The Artist’s Blog of Marlene Breitenstein

Exploring the creative process: inspiration, techniques, challenges, results.

Newsletter #1

by | Jun 15, 2023


Welcome to my first artist’s newsletter, I’m delighted you’re reading this.


  • Photo, meet poetry. I started a new artist’s blog too! Despite being the beginning, I called the inaugural post Endings: first a photograph, then a poem. If the coupling of images and words also floats your boat, check it out.
  • Wallpaper for your desktop or tablet. Download higher resolution versions of the following photos (click any you want, fits screens up to 2560 wide):
    [This is a benefit for people who’ve signed up for my artist updates. I invite you to sign up, too! Learn more here.]
Photo of green rolling hills in Germany's Black Forest, the upper portions covered in spruce trees. in the valley is a road, two houses and a barn, and trees with autumn foliage.
Photo of two tall pine trees in a soft peach-colored mist, with greenish-gray foliage in the foreground, and a low bank of barely visible trees in back.
Photo of the interior of a forest at late dusk, with a soft blue mist coloring everything, except the end of a branch of autumn leaves in the lower right corner.


An experiment. Over the last few months, I’ve considered mixing photography with painting. This week, I ordered samples of photographic prints on various papers and substrates, as well as a proof of a larger print. When these arrive (should be in about 10 days), I will test them with a few media—starting with soft pastel and fixative—and see how they work together. I’m excited about this new direction! Watch for future developments.


Tips: If you too are an artist or photographer, two of my blog posts in the last month might be of interest:

  • Strategic Photo Posting on Social Media – Whether you’re a professional or hobbyist, you can benefit from strategic photo posting. Having clarity on what you want to be known for directs your choices, significantly improving the impression you make. read more
  • Benefit from Standing Back – Artists learn to take a few steps back from their work, to assess progress.  Photographers benefit from this same technique, when selecting possible works to share, and when processing photos. Learn why and how you can use this technique. read more


Rejection as motivator. Last week I applied to participate in an open studio event, happening this fall. This week I received a rejection notice. The worst part is, I wouldn’t have approved my application either. I’ve let photography take precedence over painting this last year.

My takeaway? The work towards painting accomplishment needs to get back on track, so I moved some art supplies from my smaller upstairs studio into my second, much bigger studio space. Today I began putting pastel to paper, in a larger format than I’m used to, and will be experimenting with different techniques to expand my multimedia repertoire.


Appreciation. Contrary to every experience I’ve had on other social media, I adore Mastodon. In less than 6 months I’ve garnered 600+ followers, made lovely online acquaintances, seen terrific work, and learned new things. The littler pond allows one to be a bigger fish, which is good for the artist ego. Appreciation stokes creativity.

I appreciate you, too! Thanks for reading. If you’ve poked around my web site and have questions about any of my creations, want to know more about Mastodon or Glass, or have constructive feedback about my work or this newsletter, feel free to reply to this email [contact me]. It’s great that you let me keep in touch with you!

Marlene Breitenstein

P.S. See what I’m sharing on, and my web site,

© Marlene Breitenstein. I welcome your inquiries about purchasing, licensing, or republishing my work.

Find Me on Social Media


No account needed to view!

I support social media that’s independent of the big dogs.

Are you thinking, "What? I never heard of those."

Okay, since you actually clicked on this, and I’m a bit of an ambassador for things I believe in, I’ll explain:

Mastodon is the most engaging, refreshing social media I’ve experienced. It is a social network based on a non-profit, ad-free model, designed to allow the user fine control over what they choose to see and who they interact with, while retaining full data ownership. It may be smaller, but that’s actually a benefit!

Glass is an image-focused social network, designed by and for photographers, using a subscription-based model, which also provides full user and data control.

Where Am I?

Sometimes in the Washington, DC area.
Sometimes I’m traveling elsewhere.

Otherwise I’m near Landau in der Pfalz, in the Südliche Weinstrasse (Southern Wine Route) region of Germany, characterized by endless vineyards, and bordered by mountains covered with fairy-tale forests. France is 25 minutes away.