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.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Valentine Art for Your Sweet Heart

"Call Me, Lover Boy"
Miniature Oil, 2"x3", with mini easel
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin
Sweet and playful candy hearts set against a dark red background in this original miniature painting with free tiny display easel, just for fun.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

"Afternoon Gold" Sunny Landscape Painting

Original oil, