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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-dv9ZY5P5A

Reference photo for this painting.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year

Creekside, pastel, 5x7 inches    Collection of Paula Parks
My thanks to all subscribers and followers of my blogs:

Art Journal Blog - tips and techniques of pastel and oil; the business of art

Recent Paintings - paintings hot off the easel

Golden Years - an artist's life journal

My Website - contact me, resumé and yearly archives of paintings

I wish you a wonderful New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Art Goals for the New Year

View from the studio: flower garden at rest December 2016
Where did 2016 go? It was the fastest year ever for me. I spent a few hours this morning reading over my goals of last year and making a list for the coming year. Plans change and stuff happens but making a list helps me feel empowered to have the kind of life I want.  What will your list for 2017 look like?

My ART goals for 2017

1. Author another book
Note from last year: One of my long time goals has been to self-publish a book. I thought it would be about my life based on my nearly fifty years of handwritten journals but earlier this year when I began to review them I realized that to get to the happy and funny parts of my life I would have to plow through the sadness and struggle. I didn’t want to revisit those times so I shredded all but a few journals from the early years when my babies were born. I think a better idea for a book is to focus on my art journey illustrated with images.

2. Improve my online presence
My good friend, artist and web designer Kay Dewar, reinvented my website this year to make it interactive for me. In 2017 I will learn more about Wordpress so I can fully utilize this opportunity to communicate effectively.

3. Evaluate my online sales to increase revenue
Because I no longer want to spend my time rotating art at galleries, I depend upon online and Studio sales. Review and restock my stores at Daily Paintworks, Etsy, and Ebay. Add additional sites if needed.

4. Work with other artists to further their successes
This goal springs from last year's goal to paint for fun with others (goal #6 from last year). Because I am the artist with the most years of painting consistently, I am the default person to ask art questions in our Maple Valley Community Center Painting Group. As our group grows with additional full time artists, my instructor role will diminish. Currently, they are painting for fun, I am there mostly to support them. I do enjoy the discipline of going to the group each Friday afternoon but I will look for new ways to support other artists. Online mentoring? Private Lessons in my Studio?

5. Try new mediums or new techniques.
I look forward to more work in oil in 2017!

6. Bookkeeping: Quarterly 
I used Quarterly Profit and Loss reviews most of 2016 to track my business and simplify quarterly reports to Washington State and yearly to the IRS. Works well, keep it up!

And now, the additional text for opportunities from the Universe: "This, or something better, now manifests for me in totally satisfying and harmonious ways, for the highest good of all concerned."

My online presence is important to me both as a communication tool and as a retrospective view. I plan to continue posting on this Art Journal blog and on my Golden Years blog. Thanks to all who have followed my work this year. Let’s keep in touch!
Wishing you a wonderful 2017,

Friday, December 2, 2016

Pastel on black mat

Pastel on archival black mat today. I forgot how fun it is to save the dark areas to let the paper do the work of the darkest value. Also, a light touch and harder pastels because there isn't much tooth to hold multiple layers of pigment.
Nisqually Reserve, Step 1
Nisqually Reserve, Step 2
Nisqually Reserve, Step 3
Nisqually Reserve, pastel, 7x5 inches  sold

The painting from the video experiments

2016-12-2 Rock Creek Meadow, pastel, 7x5 inches
This is the finished painting shown in my first video clip experiments. I'm still working on it. I'm pretty sure you can always find my videos if you go to YouTube.com and search for Barbara Benedetti Newton. Below is a link to the video of painting of this one until the dog barked and I quit. The video is shown at double speed to make it 4 minutes long. It also makes it look like I am painting very fast. I will post this on Daily Paintworks for sale and will try to include the video.  Rock Creek Meadow Video

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What to do when you are making a painting video

...move your pastels to the right (if you are right-handed). I am known for rearranging furniture and my Studio is especially vulnerable to change so it was no problem when I had to move my pastels from the left side of my easel to the right side so I could reach them when making a painting video.

