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.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"Daydreaming" Study of Young Woman with Red Hair

Original oil on canvas
12"x9" unframed
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

I enjoyed painting this lovely redheaded model one afternoon. The loosely painted oil sketch reveals a quiet and thoughtful personality, I think. Some of the models I've painted I've gotten to know a little, but this was the first and only time painting this young woman with the beautiful hair.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hand Painted Christmas Ball

"Clifty Christmas 2011"
Oil on glass sphere, approx. 3", with hanger
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

Hand-painting glass Christmas balls is not something I do often. I have done others, though, and this majestic landmark in our area, snowy Clifty Mountain, has been an inspiration more than once.

This unusual painting on glass is a custom order, one of several projects that have kept me busy lately. It's a special surprise Christmas gift, commissioned by employees at a regional tree nursery for their boss. I can't wait to hear how the boss likes this unique gift of art.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December Painting Challenge: Blue

"Blue": the Challenge this month was chosen by group member Vicki Ross. Such a simple request, but the multitude of possibilities made for a real puzzler. One of the thoughts behind the Challenge is to paint something that we haven't tackled before. I've been wanting to try some shiny Christmas ornaments, so this was a good excuse.

"Holiday Blues"
Oil on hardboard 5"x7"
Still life of Shiny Christmas ornaments

©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

Painting that reflective glass, getting the spheres to look right, and just making an interesting composition in the first place were all more challenging than I'd envisioned. But it was fun too, and I love what everyone did for the blue theme.

(left above) "Malibu Blue" Oil on canvas, 4"x8.75" ©2011 Ruth Andre
(right above) "Blues" Silverpoint and Oil on Gessoboard, 4"x4" ©2011 Vicki Ross
(left below) "Blue Ice" Oil on canvas16"x20" ©2011 Suzanne Berry
(right below) "Windy Beach" Oil on panel,
12"x9" ©2011 Robin Cheers


Monday, December 12, 2011

Small Landscape of Lake in Morning Fog

"Fog Slide" 
Original framed oil
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

Friday, December 9, 2011

Search for the Perfect Christmas Tree

While I'm finishing up some art projects I can't show just yet, I thought I'd post these little jewels. If you'd like any of them, please visit my DailyPainters gallery page.
These three little tree miniatures are some I haven't shown before. Painting them brought childhood Christmas decorating memories to mind. I hope they bring smiles of remembrance to you, too.
When I was growing up, our family would begin the hunt for a tree after Thanksgiving, to display in the living room, and on which to hang our collection of Christmas ornaments... and our memories of the season. Back then, it was de rigueur to add, as a final decorating touch, tiny fragile strips of aluminum known as "icicles".

My parents, who grew up during the depression, always insisted we save those strips, year by year, along with used wrapping paper. It was simply being thrifty ~ "recycling" before the term and concept became fashionable.
However, preceding adding those final touches to the tree, we had to find the right one... something affordable but not too reminiscent of Charlie Brown's tree. It had to have some fullness and balance, or at least one good side even if it failed to look lovely from all angles.

We would search a nearby Christmas tree lot to find ours and settle on one that wasn't too spendy or straggly, even though there were bigger and better ones available (if price hadn't been part of the necessary equation).
Once we got it home, added lights, our treasured collection of baubles, home made decorations, and those special icicles, we all declared it was "the best tree ever" and enjoyed the glowing lights and the fresh piney smell through the Christmas season.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Two Miniature Mt. Hood Daily Paintings

"Orchard View"

Original oil
3"x3" in mini frame

©2011 Diana Moses Botkin


It's pretty much winter here in north Idaho these days with cold, grey short days. I've been remembering the sunshine and hot weather I enjoyed last August at the Columbia Gorge paint out and decided it would be a nice diversion to paint some miniatures from photos I took.

"Flaming Light"
Original oil, 2.25"x3.25" in mini frame
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

What I've been working on lately have been somewhat larger pieces. It takes a lot more effort to finish a bigger canvas and it's a lot different maintaining energy and momentum for them.

So, doing the little Mt. Hood paintings was a nice break this week from working on several uncompleted paintings that are 11"x14". It sure feels good to get something finished. It's one of the joys of painting the little jewels. If you'd like either of these, please visit my DailyPainters gallery page and choose the Paypal link for any of the paintings that are not already sold.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Paintings to Galleries and Patrons

I've been finishing up some commissions, and packing up new work for two galleries.

