Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year 2022

Today is the last day of 2021 - a year of challenges, even in the Studio. This year I finally addressed my long-time issues with the acrylic medium. I changed my attitude, changed my working environment to give the medium more respect and committed to a thirty-artwork challenge on 6x6 inch panels that I called "The Acrylic Project." It was so much fun that after the first thirty, I painted another 15. After the first few faltering steps, my new attitude kicked in and I had an amazing experience. I've never painted so quickly or sold so quickly. Thanks to everyone who supported my experiment.  I still have a few available for purchase if you would like a momento from 2021. The Acrylic Project. 

I view acrylic as a playful medium, a way to sketch with paint. I love the loose, fresh result and have given some thought to how I can incorporate acrylic into my work that is larger in scale, and more contemplative; a complete thought rather than a quick impression. In the coming year, I plan to continue using acrylic as my foundation/impression and oil as my resolution/completion. 

Just before the pandemic, I delivered a series of oil still life paintings to one of my galleries. Then, COVID. Recently I picked up the work from the gallery and selected a couple of the paintings for rework. One of them was "Tomato Time," oil, 20x16 inches. I feel I can improve on the composition and brushwork.

I removed the Gamvar varnish with Gamsol OMS and sanded the painting. I wasn't sure I loved the subject enough to paint it again so to be sure, I adjusted the reference photo (flowers, tomato and lemon are long gone) to a 6x6 format so I could paint a small study. With the reference photo on my iPad, I painted the scene in acrylic.

"Understudy - Lemon," oil, 6x6 inches

This was fun! Using a generous amount of oil paint and a palette knife, I enhanced the scene I had already captured in acrylic. Special attention was taken to retain simplification of the subject to allow the viewer to participate in completion of each object. 

After painting this study, I have enthusiasm for repainting the 20x16 size again on the panel I sanded. For this study, and for the next painting, the title shifts from the obvious subject, the tomato, to the supporting player, the lemon. "Understudy - Lemon" is available for purchase and will be dry, varnished and ready to ship March 1. Contact me if you are interested in purchase.

Sunday, November 28, 2021


Leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner wait in the refrigerator as we begin to decorate the Christmas tree. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I am thankful for family, friends, good health, and I'm thankful for those of you who still read my blog after thirteen years - my first post was January 2008. You can see my first blog post here.

Tomorrow, I will add the final painting from The Acrylic Project 2021 to my website. Here are the paintings that are still available, for you or as a gift for someone else. I am happy to ship your purchase (free) to another US address.

From the top, left to right, click on the title for learn more:

Friday, October 29, 2021

All Together Now...


A couple weeks ago I received a gift bouquet from my niece. It is almost ready for the compost but before the flowers are gone I'll use them as subjects for more small acrylic paintings.

A-2021-10-28 All Together Now... 6x6 inches, acrylic

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Mid October check-in

Does anyone read blogs anymore? I wonder. Am I writing this for you or for me? For both of us I think because I plan to read this blog when I am old. When I am old...ha! This is my birthday month and as always, a time of introspection for me. 

This morning I spent some time with "Monet at Γ‰tretat" (a gift from My Biggest Fan) and though I got only as far as the Director's Foreword by Amada Cruz, already I have come to meaningful words that apply to me. 

Cruz writes that Monet's time at Γ‰tretat was a difficult personal and professional endeavor whose outcome was uncertain and that he was initially unsatisfied with his work. There is loneliness in a quest to forge new artistic territory in an authentic and meaningful way. I am reminded that as artists, we share a common bond of creativity and all its challenges and joys. Though I am alone in my Studio today, trying to figure out what to do with a painting that has been waiting resolution for many months, I feel kinship with all artists, including Monet. It comforts and reassures me. 

Upper left to bottom right:
1. The painting as it is now
2. New composition ideas using Procreate on my iPad
3. The fake flowers and real (but very old) oranges.
4. Considering adding a glassy baby.

Wishing you happy painting this week.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Another attitude adjustment

I have fancy plein air equipment that I have collected over the years. It is in nearly new condition because though I've used it occasionally with pastel, oil, and even watercolor, I have not become a fan of painting plein air. Or, at least I wasn't until today.

This morning I took my Open Box M (recently converted to hold a State-Wet palette for acrylic) outside the Studio to the flower garden. There isn't much left out there except the sunflower sentinels with their bowed heads.  

After painting the small floral still life set-ups in my studio for the past couple months, this open-air experience was unexpectedly freeing. Wheee! What fun. Big brush, big strokes. Surprisingly, by the time I  had had enough (about 15 minutes) I was happy with the result and was feeling I may have found the plein air medium that suits me. A couple things contributed to success: 

1. The goal was to paint an image that will inform a larger, Studio work. 

2. I like to paint fast and acrylic dries quickly so I can make corrections and adjustments. And, I don't have to stand at my easel outdoors very long (I'd rather be weeding).

