this text (but it is small). 

You are subscribed to email updates from Barbara Newton Art Journal.
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.

I understand that sometimes blogs become irrelevant to our current lives. Please unsubscribe instead of reporting as spam! Thank you so much everyone! I am cheered to know that we are still communicating. If you have a blog, be sure you are on your own distribution list or you won't realize that this has happened.  I have just added the label "The Business of Art" to this post. Did you know you can search posts via labels?

Now, back to art. Yesterday, I painted the horizontal version of my 2007 painting Wild Meadow and I'm very happy with it! Seeing how my style has evolved over the past 10 years is interesting to me. Look for that in your own work.

Wild Meadow Dream, pastel, 5x7 inches sold
Thank you R.P. for adding this one to your collection.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A new mystery

I have been blogging my Art Journal since January 2008. After a couple years and 227 posts later, subscribers and followers quit receiving my posts. Mysterious problem that was finally diagnosed as someone reporting the site as spam instead of UNSUBSCRIBING.

Before the mystery was solved, I started a new Art Journal and now, 7 years and 766 posts later, I noticed the last two or three posts have not been distributed by FeedBurner. Hmmmm....

So basically, this is a test to see if this post gets to you (and to me because I'm on the list).

Also, please let me know if you HAVE received these two posts via email subscription. Thanks for your help in solving this new mystery.

Click to link to post
Click to link to post

Goodbye October Lake

I have painted our lake in all seasons. Tomorrow, my "October Lake" will ship to new owner M.G. I thought you might be interested in my packaging for your own use. I taped the painting to archival foam core then cut strips of the same 3/8" foam core to fit all around the painting like a frame. this 3/8" insures that nothing will touch the image surface when I place another piece of foam core on top. I may choose different packaging methods for different surfaces. For Pastelmat, a piece of glassine or poly sleeve works well because that paper is super "grabby" but this method works for all papers especially if the surface is somewhat textured with my pastel spattering.

I have posted three paintings from my 2016 Rock Creek Series on the eBay auction at 2016 prices.
Rock Creek Series: #4

Rock Creek Series: #6
Rock CreekSeries: #1

Monday, January 9, 2017

Wild Meadow Lights 2017

Wild Meadow Lights, pastel, 7x5 inches
Finally got to the easel this morning. I had my camera rolling for Wild Meadow Lights that shows the painting to about 90% complete. See Wild Meadow Lights to 90% video.

I could not get iMovie to show me the video in the viewer window to crop so I apologize for the left side of the video image. Next time I'll use my iPhone to make the video so I can edit it with Splice. More than you wanted to know but I had to vent.

This painting is going to my Daily Paintworks Gallery where you can also see the video.

How to get started...

...painting again in the new year.

Some of us took a painting break over the holidays. Then there were days of putting our houses back in order. The second week of January is the perfect time to get back to the studio but the less we do (as in no art for weeks), the less we feel like doing. Nicholas Wilton always has good advice for artists. Click on his name for a link to his recent post about getting back to making art.

One trick I use to get started is to prepare a painting project for the next day. This way, I'll be ready to paint as soon as I come into the studio. Once I pick up a pastel stick, the rest is fun; getting started is the problem. I taped a 7x5 inch piece of sanded paper to my easel board along with a 7x5 inch reformatted* reference photo. I brought the same image up on my iPad.

*I'm revisiting my 2007 painting, "Wild Meadow." My original painting was nearly square at 13x14 inches but with Photoshop I made two new images of it in horizontal and vertical formats.

Image> Resize> Constrain Proportions (I UNCHECKED this box). Then, I printed two photos in 5x7 and 7x5 formats. Note: objects will be skewed but that's OK with me because I don't paint to copy my reference photos. I draw an "X" through each photo to help me visually transfer the composition to my blank sanded pastel paper - in this case it is Pastelmat, color Buttercup.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy to be back...

...on ebay

I started there in 2008 but most recent activity was a couple years ago when I sold a ton of art supplies from my studio in preparation for my move to a smaller work space. This time I will be posting paintings. I added a link in the sidebar on this blog.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Side-tracked or an opportunity?

"Blessing all around if we pay attention." That is what I wrote in 1983 in the book I talked about several days ago on my Golden Years Blog. The trick is to know if I am getting side-tracked from my goals or am I looking at an opportunity (blessing)?

This morning as I was headed to my easel to continue on yesterday's painting, I received an email asking about purchasing a print of a one of my paintings.

Am I getting side-tracked by answering now? I could have replied briefly but once I found the painting image and its history I was hooked and I decided to treat it as an opportunity.

First, I had to remember the painting. Originally it was 13 x 14 inches and looked like this:

Seven years later, in 2014 I found it in my studio and cropped it to 10 x 8 inches for a stronger composition and posted it for purchase online.  K.F. in Wisconsin saw it on Etsy and it is now in her collection.

I love the painting, that is why it was still in my Studio seven years after I painted it. My art database tells me it was shown at three of my galleries from 2007 to 2012 but it didn't sell. When a painting doesn't sell, it can be a part of another opportunity. If it had sold, I wouldn't have revisited it and cropped it into a more intimate scene, made contact with that online collector through Etsy, and I wouldn't be writing this blog today.

I can choose to use this painting as an opportunity.
1. This painting can become a print in its original format or new size.
2. I can paint the scene again more loosely, in keeping with my current interest and style.
3. I can make a video of painting it again and learn more (aarghhh) about posting videos to my blog.

In the coming year, I encourage you to pay attention each day, to be present for family and friends and open to opportunities. I also suggest a good art database - I wrote mine in FileMaker Pro but there are ready-made art databases available.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

White on Black

I'm back at it, trying to make art videos. I KNOW it has to be easier than my trial and error methods.

Several weeks ago gathered up scraps of sanded paper and gave them a coat of black acrylic paint.

This morning I began a 6x6 inch painting. I wanted to give myself a foundation of the darkest value (the black paper) and the lightest value (white pastel). I made an eight minute video that will be 4 minutes long when you view it. I am such a novice at this, I'm sure I have subscribers and followers who are getting a good laugh. Trying to teach an old dog new tricks. If I did everything right, you should be able to see the video below. Otherwise, it is available on YouTube here.

White on Black demo:

Reference photo for this painting.