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Painting Painting with with Purpose Purpose

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ouglas Newton has an impressive portfolio of paintings. ArtDiction is especially fond of his food paintings. “After painting subjects such as cityscapes, the figure, candy and household objects, I decided to do a series of food paintings starting in 2009,” he recalls. “Our local farmer’s market is a great place to wander and collect what appealed to my eye. “The colors and textures of such ordinary things as onions, melons and oranges are a challenge to capture convincingly in oil paint. Also, I liked being in a long succession of painters of fruit and vegetables, and trying to bring my own unique vision to it.” Food has held a central place in painting for centuries and Douglas enjoys bringing a contemporary sensibility to this “time-honored subject.” With a keen awareness of art history, he explains: “A lot of still life painting being done today is in the Dutch tradition—dark or black backgrounds with only the foreground objects lit. I’m following more in the tradition of Spanish still life; bathed in light and crisply painted. This starts with Juan Cotan around 1600 and continues with such contemporary artists as Claudio Bravo. That ideal helps me when painting our local fruit and vegetables.” Douglas spent years as an art director, which allowed him to work with talented photographers. “[They] taught

me a lot about lighting—particularly soft directional light that reveals form and texture,” he says. “Paintings is mostly about light and shadow, and the fun is to make the paint lively and juicy while describing the subject.” Douglas usually takes advantage of artificial lighting, using LED bulbs aimed through a 24” x 30” scrim of tissue paper to soften the light. “Sometimes I mix in some direct light for an extra kick,” he says. Douglas uses charcoal, graphite and pastel to draw and perform studies before painting. “I don’t paint with solvents or paint thinner for health reasons,” he says. “After trying acrylics, I just settled on oil paint thinned with a little linseed oil to make the paint brush out smoothly.” Douglas cleans his brushes with vegetable oil, dish detergent, and brush soap. “One doesn’t need solvents to do oil painting.” In the future, Douglas plans to incorporate the human figure into his paintings. “I don’t paint from photographs now, but that might be necessary when painting people.” He is currently doing sketches of painting ideas and hopes to come up with a new. Visit www.douglasnewtonpaintings.com to view more of Douglas’ work.

ArtDiction | 34 | March/April 2018

ArtDiction MarchApril 2018  

Food is art. So, we wanted to explore some of the aspects of culinary arts—cooking and styling (Yossi Machluf on page 22), culinary branding...

ArtDiction MarchApril 2018  

Food is art. So, we wanted to explore some of the aspects of culinary arts—cooking and styling (Yossi Machluf on page 22), culinary branding...

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