Saturday, March 17, 2018

Monday, March 12, 2018

Let there be light

About the time that I was struggling to see the high-key painting I was working on, I received an email from Beth asking about my Studio lighting. I finished the painting but when I took it off the easel and walked around the studio with it, it looked different depending upon the light. After a couple days of thinking about it, I decided that to paint my best I really need all the natural light I can get. So, I ripped my Studio apart (again) to move both easels for natural light. If you have a studio and a bunch of STUFF you know it isn't just moving the easel. Much better now.

I spent a long time selecting my track lighting and I'm very happy with it but it is very bright and I needed a more subtle light for high-key work. Now, I have the option of using natural light from the windows, overhead light (very warm) or track lighting (color corrected but very bright).

Saturday, March 3, 2018

New brushes, new painting

Yay! My shipment of Rosemary Brushes arrived today and they motivated me to finish up a painting I've been avoiding. Happy now.

NYC Flowers, oil, 20 x 20 inches
 Here's the backstory in photos:

Friday, February 23, 2018

Feb 8th post continued...

Remember my Feb. 8th post experience about water soluble oils? This is a continuation of the 3 I started before I began doing my taxes. Back to them tonight and I'm not done but I think I'm hooked on this new medium.  Love the clean-up of this paint.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Back to the block in

Remember the block in from my February Open Studio? It was a demo about how to take an old painting that had not been varnished and start again. After many days of tax preparation, I finally got back to it today. Thought I'd post it now in case I wipe the whole thing off. Scroll to the bottom to see it about 85% done.

This is the block in. Next comes a lot of value work.

About 85% complete or I might wipe it all off...
Happy painting to you.

Friday, February 16, 2018

February Open Studio

All ready for my first Open Studio Session 2018. 
Thank you Bertha, Susan and Pat for a fun day!

Open Studio Sessions 2018
This is my 30 minute demo. How to paint over an old oil painting that has not been varnished. Block-in for a new flower painting. Glad the old one is gone and hopeful for this one...I'll let you know what happens.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Water Mixable Oils?

Yesterday I had a conversation with my friend Kay about how important it is (to both of us) that we enjoy the process of creating. Maybe that is why I still haven't bonded with acrylics...I'm just not a fan of the process of painting with that medium.

But, I've been curious about water mixable oils for a long time and today I finally blocked in three little florals using that medium in the limited colors I have. I was skeptical but I have to admit the application feels like traditional oil and they perform similarly. Most noticeable is the clean-up. It is wonderfully easy. I'll order a few more colors (I need a cool red and a cool blue), then continue on these 6x6 paintings and will let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Thinking of Spring...

...and the paintings I need for two upcoming shows.

One more old painting bites the dust. I unframed 2009 "Silver Lining" and brushed it off leaving just the ghost. The ground is gessoed gatorboard that I textured with a brush (in 2009). Today I repainted the surface using many of the same colors but this time, instead of a landscape, it is a flower painting.
Here is the finished painting. Scroll down to see the steps.

Peonies, pastel, 13x 13 inches

Friday, January 26, 2018

Taxes and Reworks

This week I've been doing tax preparation so not much painting but the last four pastels have been reworks of old paintings. The color palette of the new painting is much the same as the old one but that's about it. Here are four examples of work from 2009 and how I repainted them earlier this month.




Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The ghost and the finished painting

Many of my paintings are reworks. To start with a ghost image is my favorite thing to do. This one was an abstract painting from 2009. The paper is Wallis. I brushed it off, hosed it off and turned it upside down to begin. I set my old iPhone on a tripod beside me and began to make a video of the process of re painting this one. After a couple minutes I heard a beep and the iPhone (poor old thing) was out of memory. So, no video but below is the finished painting.

Wild Cherries, pastel, 11.25 x 11 inches

Monday, January 22, 2018

Chain of Events with video

This is Chain of Events, pastel, 11 x 11 inches. It was painted over the ghost image of a painting of the same name from 2009.  Here is a short video showing part of the process.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Has this happened to you?

My goal is to paint with abandon - that means without inhibition or restraint. When I am able to do this, creativity flows. I'm not painting for anyone else, not painting with a goal in mind, just painting. During this time I am painting from the heart and I can't wait to get to the easel to see what happens. Are these scenes that I have in my memory? How did they get there?  This morning I came across a video that relates to this and is very interesting to me. Take a look at this.

From the Heart series: Woodland Path, pastel, 13 x 12.5 inches

Friday, January 5, 2018

LOVE the iPhone 8 camera!

Around the middle of December I posted images of three 6x6 oils I thought were done. They weren't. I painted on each of them again and now they really are done because I varnished them today. 

I also took photos with my new iPhone 8 instead of the Panasonic Lumix FZ35 camera I have been using for years for the high resolution shots I need. The resolution of the iPhone 8 is great and the color is soooo much better than my Panasonic.

I have always spent a lot of time adjusting the color to make sure what you see is what you get. It was time consuming. But today, I took a photo of one of these outdoors and all I had to do was lighten it to make the color perfect (I always shoot my photos with a Kodak color bar). The other two I shot at the easel under a mixture of warm and cool lights and the final photo required very little tweaking for correct color. I'm so happy! So, here they are again.

Last Dahlias, oil, 6x6 inches
Peony, oil, 6x6 inches
Begonia, oil, 6x6 inches

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Paintings from the Heart #1

At the beginning of each year I clean out my file cabinets, clean out my flat files and look around the Studio for paintings that aren't my best. First up this year is an 18x24 inch pastel scene of our lake. I loved parts of it but you know how those precious areas convince you to call it done and frame it. Other areas were not great so it needed to go. I never throw paintings away, I just rework them.

The paper is LaCarte so I can't wash it off. I took it outdoors and brushed it off then brushed more off in the studio and vacuumed it.

This is the ghost of the old painting, turned upside down.

I'm not using a reference photo. Instead, I'm letting the ghost image suggest a scene to me. I'll call this reworked series "Paintings from the Heart" because they are imagined or remembered. Paintings from the heart sounds better than paintings from my brain.

A few more minutes of painting brings it to this. In total, this is about 30 minutes of painting. Keep it fast, simple, spontaneous. Painting with abandon.

From the Heart: River, pastel, 14 x 24 inches ©2018 Barbara Benedetti Newton
While I'm on the subject of reworked paintings, following is a link to a page of reworks. The last post was years ago.   Link to reworked paintings

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