Welcome to my Art Blog! I paint or draw most weekdays and sometimes finish a painting a day. I fondly call them my "Postcards from Paradise" because it's such a beautiful place the Lord made here for us.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Stocking Stuffers: Original Minis, Gift Certificates

Are you so busy this time of year that you forget to cook dinner for your family? (Am I telling on myself here?) Do you get confused about who wants what for Christmas when you go shopping? (Me, again.) What about all those parties you want to attend? (I like to bring something special for my friend the hostess.)

Fret no more. Original art is a gift sure to be remembered and cherished. You can pick something you like from my Miniature section or other sections at that gallery page and I'll get it in the mail pronto.

Wishing you all a blessed Christmas season!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December Painting Challenge: Hot and Cold

Our subject for our Challenge this month was chosen by group member Marie Fox. She suggested, "Warm and Cool, or Hot and Cold: opposites must both be included. Subject could be interpreted literally as in a bowl of cold cereal, and cup of hot tea, or an interior showing a cozy fireplace and snow outside. Or in less literal ways such as warm and cool moods, or warm and cool colors."


"Waiting for Global Warming"
Oil on hardboard
, 4"x6"
Diana Moses Botkin

It was fun thinking up what to paint for this month's Challenge idea. My son the legomeister helped me find the right little parts for the penguins.

He had actually built them for me before when I was turning over some previous Challenge ideas.
I'm glad they could be a part of this one, especially with the current discussion on global weather. It's cold here in north Idaho, so the idea just kind of painted itself. It's nice when that happens.

I really like the other ideas from group members, too. As difficult as it is to get these painted every month, our Challenge is a lot of fun for all of us. We're always glad we tackled the task!

(left) "Colors Warm and Cool"
Oil on canvas, 8"x10"

©2009 Marie Fox

(right) "Fire and Ice"
Oil on hardboard

Suzanne Berry

"Winter Rooftops"
Oil on hardboard, 6"x6"
©2009 Michael Naples

"Iced and a Biscuit"
Oil on Panel, 8"x10"
©2009 Vicki Ross

Friday, December 11, 2009

"Christmas Star" Shiny Ornament Daily Painting

Original oil painting, 4"x6"
©2009 Diana Moses Botkin


Working on these little dailies gives me some mental relaxation, always important, and especially during times of stress. There is always a lot of it at the end of the year. It's sometimes difficult to keep focused on tasks at hand and the Reason for the season.

And if you like this little treasure and want to see more still life paintings, check out my DailyPainters Gallery page.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"Christmas Heart" Still Life Daily Painting

Original Oil Painting 3"x3"
Unframed Miniature
©2009 Diana Moses Botkin


Thank you for your patience if you've been missing my daily paintings lately. My computer had a major problem right before Thanksgiving and had to be in the shop for a week. I felt crippled without it; there is so much I do on this machine for my art: inventory, invoices, image documentation, the posts for DailyPainters and this blog, etc. Then there was Thanksgiving, and after that a wedding to assist and packages to mail for Christmas. Getting back to the dailies has been more difficult than usual.

Determined to get back in the groove however, I painted this little Christmas themed miniature today. Lots had to be reinstalled on the computer, including the software for my scanner, which simply wouldn't work for me when I was ready to scan this little 'un to post today!

Anyway, this was a fun and colorful piece to paint and put my mind at ease while working with the rich reds and golds. Glass is fascinating to me and I liked the effect of the light shining through this delicate piece, revealing some thin spots on the edge of that blue section. It made it look like the inside was glowing... which seemed appropriate for a heart at Christmas time.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"The Garter" Wedding Portrait

Original oil 12"x9"
©2009 Diana Moses Botkin


That sliver of light hitting the bride's face speaks of promise, a warm future and delight. I really enjoyed working on this portrait, even though painting those layers of veil were a bit tedious. I love the way they wash over the bride's figure like a cascading waterfall.

"The Garter" is the newest piece at my LifeImages reproduction gallery, available to order on canvas or art paper.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Wishing you all a Blessed Christmas!

"Prince of Peace" 
Original in pen and ink
©1983 Diana Moses Botkin

The halo reads "and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace", from Isaiah 9:6.