It's the "busy season" for projects, as well as time with family and friends. During the dark winter months, the special people in my life are more important than ever.

(above) "Extraordinary Storm Colors" 3.5" x 10" Oil ©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

This wide format piece is one of my little jewels delivered to Out Skirts Gallery in Hope, Idaho. Kally Thurman's remarkable art showroom on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille is a must-see if you're in north Idaho.

I've also sent a box of my figurative and landscape paintings to Tidewater Gallery in Swansboro, North Carolina. If you're in the area, please stop in and tell Ray I sent you!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, and Christmas Preparations

If your family is anything like mine, this is a busy week. My clan enjoys a variety of Thanksgiving traditions. One that some folks relish, is to go shopping for bargains and special deals the day after the big feast.

Personally, I'm not much for battling the crowds at the mall or discount stores. However, I do like to shop online for free shipping and other offers, and I make gifts for special people in my life.

I'm always on the lookout for something unique to give to someone special.... something that says, "I appreciate you". I like it that it's a tradition to give gifts at Christmas. It's fun to find, or make, little somethings for friends and family members.

If you are on the lookout for "little somethings", my miniature oil paintings are ideal. The minis make lovely hostess gifts, tokens of affection, and stocking stuffers. They're the perfect keepsake to add to a gift basket like I've done with my little coffee painting, shown in the photo below, with baked goods and gourmet coffee.

You can see a whole bunch of original miniature oil paintings, and purchase easily, at my DailyPainters gallery page. Many are marked with free shipping for Christmas season (through 12/15).

And if you are in the market for several originals of any size or medium, please contact me and I'll add free bonus pieces to you for Christmas!

Friday, November 18, 2011

"Festival Dance" Headed to Holly Eve Gala Event

(left) "Festival Dance"
Original oil on hardboard, 10"x8"

©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

Last spring I began a series of studies to plan my large painting for The Festival at Sandpoint. I wound up doing a number of oil sketches in preparation for the poster art.

It was quite a responsibility to paint something that represented the important summer event. I wanted Festival goers to connect with the art and from everything I heard, they did. It's always nice to feel like a job is done well and received well. My original 20"x16" oil painting for the poster art was auctioned to benefit The Festival. Final bid was $4800.

This is one of the sketches, and one of my favorites.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cat Portrait Commission Finished

"J.J." Original oil, 7"x5"
Commissioned cat portrait
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

It's been an odd last few months for any semblance of daily painting. I've had a number of projects going at once, a few false starts on some bigger pieces, and a couple of other paintings that simply weren't working which I've set aside for now.

This little cat painting is one of those aforementioned projects that I've finished. The commissioned portrait was challenging and interesting, too. At first I was really concerned that this handsome fellow blended in with the background too much from the photos sent to me by my client. Even though I simplified and neutralized the landscape, the cat was quite camouflaged.

Then my son made the comment, "But isn't that the point?". So he does look like he's designed to blend in with his surroundings, like many animals naturally do. My purchaser is pleased with the painting which makes me very happy. I'm glad to be able to provide this lasting tribute to a beloved pet for her to enjoy and remember J.J.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Art to be Published in Richeson Souvenir Book

I've just been notified that my painting at left is a Meritorious Entry in Richeson's Small Works Competition. It will appear in the upcoming 4-color collectible book of the exhibition.

(left) "Waiting for Chloë"

8x10" Oil on hardboard, framed
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

You can purchase fine art prints of this little vintage dolly, reproduced on canvas or art paper, starting at $29 at FineArt America.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November Painting Challenge: Wisdom

November's Challenge "Wisdom" is courtesy of group member Suzanne Berry. What a challenging subject to portray! A wide variety of ideas could be interpreted.My first thought was the verse "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom". It is found in Proverbs 9:10, (and others) and is a recurrent theme in (guess what) the wisdom books of scripture. It can also be seen in numerous other bible references.But how to represent that? Several things came to mind and would've been appropriate if I'd had the right model, the right setting and a lot more time.
As with our other Challenges, the time constraints are part of the deal. Having had the idea announced a few weeks earlier, our group paints for the finish deadline on the 14th of each month and we all post to our blogs on the 15th.At left, is my piece, which you can purchase here.

