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.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Thank you for joining me on my Art Journey this year!

Wishing you all a happy and safe New Year's celebration, and blessings for 2011. I really appreciate all of you who follow this blog.

Being an artist is mostly very solitary, so sharing my work with you and reading your input here and on my facebook page means a lot to me.

I'm looking forward to more daily painting and drawing this coming year. There are a number of ideas that've been jiggeting about in my brain that will make my art journey an adventure in the months ahead!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wishing you all blessings at Christmas

I'm spending time with family and friends and hope you are too. I'll return to daily painting after the holidays.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

December Challenge: Favorite Slogan or Saying

Suzanne Berry chose for us this month to paint our favorite saying, slogan or cliché. A few ideas came to mind but I settled on this one for the visual pun effect. A couple of the goals of our monthly Challenge is to have fun and do something we might not normally paint. I think we all did that this month!

(left)"No Time Like the Present"
Oil on board

Diana Moses Botkin


(above) "Good, Bad and Indifferent" 10"x30" Oil on canvas ©2010
Suzanne Berry


(above left) "Why Not Queen Me?" 6"x6" Oil on masonite ©2010 Sharman Owings
(middle) "You Can Lead A Horse to Water..."
10"x8" Oil on panel ©2010 Robin Cheers

(right) "Double Mint Twins at the Paris Metro" 16x12 Oil on panel ©2010
Vicki Ross

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

DailyPainters Still Life Calendar, continued

This is the other painting of mine that was chosen for the 2011 DailyPainters Still Life Calendar.

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

You can see my original post of this painting here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Art Published in DailyPainters Still Life Calendar

This still life with the vintage dolly is one of the featured art images reproduced in DailyPainters 2011 Still Life Calendar.

I'm delighted that two of my paintings appear (with my permission) in the calendar with ten other DailyPainters. In fact, it's an honor to be in such good company every day at the online gallery, where I show my small works with over 100 other members.

(left) "Waiting for Chloë" 8x10" Oil on hardboard
Unframed ©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

You can read more about this painting at the original post. You can also order a fine art print of this piece reproduced on canvas or art paper at FineArt America.

Friday, December 10, 2010

"Soft Sleeper" Cat Daily Painting

Original oil 3.5"x5"
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin


Fur and whiskers are fun and challenging to paint. This close-up kitten portrait gave me opportunity to work with fine lines and ragged edges.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Cat on Concrete" Daily Painting

Original oil 5"x3.5"
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

Giclée reproductions are available at my Animal Gallery.


These little 'uns are just for fun. It's nice to play with some simple ideas. Sometimes I decide to paint one of these bigger.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"Cuppajoe" Miniature Still Life Daily Painting

Original oil 3"x2"
unframed, with free mini easel
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin


It's apparently good for you. Coffee is full of antioxidants and studies are showing some nice benefits to drinking the stuff. I especially like the protective effect from Alzheimer's. Let's have another cup.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"Warmer" Miniature Still Life Daily Painting

Original oil painting 3"x3"
unframed, with free mini easel
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin


None of that froufrou stuff for me... please no sugar, syrups or creamers. I like my hot coffee black, not too strong and not too acidic. How about you?

Monday, December 6, 2010

"Steamy" MIniature Still Life Daily Painting

Original oil painting 3"x2"
unframed, with free mini easel
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin


It's a busy time of year, and cold too. A steamy hot cup of coffee warms the tummy and wakes the brain. Go ahead. It's good for you.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

"Snow Laden" Miniature Christmas Tree Painting

This pretty little tree loaded with snow looks like the perfect Christmas tree.


Original oil painting, 3"x2"
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Shining Tree" Miniature Winter Painting

We have a lot of snow now, which, except for driving, seems ideal for the season.

Original oil painting
3"x2" unframed
with free mini easel
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Lakeside Willows" Miniature Winter Painting

Original oil painting on hardboard, 2.25"x3"
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin


Winter is here in north Idaho wearing all her finest, frosty apparel.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Steaming Coffee" Daily Painting

Original oil
7"x5" unframed
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

I've been wanting to get back to
my coffee series for awhile. This is a bit of warm-up (okay, yes, pun intended) to paint an idea quickly. I didn't quite get this finished in thirty minutes.. not at all in thirty minutes... but I did work quickly.