As a new Christian in 1973 I looked for Christmas cards that would somehow express the joy of celebrating the Savior's birth. I found a lot of Happy Christmas Tree cards and themes of Dreaming of a White Christmas. Although there's nothing wrong with those during the holidays, they just were not what I wanted to say. So I began drawing my own dramatic reminders of what Christmas is really about, and had cards and prints made to share with others.

Wishing you each a wonderful celebration of the Lord's birth!

There are reproductions of this art available. Contact me for more info or a Paypal invoice.

Friday, November 20, 2009

"Nude Shadows" Figurative Daily Painting

Original unframed oil 8"x10"
Detailed study of nude female model
©2009 Diana Moses Botkin


Those curvy, violet shadows and the slight torso twist were an interesting contrast to the straight lines of the blinds behind the model. This strong young woman was also my model for "Deer Skinners Back".

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pear Still Life Daily Painting

Original unframed painting 4x6"
Oil on hardboard
©2009 Diana Moses Botkin


One chilly day last month my son and I picked a bunch of pears. I didn't want the bears to eat all of them, and even though the fruit wasn't nearly ripe yet, we were getting early cold weather.

Now those pears are ripe and we're enjoying them. A few turned partially red like this one... fun for a still life and almost too pretty to eat.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

November Painting Challenge: View From the Studio

Our Challenge for November was chosen by group member Michael Naples. As you can see the Legos put themselves in the painting of the view from my window.

I hope you all aren't tired of seeing these little guys every month. We have a lot of fun with them at my house, seeing what they'll do to try to fit in.

My November Challenge painting (left)

"The View" 4x6"
Oil on hardboard
©2009 Diana Moses Botkin
The rest of my Challenge Group did some beautiful and thoughtful paintings, below. Month after month, it's so interesting to me to see how similar and diverse each painting turns out to be. I think this Challenge is perhaps the most varied for approach. What do you think?

(left above) "View from the Studio" 16x20" Oil on canvas
©2009 Suzanne Berry
(right above) "Studio View" 24x18” Oil on canvas ©2009 Marie Fox

(left above) "Green Belt" 8x8” Watercolor on paper ©2009 Robin Cheers
(middle above) "Studio View" 8x8.5” Oil on canvas ©2009 Silvina Day
(right above) "Electric Highway" 8x8” Oil on board ©2009 Michael Naples

"View from my Studio"
Oil on panel
©2009 Vicki Ross

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Vintage Ink Bottle" Art Supplies Daily Painting

Original unframed oil painting 4"x6"
Old Higgins India Ink bottle and stopper
©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

I've had this old bottle a long time, along with some others that actually contain ink. Occasionally I still use the stuff.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Vintage Winsor Newton" Art Supplies Daily Painting

Original unframed oil painting 4"x6"
Vintage paint tubes still life
©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

In my old paint box, which was my father's, is a variety of older and newer tubes of oil paints.

A few of them date back to a purchase I made in the early 1970s of a bunch of Winsor Newton oils that were on close-out at the University book store. I guess the outdated tubes were being replaced by new packaging or cleared out to make room for better selling merchandise.

I've used almost all that bargain supply over the years except these last two tubes. They're still good. I've often been amazed at how far those tubes of student grade paint have gone. They're richly pigmented, buttery and superior to many of the brands I've used in the past few decades. One certainly doesn't find this kind of quality pigment in an inexpensive paint anymore. Cheap oil paint now is diluted with all kinds of fillers. Most companies have changed their formulas and just don't make oils like they used to, although t
here are some exceptions.

Monday, November 9, 2009

"Vintage Conte" Art Supplies Daily Painting

Original unframed oil painting 4"x6"
Still life of vintage art supplies
Conte crayon and old box
©2009 Diana Moses Botkin


 It's odd how difficult simple subjects can be to paint at times, like this little old box. But I do find it good exercise, especially when I'm working on more complicated pieces like the portrait I'm currently painting. The piece is another commission this Fall which is keeping me busy.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"Walnut in Hull" Miniature Still Life Daily Painting

Original oil on panel 2.25"x3.25"
Unframed with mini display easel
©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

I'm currently surrounded by reminders of our precipitous existence here on earth. My friend Sandy waited another day for the Lord to take her home. She has lost her battle with pancreatic cancer. And my Uncle Marvin passed away yesterday.

