Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year 2018

December 31, 2017
Black Diamond, Washington

Dear Subscribers and Followers,
THANK YOU for your support and interest in my art during 2017. You motivate and inspire me. Wishing you a wonderful new year - may all your dreams come true.

With warm regards,

Some thoughts on 2018

Friday, December 29, 2017

Art Goals for 2018

I'm looking at my end-of-2016 post from last year and I'm not going to repeat how quickly the year went by (but it did!). As always at this time of year, I'm setting art goals but I notice that my life priorities are changing and my art goals are becoming less important each year. As I view art images and posts from artists I admire, I see myself of years past. I feel happy for them and proud of them but they no longer motivate me to paint (well, there are a couple of them that make me want to run to the easel). I love this time of my life. In 2018 I'll be more discerning about my art commitments both in showing my work and in teaching/mentoring.

My ART goals for 2018

1. Work with other artists to further their success
This goal was #6 for 2016 and #4 for 2017 and I am a little surprised to see it as my top priority for 2018. I have been working with a new local art group, Black Diamond Arts Alliance, and have high hopes for their success. Also, I will continue as the Plein Air Washington Artists (PAWA) Critique Group leader for our area. I have also offered to host the newly created Black Diamond Critique Group several times a year. In 2018 I'll try a new form of mentoring: Open Studio Sessions.

2. My online presence
This year I added online opportunities to network, show and sell my work. I have two websites now. My original website is unchanged with archived work going back to my fashion illustration days. My NEW website is primarily for new work but that may change. Both of these websites are maintained by me which means keeping them current is high on my list of priorities.

3. Paint larger to support my galleries and publishers
For the past few years I have been painting smaller for online sales through Daily Paintworks, Etsy, eBay. That has been fun. Then, I signed with a couple print publishers and had to quickly paint new, larger work for them for better reproduction. Soon it will be time to submit new work to them. Now that I have limited my brick-and-mortar galleries to three, these larger paintings will go to galleries. Fulfilling my commitment to rotate work at galleries is a good motivator to paint daily.

4. Author another book?
I added this goal for 2018 with a question mark because it has been high on my list for years but not anymore. This year I contributed art to several books as well as completing a commissioned painting for a book cover. Right now I'm not motivated to write a book about my art but maybe that will change.

And of course, I must add this to my list: ""This, or something better, now manifests for me in totally satisfying and harmonious ways, for the highest good of all concerned."

Sitting down to make this list of 2018 art goals was a bit of a chore this year but I know it is good for me to commit (to myself) in writing. It gives me focus and a plan. Without a plan the days and weeks would fly by and I would have missed an opportunity to grow and improve my art. Thanks to all who have followed my work this year. Let's keep in touch! Wishing you a happy and healthy 2018, Barbara

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Artisan Overnight Bread Recipe

Overnight Artisan Bread
3 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. yeast

1. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients by hand until a sticky dough forms. Cover with a cloth and let rest overnight (12-18 hours) at room temperature.

2. Using well floured hands, turn dough out onto a floured surfaced and shape into a disc. Wrap loosely in plastic wrap or a cloth (preferable) and set aside while preheating the oven.

3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place dutch oven (I used a Le Creuset) or pot in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. (use no oil or grease, bread will not stick to pot).

4. Remove pot carefully and place dough inside. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

5. Remove lid and bake for additional 15 minutes.

6. Let cool on cutting board or rack after baking time is over.

Eat all or part depending on how your painting day went.

Friday, December 15, 2017

3-up calling it quits

I awoke before 5 AM enthused to get back to my easel. Note: If I had left that painting as it was last night instead of painting over a large part of it, I would not have wanted to get out of bed.

Another motivator was a Artisan overnight bread recipe I tried for the first time. Hot bread for breakfast! The danger was, if my painting hadn't gone well today, this loaf would probably be gone by now. But, I'm satisfied with my 3-up and will put them away and look at them again after Christmas.

Overnight Artisan Bread. YUM.

2017-12-15 Peonies, oil, 6x6 inches
2017-12-15 Dahlias, oil, 6x6 inches
2017-12-15 Begonia, oil, 6x6 inches

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Today's hour at the easel

Painted for a while and then I had to scrape it off.

Painted for a while longer, then I had to paint over it so I can sleep tonight. Tomorrow is another day, another hour at the easel. I am posting these so you will know that (if this has happened to you) this stuff happens to me too.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Today's hour at the easel

Busy day today but I promised myself I would spend one hour at the easel before moving on to other things. Here's what happened in an hour. Not done with this but getting there and feel I accomplished more in 1 hour today than I did yesterday after 6 hours. Getting back in the painting groove at this time of year isn't easy. Try painting 1 hour - take a before and after shot of your work and a before and after note of  your attitude.

Once-a month Open Studio in 2018
Three-hour session on a weekday in my Black Diamond, WA Studio with a mid-session break for muffins and tea while I demo. Hmmm...I'm thinking about it. Email me if you would like a list of tentative dates and cost. Barbara Newton at Comcast dot net

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Spinning my wheels

I'm finally getting back to the easel. Warming up with these three little florals in oil.

By noon I had wiped the center image off several times and was pretty frustrated. Cleaned my palette and took the dog for a walk.

Spent the afternoon painting on these again with the focus on the center one. Late in the afternoon I switched to painting the one on the right and am happy with the progress on it. It isn't easy for me to get going again when I haven't painted for awhile. Lots of experimentation and spinning my wheels. For success and peace of mind I will return to the easel again tomorrow morning with an attitude adjustment.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Gouache under pastel

You may remember my October post about painting a scene for a new cookbook. I'm at it again, this time for the cover. I'm painting from the author's reference photo of Kalaloch, Washington but I changed the time of day to sunset.
Photo by Lynn Adams
I love using gouache as an underpainting for pastel because it dries matte and looks like pastel.
The paper is UArt 600 grit.
Lynn's Kalaloch, pastel, 10 x 9 inches
Mock-up for new book about Olympics
Once-a month Open Studio in 2018
Three-hour session on a weekday in my Black Diamond, WA Studio with a mid-session break for muffins and tea while I demo. Hmmm...I'm thinking about it. Email me if you would like a list of tentative dates and cost. Barbara Newton at Comcast dot net

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Rethinking teaching...again

My final Private Session for the year was introduction to oil painting with Reneé. After reviewing supplies, we painted together for a few hours. Fun! We worked from my reference photo and painted a high-key and a low key version of the same scene.
Reneé painting in oil for the first time.
My two 80% complete paintings from the session with Reneé.
I'm always trying to find balance in my life and I know I paint best when I feel like painting - which isn't all the time. Recently I have started knitting again and find it the perfect activity for the hours when I have run out of creative energy. And soon, it will be time to garden again  - yay!

In 2016, I taught a 3-day fully-booked workshop for the NWPS. Very fun but more than I want to do again.

In 2017, I taught private sessions geared specifically for each student. I spent weeks before the session thinking about how I could best assist and advise and I was pleased with each day of mentoring but now I'm thinking about the best way I can connect with artists in 2018.

I'm starting to think Open Studio. I've never been to one or held one but I'm envisioning up to 4 students working in my Studio for a few hours on a weekday on their own project, in the medium of their choice. I would circulate each 1/2 hour to help/advise each student. I think this would start out as a one-day-a-month event. The part I like is that other than cleaning my house and making muffins and tea for students, there wouldn't be any preparation because each student would be working on what they brought. 

Hmmm...I'm thinking about it. Email me if you would like to be on my mailing list about this. Barbara Newton at Comcast dot Net. My Studio is in Black Diamond, WA.