On the Edge of Summer: Sunflowers
acrylic, 10 x 8 inches

If you have tried acrylic and/or plein air painting and aren't a fan, consider giving them another try. 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Wax and Buff

Upon completion of an acrylic painting, I let it cure for several days. An isolation coat of 2:1 Golden Soft Gel Gloss and water is applied. Several days after that I apply a thin layer of Gamblin wax, wait 24 hours and then buff to a shine that appears more organic to me than synthetic gloss varnish.


Friday, September 17, 2021

The end of the Acrylic Project.

Thanks everyone for your support of my 30-painting Acrylic Project. Here are the paintings that went to new homes. A couple went into the trash and a few more have an undecided fate.

I think I've become addicted to acrylic.  Since the project ended a few days ago, I have painted five more. 

"Love Story"

"Love Is A Choice"

"Balancing Act"

"Be Joyful"

"Simple Pleasures"

I had no idea these little florals would sell within 24 hours of me posting them so they were not ready to ship for about a week. The acrylic must cure, then an isolation coat applied, then wax and then buff. All with time in between. I still have four paintings waiting wax and buffing. If one of them is yours, it will ship Monday, September 20th Priority Mail.

I won't post the new paintings until they are ready to ship so new purchases should ship out the next day. Watch for them around October 1.  I will be happy to ship to another US address if the painting you purchase is a gift.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

The Acrylic Project #18 - #24 and FAQs

I'm still working on The Acrylic Project and have 6 paintings to go to reach my goal of 30. I've learned so much about this medium! I post these paintings on my website and on Instagram and I am so appreciative of the warm response they have received. I think I have gained a new group of acquaintances:  Acrylic Artists. 

FAQ: The palette I'm using is a Masterson Sta-Wet - the new model with the little cups for paint. My old Sta-Wet was a mess. I posted both on my Instagram page bbnewtonartstudio.

FAQ: After the acrylic paint cures for several days, I apply an isolation barrier. A few days after that, I wax and buff the painting. I like the organic look of the wax more than the synthetic look of varnish. See instructions on bbnewtonartstudio.

FAQ: The little vase I'm using was a gift from one of my co-workers when I "retired" after 16 years at K2 Skis on Vashon Island, WA.

If you work in acrylic and have any tips for me, please comment below. Thanks! 

#24 "Together" 🎈

#23 "I Do"  πŸŽˆ

#22 "Only You"  πŸŽˆ

#21 "Sweet Nothings" 🎈

#20 "Endearments" 🎈

#19 "We Got This" 🎈

#18 "Best Friends Forever" 🎈


Monday, August 23, 2021

The Acrylic Project - update


"Love is Blind," AP#17

"We Got This," AP#16

Checking in with you on my acrylic project. I'm a little more than 1/2 way through and I think I'm starting to get the hang of this medium. Accept acrylic for what it is, let go of my expectations and go with the flow. Attitude is everything in painting and in life. Change your attitude, love the one you're with and before you know it, annoying idiosyncrasies become endearing qualities. 

This is my favorite part! Sending these little paintings off to new homes makes room in the Studio for more paintings. By the way, "Love is Blind" and "We Got This" are available. Click on each image to purchase.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

The Acrylic Project continued...

 I'm still at it. A nice woman who purchased one of my paintings sent me a photo of how she has it displayed in her home. She agreed to have the photo shared with you.

I love it! It didn't occur to me that it could be left unframed. What a great idea. Thanks so much, Brie for sharing this with me. Because of this, I am now painting my edges...sorry I didn't think of it before.

These little paintings have been a joy and also a challenge. One day I had a meltdown and painted over a couple. It really is all about my attitude. Through The Acrylic Project I have met new purchasers and other artists willing to share tips about the medium and supplies. I have received a glowing review of my work in general (once again, thank you Brie!) and have even heard from a few artists who may try acrylic again.  

I just finished #13; all can be seen in The Acrylic Project on Daily Paintworks. Thanks to all who have supported me so generously, not only with a purchase but with encouragement and kindness.

Friday, August 6, 2021

The Acrylic Project #4 and #5

 Busy week but two more added to The Acrylic Project with #5 completed today.

Love the One You're With, AP#4, SOLD 🎈

It's All About You, AP#5, SOLD 🎈

 Here is a video of the painting of #4.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

The Acrylic Project

 Well, I'm three paintings in on The Acrylic Project. I actually have a book on acrylic but as with any medium, it's the easel time put in that really counts. Follow me and The Acrylic Project on Instagram.

"So, I Changed My Attitude" 🎈SOLD

"Getting to Know You" 🎈SOLD

"Tell Me Your Secrets"

Friday, July 30, 2021

Getting to Know You...


My acrylic work station and the Begonia blossoms set up

The Acrylic Project, Number 2
"Getting to Know You," acrylic, 6x6 inches