Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A new way of working?

At a recent Critique Group meeting we discussed the differences in the way we work. Some artists work many pieces at once and others of us MUST complete one painting at a time before we can move on. That is me. The exception to this is when I am working in more than one medium. That's one of the reasons I have two work stations set up in my studio: one for pastel and the other for wet media.

However, for the past few weeks I have a project going that requires working in pastel on eight paintings simultaneously and they are in sets of two. I'm having a little trouble keeping my pastel sticks organized so I can find the colors for each painting set. Other than that, I find this very interesting and perhaps I've stumbled upon a permanent new way of working. Each morning I work on one set for about 2 hours. By then, I'm tired and it is when I get tired that I start making bad decisions. So, I take a lunch/laundry/walk around the garden (which inevitably leads to weeding) break. Later in the afternoon I paint on another set for a couple hours. This seems to be working because the next morning when I enter the studio I am pleased with the results of the day before.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Paint it again, Sam. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Here's the companion piece to Dappled Path #3. I'm working from a reference photo of the original painting, "Born to the Season" for a new version, 18 x 18 inches. This is a work-in-progress shot of the painting at about 60% done. I'm working on Canson Mi-Teintes TOUCH in my favorite color, Twilight. I'm finding this "paint it again" process very fulfilling. My strokes and color nuances have matured since 2010 when I first painted this scene.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A fun request

Early this year I painted a 6x4 inch study (#3) for Dappled Path. I posted it on DailyPaintworks and my collector, K.B., purchased it.

I have been requested to paint it again, larger and this time in a square format. I took the image of Study #3 into Photoshop and changed the format to square and printed it out to use as my reference photo for the new painting. What a fun exercise - not only enlarging the size but also changing from a vertical to square format. I think it is about 95% complete now...the final 5% is the challenge. Play up the nuances but don't get too detailed or cute. Keep the freshness.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Spring Cleaning

Suddenly it's Spring on the lake! The transition into this new season is a blur, first it was taxes, then spring cleaning of my art data base that holds data back to 1992 (big job). Then a couple great opportunities came along. I'll be able to talk about them later. One is complete, the other I'll be busy with until June. And of course, there is spring cleaning of the studio and review of my art inventory.

I am offering three of the little oils from my still life oil series - the last ones painted in my old studio - on Daily Paintworks and Etsy.

Vintage Iron with Pansy, oil, 6 x 6 inches
Red Pear, oil, 6 x 6 inches
Two Bells, oil, 6 x 6 inches

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Winter Walk

Winter Walk, pastel, 5 x 7 inches
This might be my last Friday afternoon session painting for a while because it is Spring and I have a huge pile of dirt waiting to be spread on the Studio courtyard flower garden. See three steps below.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Follow Up

This is a follow up to my March 10 post.

In that post I began work on two paintings done from one reference photo. The painting on the left is my impression of the photo. The sky is blue, the grass is green, etc.

The painting on the right shows what might happen if you take liberties with a reference photo. I changed the colors and the composition while keeping what is was that drew me to the scene in the first place.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Collection of the Artist Sale

If you are like me, over the years you have created paintings that become personal favorites and end up in your Collection of the Artist.

I love my collection and enjoy them daily in all rooms of our home including my studio. However, I am creating two wall-work-stations for students I will be teaching in my studio this summer and I need to free up a wall. How about a Collection of the Artist Sale? Here are the first two offerings from my collection: Northwest Meadow (award winner in the Randy Higbee 6x6 inch show several years ago) and Twilight (memories of our dog park and Annie as a puppy). They are going to my Etsy Shop: BBNewtonArt

Thursday, March 10, 2016

on the easel today

On the easel today at about 50% complete: Two 5x7 studies of a simple country scene. On the left, the sky is blue, the grass is green... I've painted many of these sticking pretty close to the reference photo (shown below).
Reference photo for the scene above
But, one of my favorite painting challenges is taking liberties with the landscape. A pink sky in the middle of the day? Blue grass? That's my goal for the painting on the right.

I'll be teaching two one-day workshops on this subject in July. To write the syllabus for the workshop, I'm working two paintings at once to document exactly what liberties I take. Color is the most obvious one but what else? hmm...

By the way, I'm posting paintings for sale again on the Etsy Shop I opened almost exactly three years ago. I'll be adding more work soon. Returning Beginners Luck, I sold two today. Yay! BBNewtonArt

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Lemon #5

Lemon #5, pastel, 5 x 7 inches sold

Another little painting of color, texture and light.  Once again, on Pastelmat but this time I wanted to contrast the smooth plate with the texture of the lemon so more soft pastels were used for additional pigment to move around. Usually, a firmer pastel is the best choice for me to get spontaneous strokes on this surface. See a couple steps below.


Wild, pastel, 5 x 7 inches
Sometimes I push a pastel painting past the point of no return. When the words "labored, contrived, sweet, pretty and cute" come to mind, it is time for me to hose it off (Wallis paper), brush it off (most other papers) or get the baking soda out (Pastelmat).

I would love to teach a workshop where each student brings a painting that has gone past the point of no return. Together we could breathe new life into it. But it finally occurred to me that most artists probably don't want to haul that type of painting out in front of a room full of other artists. Maybe a private couple hours with me? Anyone interested in that?

This painting was a big mess (well, as big a mess as a 5x7 can be). I finally took most of the pastel off and began again with ABANDON. Yay! I'm happy with it now.  This one is available on Etsy.