I feel like the looseness works for this piece much better than for the portrait/figurative work I did last week. What do you think?

Wishing you all a warm and happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Charcoal Figure Studies: Longer Poses

Here are the best ones of the longer poses from our last Artists' Salon Open Studio.

©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

These are from last week's session with the model. It was entirely too cold and risky to do the long drive this week to draw. We've had single digit temps and wind chill of minus 17. Better to stay home by the fire, I say.

If you are interested in any of these studies, they are available unframed for reasonable prices. Most are 12x17", either on grey paper or cotton charcoal paper.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Figure Drawings, Short Poses

A hat and a ukelele make good props and I'm glad our model brought them along recently for these short poses at Open Studio.

©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Red Slip" completed

Okay. So I just can't leave well enough alone.

Because well enough is simply not good enough.

Why paint in oils if you're not going to make them really work for you? Flesh should look like flesh. Silk should resemble the shiny stuff. Backgrounds might be rough though, I think.

I liked that 30 minute start. And it was a good start, but not a painting, at least to my mind. I would call it a sketch.

Several hours later, it looks like something to keep and put in a frame.


"Red Slip"
Original oil on board
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Red Slip" figurative painting

Trying to get enough painted in 30 minutes is a good challenge for me, and makes me work faster, I think.

I'm really quite terrible at keeping track of time. Hours can go by while I'm painting and I think it's been about 15 minutes. So having that timer tick away and the bell go off at 30 minutes is helpful.

Painting or drawing from a model in timed poses keeps me working fast, and so does painting en plein air, esp. in late light that changes quickly. But I guess when I have a photo in front of me, I don't care as much about time.

This study was from setting the timer a couple of times... or maybe it was 3 times. I think it might have been 3, because I took shots of my progress after the timer went off and I have 3 pictures. The middle one doesn't look a lot different than the last one, so I didn't bother to include it.

I'm debating whether I should work on this some more. On one hand I like the loose sketchy look. On the other hand, I'd like to see the wrinkles in that silk fabric developed more, and there needs to be a little more detail in the hands.

So, I'll probably get back to this and set the timer some more. It's a good start.


work in progress

"Red Slip"
Original oil on board
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Hands on Head" progress and finished oil painting

After the block in dried, I set the timer again for 30 minutes. Not enough.

Set it again. Did that again, and again. I lost track of how many times.

These short sessions work out well for painting while I'm waiting for layers to dry on my big commission I'm finishing up.

Here are a couple of progress shots above, and the finished piece.

"Hands on Head"
Original oil on canvas

©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

"Hands on Head" 30 minute block in

Oil on canvas
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

This is a sketch, really, and not a bad start for a painting, but there remains much that needs to be done to make this a nice painting. I plan to work on it some more, but wanted to stop at 30 minutes to see how far I'd gotten.

Not far, really.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Before the Trim" Oil Sketch Daily Painting

Oil on canvasboard
7"x5" unframed
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

This is the piece which I first started for the 30 minute painting.

My efforts didn't look like much when the timer went off, so I decided to keep working on it, and do another one for my Challenge painting.

I continued working fast and tried not to get hung up on detail. This is difficult for me, but I do like the results and it seems fine for a study.

Monday, November 15, 2010

November Challenge: Do a Thirty-Minute Painting

Challenge Group member Robin Cheers came up with this little doozy for us and instructed us to: "Set a timer for 30 MINUTES. And start painting!! When the timer dings, chirps, rings, beeps, whatever, you are DONE. Stand back and see what you accomplished! The idea is of course, to get in as much as you can - to mass in, to respond quickly to what you see and not analyze. You can work big or small."

My first attempt, a small rough portrait sketch, was hardly worth showing after 30 minutes, so I tried again. Thirty minutes is not long to get much blocked in. I considered doing a quick little sky study. I've painted some simple landscapes for Quick-Draw events in an hour. I thought maybe I could get the basics painted in half that time, with absolutely no detail.