"Seek and You Will Find"

Oil on hardboard, 8"x6"
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

Plus, close work is a lot more difficult with fading eyesight. Painting this piece larger would've been a lot easier than doing the smaller one!

I sure like all the other interpretations of our theme this month from the rest of the group.

(above left) "Wisdom" Oil on canvas, 16"x20" ©2011 Suzanne Berry
(above right) "Helping Hands" Oil on panel, 10"x8" ©2011 Robin Cheers
(below left) "Wisdom"
Pastel on paper, 3"x4" ©2011 Vicki Ross(right) "Morning Watch -The Innate Wisdom of Animals" Oil, 6"x6" ©2011 Ruth Andre

Friday, November 11, 2011

Finishing Projects

(left) "Gold and Blue"
Original miniature oil painting, 2.25"x3.25"
Unframed, with free mini easel
©2008 Diana Moses Botkin

My projects are taking awhile and it's nice to not have to rush them. It's good, though, to have a little something finished. Reworking my junker pile gives me the opportunity to do that while warming up my brain for painting on the bigger pieces. I'm offering these two little 'uns at special prices with FREE shipping in the USA. Maybe you'd like them for a friend or yourself?

(left) "Pink and Blue"
Original miniature oil painting, 2.25"x3.25"
©2008 Diana Moses Botkin


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Making it More Interesting

"Fall Storm at the Peaks"
Original miniature oil, 3"x4"
©2008 Diana Moses Botkin

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"Hands on Head" selected for Figure/Portrait book

"Hands on Head"
Original oil on canvas
unframed©2010 Diana Moses Botkin 

I'm honored to announce that this painting was selected for inclusion in the upcoming full-color collectible book, Richeson 75 International Figure/Portrait 2011.

A portion of the entries for Richeson's Figure/Portrait competition will be showcased in this catalog and I'm very happy that my work will appear in such talented company.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Green Lantern Fan" Portrait Study

Original oil

©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

One evening during the Scotchman Peaks Paint Out last month, fellow artist Jared Shear sat while I did an oil sketch. Several of us painters had gathered by the fireplace where we were staying to chat about the paint out, life, and art in general.

Jared mentioned that John Singer Sargent liked his subjects to talk while they posed, which seemed odd to me. Perhaps that explains Sargent's quote? “A portrait is a painting with something wrong with the mouth.”

It took me about 20 minutes to get the basics down on canvas, but after painting most of the day outdoors, sitter and artist both were tired.

So I snapped a couple of photos in case I had time later to add more to the study. The light, barely enough for an old gal like me to paint by, was not great for taking photos either, which turned out a bit blurry. But there was enough of a reminder of details to define features and form a little more. However, it's still more of a sketch than a finished piece.
The photo at left, taken the next day, was snapped by Sandy Compton, Program Coordinator for Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.

Sandy was also quite a good friend of the artists during the paint out when he brought us meals to keep us all from being starving artists.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More Overs: Recycling Junky Paintings

"Violet Morning"
Original oil painting, 4"x6"
©2008 Diana Moses Botkin


I'm still working on several projects that are taking awhile. It's been a fun challenge to grab a stinker from my pile of failed paintings and use it as a warm-up. Usually the fix looks quite different from what I started with.

Most of the original pieces were such dogs that I don't even want to show you what they looked like!

This one above was from a paint out in 2008. The sky was grey and blah, even though I named it a colorful title. One can always hope the power of suggestion kicks in for viewers, eh? Actually, while painting this little study in early morning light it probably looked more purplish on location than in regular light later.

Part of the fun of redoing these lemons is making the painting work with the title. I simplified and changed the sky in the one above to make the image more violet, and got rid of that previous boring grey one.

This one at left looks absolutely nothing like the bomb I painted over, which is a good thing.

"Afternoon Sky"

Original oil painting

©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

I love it that the pieces have a new life and my pile of failures is getting a little smaller. Of course, I realize it is inevitable that I'll have no shortage of unsuccessful paintings in the future, unless I just quit painting altogether.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Miniature Daily Paintings: Overs

"Out My Window"
Original miniature oil painting

©2007 Diana Moses Botkin

If you're an artist, I'm guessing that, like I do, you have a few paintings sitting face to the wall or some little studies stuck in boxes that you plan to get back to, work on some more, fix, change, do over, or just don't have the gumption to throw in the fire.