Here is my current set-up. I have to add another light to eliminate the shadow cast by my hand when painting.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What to do when you have a wave

...in your new pad of UArt. Glue it to 4ply rag mat.

I ordered this 9x12 pad of UArt 400 grit paper from my usual online art supplier. Must have had a new person in the packaging department because it was bound with stretch wrap so tightly it arrived with a concave bow. I thought I could correct it by stretch wrapping it again in the opposite direction but now it is really confused and has a wave. I will glue it to 4ply rag mat with Sure Mount archival adhesive.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

What to do when you're tired

...of looking at the same painting on your easel for a month. Finish it!

Ravensdale Walk, pastel, 16 x 16 inches
If you would like to see the backstory on this painting, click on my posts of October 6, 2016 and October 21, 2016. Yay! I'm calling it done. Click on the image to enlarge.

Monday, November 7, 2016

What to do when you're done

...with your art commitments for the year. Get a new plan. I could sit on the couch with the dog and contemplate what to do with the foreground of the painting on the easel.

I'm stuck but I don't need this painting for a show until next March. I'll let it sit for awhile because what I really want to do is paint with oil. I have been dreaming (literally) of how to start again. I have a plan.

I'm going back to the basics for subject and color. White Eggs. Simple shape. Minimal color. Nuanced white. White on white. I shot these reference photos yesterday and I'm excited to get started.

I start with an old oil 8x10 inch landscape painting on a SourceTek canvas panel. Using a colored pencil, I sketch placement of three eggs on a plate.
My Caddie Buddy holds my old iPad and the reference photo. I use Titanium White and Ultramarine to obliterate the previous landscape image.
Now, Titanium White and Yellow Ochre.

Three Eggs is in the beginning stages. From here on, I will be paying close attention to adjustments  of white "color" and temperature. I had a happy morning in the Studio. I love oil paint.

What do you do when your painting is too small

Lake Morning Fog, pastel, 6x6 inches
...too small to be reproduced by an art publishing company? You paint it again...larger.

I made a color copy of the original 6x6 inch painting, drew an X over it and also lightly drew an X on a piece of sanded pastel paper. This is how I "eyeballed" the scene to transfer it from 6x6 inches to 20x20 inches.

I worked from the top down keeping the patchwork of colors and shapes as similar as I could to the original painting.
I have become fond of the technique of using a paintbrush to soften edges as needed.

Getting into the hard part but I'm also half done!

NEW Lake Morning, pastel, 19.5 x 19.5 inches
This was a learning experience and a challenge. Same subject and basically the same palette but painting larger is so freeing. Strokes are more expressive because more energy and motion is involved and colors become more lively. Fun!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

What to do when you need color

...start with red. Busy day yesterday and before I knew it, it was time to go to our Friday afternoon painting group. I wanted to work on UArt but prefer working on a colored ground. What to do? Taped a piece of 400 grit UArt to Gatorboard and sprayed it with alcohol. Found an old bottle of Dr. Ph. Martin's HYDRUS Fine Art Watercolor 15H Permanent Red and dropped a little color around on the surface. Took this photo. Smeared the color around with my gloved finger and let it dry. Forgot to take another photo. Packed up and headed off to paint.

Good day of painting with other artists of all levels, all mediums. If you are in the area, join us Fridays, 1 PM, Maple Valley Community Center.
Jenkins Creek, pastel, 7x5 inches

Thursday, November 3, 2016

What do you do when you drop a favorite color

...and you have no idea what color it is so you can replace it?

I sent the image of the broken stick to Dakota Art Pastels to see if they could identify it for me. They made their best guess: Sennelier 478 Purplish Blue Gray. Thank you Dakota!

During my search in the studio for a clue about what this pastel was, I opened my Schmincke box and found the color charts I made when I purchased the set. Also in the Schmincke box I found I had stored duplicates regardless of brand. That is why, when you look a the photo below, it appears labeled colors are broken in half and both halves are in the box. Each papered stick is a separate color. Next time, maybe I'll drop a Schmincke and replacing it will be easier.