I also considered that I had tried some oil sketches at our figure drawing salon. They were pretty rough, even from our longest poses of 20 minutes.
So I thought I'd try a quick figure study in oil. Thirty minutes is just enough time to block in the form's shadows and shapes, then add a few highlights.

"Glance Back"
Oil on canvas
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

Thanks for the push, Robin. I liked this Challenge even though I really dreaded it. Maybe I'll try some more.

We have a new member to to the group who is trying out the Challenge with us this month, Sharman Owings. Her painting is below, with the rest of the Challenge Group. Welcome Sharman!

(left above) "The Weeper" 5x7" Oil on canvas ©2010 Suzanne Berry
(right above) "The Critique" 9x12" Oil on linen ©2010
Robin Cheers

(left below) "Last Light" 6x5" Oil on board ©2010
Aaron Johnson
(middle below) "Red Flag" 10x8" Oil on hardboard ©2010
Sharman Owings
(right below) "Thea's Rock" 13x13" Pastel on clear primed linen ©2010
Vicki Ross

Friday, November 12, 2010

Charcoal Figure Studies: Longer Poses

(left)"The New Model's Back" 18"x12"
Charcoal/chalk on 100% cotton paper

©2010 Diana Moses Botkin
(right) "Back Turn" approx. 15"x9"
Charcoal and chalk on grey paper

©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

To make a drawing which looks good is always my challenge when working from the model. These longer poses at Open Studio give me more opportunity to develop the line and form of the figure. You can visit my DailyPainters gallery page to easily purchase these and others.

And my next challenge is to paint the group puzzler for our November Challenge. Tune in Monday on the 15th to see what we're doing this time. It's even harder than the last one!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Charcoal Figure Sketches in Quick Poses

Our artists' salon is meeting again for figure study.

We have a new model who has never modeled before. She did a good job holding still and she came prepared with ideas for poses out of several life drawing books from the library.

Her proportions and build are quite different from past models. This young lady has a long torso and short, thick arms and legs.

I found it a challenge to make her look "right" on the paper.

Here are the best picks of the short studies: three, five, and ten minutes. Contact me if you would like any of them.

(top) Charcoal on grey paper, 13"x10"

(left) Charcoal and chalk on grey paper, 18"x12"

©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Jewel Sky" Landscape Daily Painting

"Jewel Sky"
Original oil, 6"x8" unframed
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin


Sunset, different each evening, the colors glowing like sparkling gems: a fine finish to a lovely day. It's nice to be able to savor and save the special ones.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"Sunset Drama" Small Oil Study Daily Painting

"Sunset Drama"
Unframed original oil 5"x7"
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

While waiting for the last tweaked changes to dry on my large commission, I've been gathering ideas for larger sunset paintings. This is the latest of the small studies.

Friday, November 5, 2010

"Primary Sunset" Daily Painting

Original oil, 4"x6"
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin


Looking at this after I was finished, I thought it interesting that shades of primary colors made up the sunset and sky.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Sapphire Sky" Winter Landscape Daily Painting

Original oil painting on hardboard
approximately 5"x5", unframed
©:2010 Diana Moses Botkin

This is a little piece I started awhile back and I found time to finish it up while waiting for my big painting to dry.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New Giclée Reproduction: "Spring Play"

This is my most recent addition to my LifeImages online gallery. Giclées are available reproduced on canvas or art paper.

"Spring Play" is available to order in two sizes at this page.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Paintings to be Shown at “Flora and Fauna of North Idaho”

Pend Oreille Art Council presents “Flora and Fauna of North Idaho” at Panhandle State Bank, 414 Church Street in Sandpoint, Idaho.

The show hangs from
November 5th through February 24.

Several of my paintings will be shown at this group invitational exhibit, including this one at left, along with another landscape, and a surprise "Fauna" piece.

"The Loner"
5"x7" Oil on hardboard, framed
©2008 Diana Moses Botkin