Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Art Spectrum Colourfix paper

Found a piece of Burgundy Art Spectrum Colourfix paper in my flat file and it reminded me of autumn. Found an old reference photo of the creek by our dog-sitter. Applied a dark oil wash and after it dried (an hour or so) I began applying pastel.

Autumn Creek, pastel, 9x14 inches
©2018 Barbara Benedetti Newton

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Canson Mi-Teintes Touch

I use a variety of sanded pastel papers and have definite favorites. I haven't used Canson Mi-Teintes Touch in a long time and decided to reacquaint myself using a reference photo by friend Kathy Mishima (thanks Kathy). The original photo is less saturated than my reference - a lovely misty scene - but I decided to go for more saturated color so I tweaked the photo and took color samples (the little dots below the image).

Autumn, pastel, image 9x8 inches, framed dimensions 15 x 13 inches
©2018 Barbara Benedetti Newton

This painting is going to my Daily Paintworks Gallery and will be for sale FRAMED (but it will ship without the glass) and FREE shipping. A Christmas present for yourself. I'll post a photo of it framed.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Varnishing Day with Gamvar

It's varnishing day in the Studio. This oil painting was completed several months ago and in this photo you can see the difference the Gamvar Satin varnish makes. It brings color back to life, evens out the paint, especially when a medium is used with the oil paint and protects the surface from dust. 

I updated my varnish-only brush to three from the UK.
I hung my varnish brushes on the wall with my gesso brush so they'll never get mixed up with my painting brushes. 

Go to the Gamblin website to see videos about how to varnish with Gamvar.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Tubes of oil on the wall

My tubes of oil paint have gotten out of control. I pulled out the color charts I made some time ago and started reorganizing the tubes in their tray. Hmmm...if only I could put each tube of paint with its sample on the chart.

Hmmm...It occurred to me that I would be able to see all the colors with their corresponding chart if I mounted them on the wall beside my oil easel. Voila! With ATG tape and foam core I was able to put them on the wall where all my summer plein air studies had been. Yay!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

A little help from my friends on dark green

On the easel now - "Private Road," pastel, 18 x 12 inches. This is about 85% complete but I stopped because I couldn't find my fragment of favorite dark dark green from 2003. I LOVE the color and I guess I have been using it for 15 years because the one painting I know I used a lot of it on was called "Secret Place" and it was painted in 2003. (I had to look that up of course in my database...I didn't just remember it.)

I created a post on my FB page and asked for help in identifying the color so I could order more. Thank you to all the generous pastel artists who advised me and thanks to Craig at Dakota Pastels for suggesting a couple others. Now I'm all set!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Studio painting from a summer plein air study

In my last post I wrote about what I was doing to start painting again after a long summer gardening break. I figured it out. To start, just start. I wanted to paint a Studio version in pastel of a 6x8 inch plein air oil study, "August Lake." I used the study as inspiration and as a starting place. I changed the format from horizontal to square and changed the temperature (more blue, less green).

August Lake, oil, 6x8 inches 

After working on the larger painting for a day, I turned it to the wall but kept the selection of pastels and the little oil study with it. After a few days of NOT looking at it, my emotional involvement was tempered and I could approach it with fresh eyes. 

August Lake, pastel, 25 x 25 inches ©2018 Barbara Benedetti Newton

Monday, October 1, 2018

BABY STEPS to get going again...

I used to be a prolific painter (I also had a house-cleaner) and taught and wrote about art. Now, I prefer a more balanced life putting family and friends higher on my priority list. Over the past spring and summer I gardened instead of making art but Facebook and Instagram kept me informed and I cheered the successes of my peers.

Now it is Fall and the gardens are done. My outside work is reduced and I need to get back into the studio but what happened to my motivation, inspiration and energy for painting? I could easily let the rest of the year slide away with excuses of the busy holidays, starting fresh next year, etc. But I know I am my best self when I am making art and I can't intentionally subscribe to not being my best self.

So, here I am documenting (as much for myself as for readers) how I plan to jump-start myself to paint again.

1. Clean/organize the studio. Fortunately I had a long-scheduled Mentor Session last Friday and cleaned the studio for students.

2. Reduce online distractions. Facebook and Instagram have been entertaining but it's time to focus on my own work and the work of a select few artists who I hope to learn from and be inspired by. I will continue to blog.

3. Read a good art book. This goes along with number 2. and the select artists I will be studying.  Just got this book from the library and I look forward to spending time and making notes.

4. Restock art supplies: I just placed an order to Dick Blick for OMS and varnish. I wanted to order painting surfaces (not for pastel - I have lots of sanded papers) but couldn't decide what surface so for now I'm going back to gessoed watercolor paper. I'm going to make a note here so I can remember how I did this because in the past, it was trial and error. This is 140 lb hot press Lana Aquarelle watercolor paper. I gessoed one side with a roller application. When dry, I spritzed the gessoed side with water and laid the paper gesso side down onto a wood board, taped around all edges with wc paper tape and applied gesso to the paper. Let dry thoroughly then sand lightly with fine sandpaper before painting with acrylic or oil.

5. Browse my old art journals: Looking back reminds me of who I am and what I do when I am being my best self.
I'll print this post and glue it into my current art journal and make a note on my calendar to read it if this happens again next year. Happy Fall everyone!