If your profession is something other than artist, perhaps you can identify with the scenario.

Lately, I've picked up a few of these failed little 'uns and had another go at them as warm-ups.

"Evening Light"
Original miniature oil painting

©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

I have several projects going right now, none of which are finished enough to show here. Doing the little revamps is a good challenge to get me thinking and painting and it's nice to finish a piece, even if it's tiny.
Here are a couple of the redos. Let me know if you'd like me to send them to you. Or visit my DailyPainters gallery page to easily purchase these and others with Paypal.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Figure Drawings from "Art in the Making" in CdA

This past Saturday I participated in "Art in the Making" in Coeur d'Alene. Over a dozen artists were on hand to draw and paint from two live models.

The event was a lot of fun: beautiful drawings and paintings by talented artists, and live music by a wonderful violinist! People walked by, looked over our shoulders as we worked, and sometimes oohed and aahed, or asked a question or two.

I enjoyed the camaraderie of the group, working together to capture something on paper or canvas in our limited time.

My favorite moments, though, were when an elderly gentleman toddled through our midst with his cane, seemingly unaware that he was blocking the artists' view of the model. If he had been going a little slower, we could have drawn him too. I so enjoyed watching him, and the other artists' amusement, that I completely forgot that I had a camera with me.

The drawings above are the pick of the litter from the poses by a petite, muscular woman in a bikini who looked like she was ready for a swim in nearby Lake Coeur d'Alene.

Please email me if you would like either or both of these studies on 18"x12" cotton charcoal paper. They'll be my usual reasonable prices for unframed sketches.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

October Challenge: B&W to Color to Study Values

Our puzzler this month was from group member Robin Cheers. She emailed a black and white photo to all of us last month and asked us to use it to make a color painting, adding the color in the same values as what the grey tones were in the reference.

(left) "Fetching" Oil on hardboard 10"x8"
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

After painting, we were to change the image in Photoshop and see what it looked like in B&W, then compare the values to the original reference photo.

Although I didn't quite get the values matched to the reference picture, I left it as painted. I felt the original photo was a bit contrasty and hard to read, so I used my artistic license to help it read better.
This made for a good Challenge. Although I've worked from B&W references before, it's been awhile. Plus, it can be tricky painting from someone else's photo, trying to figure out what's going on.

(above left) "Thursday" Oil on canvas 16"x20" ©2011 Suzanne Berry
(above right) "Summer Chores" Oil on panel 11"x14" ©2011 Robin Cheers

(left) "Untitled"
Oil on canvas, 8x10"
©2011 Sharman Owings

(below left) "It's A Wash"

Oil on canvas
, 8"x6" ©2011 Ruth Andre 

(below right) "Fresh Sheets" Watercolor on aquabord, 11"x14"©2011 Vicki Ross

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Art in the Making" in Coeur d'Alene This Saturday

I'll be painting and drawing with a group of artists at Art in the Making this Saturday, October 15. Onlookers can watch drawings and paintings taking shape as two live models hold poses for us ranging from 30 minutes to several hours.

If you're nearby, I hope you'll drop by and cheer us on at the Coeur d'Alene Resort Plaza, 1-4 pm, with free admission. Sponsored by The Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho.

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Palouse Morning" Landscape

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

“Art is never finished, only abandoned.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

This is one that was abandoned after painting it en plein air last Fall. Recently I picked it up and reworked it, adding snow and the blue shadows.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sharing Gifts

Many of you know I've been a member of DailyPainters for several years. Lately we've been giving away a painting a week and last week it was my turn to offer my art for the gift.

The fun part of the giveaway is that the winner gives the art to someone else. People enter the contest by writing something about someone special and why they'd like to give the painting to that person.

We did this last year, too, at DailyPainters, and it was a lot of fun both times to know my work would bring a special message of cheer to someone who really needed it.

And now, I'd like to do another giveaway! The idea is to win the little painting below for someone you think would appreciate it.

"Red, White, and Blue"
Original unframed miniature oil, 2.4"x3.4"
with mini easel ©2008 Diana Moses Botkin

You can enter by going to my Facebook Artist's post about this giveaway. Post a comment about who you'd like to give this little jewel to, and why.

This contest will be open until October 10 at midnight.