Monday, March 7, 2016


That's a screen shot from my Facebook page about the three day workshop September 30 through October 2, 2016. My thanks to NWPS President, James Geddes and the Board for inviting me and for being so accommodating to my requests.

Also, I will be teaching four one-day workshops in July 2016 in my Studio. I'll be sending out an email soon to those on my "interested" list.  Studio workshops are limited to 4 students each day. Here are the dates:

 Still Life - exploring color and texture $100
Thursday, July 14, 2016 
Friday, July 22, 2016

Landscape - taking liberties with the landscape $100
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Friday, July 15, 2016

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Pastel 100 Winners

The 17th Annual Pastel 100 Competition Winners have been published in the April 2016 issue of the Pastel Journal. I am honored to have been on the Juror team.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Pink Grapefruit #3

Pink Grapefruit #3, pastel, 5 x 7 inches sold

More fun with grapefruit. Love this subject.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Right brain, left brain: Tax Time

This is a photo of my little sun-room office. Keyword is little. I have two work surfaces that I swivel-chair between. One has my lovely big iMac where I look at art, review reference photos and post small paintings to my Daily Paintworks gallery. The other surface is where most of my tax preparation is taking place. Art images right brain, tax prep left brain.

I was in the middle of figuring out the percentage of our home that is used for my business and applying that to all expenses that are deductible. In 2015 we lived 5 months in one home and 7 months in this home. Different square footage, different percentages. I was just about to tackle Utilities with the percentage deductible by law as a business expense when my computer (right behind me) sounded "DING" for new email.

Swivel to right brain

There was an email from an artist I follow on Daily Paintworks. She paints DAILY! Her paintings are lovely - that's why I subscribe to her posts - and she isn't giving them away but every one is for sale. I wondered...does she really sell every one? I have been very fortunate with DPW sales but if I painted and posted every single day, I think I would end up with lots of inventory (which I don't want). So....

Swivel to left brain and grab the calculator.

Swivel back to right brain and iMac to look at how long she has been posting on DPW, how many paintings total are in her gallery, clicked on "show available", divided the available by the total to solve for the percentage of sales over the past 5 years.  Hmmmm...would I be happy with that percentage? What am I doing?

Swivel back to left brain and my tax deadline but thinking about art.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Revisiting Leavenworth

Leavenworth Afternoon, pastel, 5 x 7 inches
It has been years since I was at Sleeping Lady Resort in Leavenworth, WA but I find myself going back again and again to the reference photos I took on that visit.

This time, I painted a scene from late afternoon as the sun cast long shadows of the trees along the riverbank. I started this in our Friday afternoon painting group and finished it up in the Studio. The paper is Pastelmat, my new favorite surface. I took one progress photo before I got involved in painting and forgot to pause to take more.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Pink Grapefruit #2

Pink Grapefruit #2, pastel, 5 x 7 inches

Such a fun subject to paint! I took a couple progress photos but then got so involved in painting that I forgot to take more. That always happens.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I love grapefruit, do you?

I have fallen in love with a pink grapefruit. Yesterday I sliced one up and took two dozen reference photos. I deleted a few photos, cropped the rest to 5x7 inch format and painted one today. What fun!

So many opportunities with this subject to learn texture, color, value, composition.

I think I will teach a Beginning Pastel workshop with grapefruit as the subject. A one day workshop in my Studio, only three students each day. If you are interested, please email me...barbara newton at comcast dot net.     Click on each photo below to see my enthusiasm for this subject.

Pink Grapefruit 1, pastel, 5x7 inches  sold

Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday 2-19-2016

Citrus, pastel, 5x7 sold

I'm continuing with my fruit series, this time with a side-lit lemon. This series is about pushing color and texture. Fortunately, these paintings have received a warm reception on my Daily Paintworks Gallery (that means they've sold). If they don't sell, I plan to hang them in my kitchen.

I'm beginning to make notes as I paint, things I would tell a group of artists in a workshop setting. Numerous people have emailed me asking if I have plans to start teaching again and I think I have your name (somewhere). I have some teaching opportunities on the horizon (summer/fall 2016). If you are interested in painting with me, please send me an email so I can make sure you are on my workshop announcement list before the workshops are advertised.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Friday 2-12-2016

Cutie, pastel, 5 x 7 inches, sold

Last week I had the pleasure of being a speaker for Women Painters of Washington at Seattle Art Museum. I shared the stage with artist friend Barbara Noonan and together we spoke of our art practices, what motivates us to paint, etc. The collective groan from our audience was in response to the time we spend on the business of art compared to the time we spend painting. We agree that the business of art takes twice as long as our time at the easel.

After one of these small studies is complete I
1. Photograph it
2. Post it to Daily Paintworks for purchase
3. post it to my Pinterest Gallery
4. Post it to my Professional Page on Facebook
5. Blog about it here and post it to my Recent Paintings Blog
6. Enter the painting image and information in my Filemaker Pro Art Database

When it sells I
1. Package it up for shipment,
2. Buy postage online and print a packing slip and shipping label.
3. Record the sale in Quickbooks to create and print an invoice for my records
4. Ship it. NEW TIME SAVER - starting now, I plan to ship only on Wednesdays.

Things I don't have to do for these small paintings:
1. Frame them
2. Deliver them to a gallery or show

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Friday 2-5-2016

Marble and Tomato - RED, pastel 5 x 7 inches
Two shiny red objects. A marble and a tomato for my Friday painting. I've painted lots of marbles in oil but this is my first in pastel. See detail photos and step x step progression below. Ground is wine PastelMat. Sold