This past week I was outside in the yard picking up walnuts that had dropped to the ground. As I was gathering the fruits and removing hulls, I thought a lot about Sandy and Marvin who were both hospitalized and near the end of their lives.

God puts these simple reminders everywhere of the soul. I noticed them last spring when I painted the
maple seed series and am reminded again with these walnuts. That outer hull, once green and alive while the fruit was growing, eventually rots away, revealing the inner part which is the real substance.

Psalm 139:16

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;

And in Your book were all written

The days that were ordained for me,

When as yet there was not one of them.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

More Figurative Studies

(top, left)
"Prone, with Knee Down"

Original Charcoal and Chalk on Blue Paper
©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

Please contact me if you would like either of these tasteful nudes.
"Back View on Bar Stool"
Original Charcoal and Chalk
on Grey/Green 100% Cotton Charcoal Paper
©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

Monday, October 26, 2009

"Woman Kneeling, with Head Down" Nude Study

Original unframed charcoal and chalk drawing, 12"x18"
on blue/grey 100% cotton charcoal paper
©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

This drawing was sketched live from one of our Open Studio models. You can see more available figure studies at my DailyPainters Gallery.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Daily Painting Giveaway Winner Announcement

Thank you to all who entered the drawing for my free painting giveaway.

 In case you're curious, Carolyn in Missouri is the winner whose name was drawn. She picked "Above the Trees". Congratulations, Carolyn!

If you missed out, keep watching my blog for more giveaways. I do these on a whim some months! It's always fun for me, seeing the entries come in from all sorts of places and lets me know who my fans are reading this blog.

At left is "Lake Reflections", an original 3.5"x5" oil painting of Fall trees reflected in water.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Venue for my Work

"Before the Wedding"
Original Oil, Portrait Sample
©2008 Diana Moses Botkin

It's been a busy Fall for me so far with portrait commissions and other projects. If you've been thinking of ordering a special painting, let's talk. You can tell me your ideas for the art you want and I'll do my best to make it happen.

I've been asked to show my work at the Tidewater Gallery in Swansboro, North Carolina in the historic James Bartley House. Soon I'll be packing up pieces for owner Ray Voelpel to exhibit there. I hope if you're visiting the Atlantic Coast in the area that you'll drop in to see the beautiful work of the talented artists Ray represents.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Our October Challenge Group Paintings: "Water"

Here it is, the middle of October already and time to unveil our paintings for this month. Suzanne Berry, our newest member, chose "water" as the subject for our Challenge.

With so many possibilities, I debated with myself during the past few weeks trying to decide on a final plan.

As with most of these group challenges, the painting finally came together at the last minute. For some perverse reason I seem to work best under pressure.

So, here is my piece for our October Challenge, at left. As you can see, the Legos didn't want to be left out. They're funny that way.

"Fish Tale"
Original oil on hardboard

©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

As you can see from the rest of the paintings, my Challenge Group members had some related ideas, although each was uniquely creative.

The subject of water conjured up all sorts of images for me; everything from Niagara Falls to a glass of water.

That's part of the fun with doing this as a group; even when we're all painting the same subject, it's a surprise to see exactly how we all interpret it.

"Sprinkler Park"
Oil on linen

©2009 Robin Cheers

(left) "Half Full"
Oil on board
©2009 Michael Naples

"Cool, Cool, Water"
Oil on panel,

©2009 Vicki Ross


"Water Bottle"
Oil on canvas
©2009 Suzanne Berry


"Ocean Waves"
Oil on canvas
©2009 Marie Fox

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Charcoal Figure Study

"Back Light" (detail)
Original unframed charcoal and chalk drawing on grey paper
Quick figure study of head and partial back, 12"x18"
©2009 Diana Moses Botkin


This charcoal study is the pick of the litter from the last session. Our model is patient and helpful, and this pose was especially lovely with the draped light across her back. You can see more figure studies at my DailyPainters Gallery page.

