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, 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.