Additionally, reproductions of this image may be ordered at my giclee gallery, framed or unframed, in a variety of sizes.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Quick Figure Studies

"Back Twist" (detail)
Original unframed charcoal and chalk drawing on grey paper

Quick figure study of head and partial back, 18"x12"
©2009 Diana Moses Botkin


We have a model once again at our Artists' Salon Open Studio. It's good to be back in practice with the figure. You can see more similar studies at my DailyPainters Gallery page.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

“Blue Green Sky" Daily Painting

"Blue Green Sky" Miniature Oil©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

"Brilliant Sky Hues" Miniature Oil©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

"July Delight" Miniature Oil©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

"Church at Sunset" Miniature Oil©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

"Feathers" Miniature Oil©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

"Twilight Finery" Miniature Oil©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

"Soda Crackers" Miniature Oil©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

"Fall in the Air" Miniature Oil©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

"Sunset Splendor" Miniature Oil©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

"Turquoise Twilight" Miniature Oil©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

"Dark Cherry" Miniature Oil©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

"Bright Day at the Flats" Oil, 9"x7"©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

"Sunflower" Oil, 7"x5"©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

"Elizabeth" Oil, 7"x5"©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

"New Kitten" Oil, 7"x5"©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

"Glowing Glass" Oil, 10"x8"©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

"Purple and Gold" Oil, 8"x10"©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

"Spring Tonic" Oil, 5"x7"©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

"Trees Against a Turquoise Sky" Oil, 10"x10"©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

Saturday, October 3, 2009

LifeImages Repros

"Bonding" Oil 8"x10"
©1993 Diana Moses Botkin


 Mothers and babies are the most lovely subjects to paint. I am accepting a few commissions, so please contact me if you'd like me to paint something special for you.

You can also order this image as a giclee reproduction on canvas or paper at my online LifeImages Gallery.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Free Shipping on Giclée Reproductions

"Communion" Pastel 18"x24"
©1986 Diana Moses Botkin


This is one of my favorite father and baby pieces I've painted. Please contact me for commissions of your own special dear ones.

This is also available as giclée reproductions at my LifeImages Gallery.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"By the Window" Mother & Baby Piece at LifeImages

Young mother and child reading a book, in chiaroscuro lighting
©2007 Diana Moses Botkin


Back lighting is inspiring and challenging. I often find it is difficult to portray just right, keeping enough detail in the shadows to show form, while still focusing on the light areas that make the scene glow.

This is another image offered at my LifeImages Gallery and one of my favorite pieces.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Save at my LifeImages Repro Gallery

Still Life Painting of Cowboy Boots and an
Encircling Lariat
Symbols of Lives United in Marriage
©1998 Diana Moses Botkin


You can order this or any of my other Reproductions at my LifeImages Gallery. I can also create a special painting of your own boots. Contact me for info about commissions.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Our September Painting Challenge: Pantry Shelves

This month's Challenge subject was chosen by group member Robin Cheers. "Pantry Shelves" proved to be a good inspiration for us all for this month.

I certainly had fun brainstorming about this idea. Those little pirates wanted to help again. My son and I had some good laughs with ideas about what Legos might be doing in the pantry!

"Yo-ho-ho, and a Bottle of Rum"
Oil on board

©2009 Diana Moses Botkin


Here are the rest of the inspired paintings from our September Challenge.

They're all so unique; similar in concept but very different in details shown.

(right, above) "The Artist's Pantry"
Oil on canvas 5"x7"
©2009 Suzanne Berry
(above, middle) "Steel Cut Oats"
Oil on canvas 12"x12"

©2009 Silvina Day

(left, above) "Corner"

Oil on board 7"x12"

©2009 Michael Naples

"Coming Out of the Cabinet'

Oil on board

©2009 Vicki Ross

Each month we all keep our work a secret until it's time to send them to each other on the day before we post on our blogs.

I look forward all month to seeing what each artist paints. When each member's work rolls in to my Inbox on our unveiling day, I am always amazed and inspired!

(left) "Staples"
Oil on board

©2009 Robin Cheers

(last painting)
"The Red Napkin"

Oil on canvas

©2009 Marie Fox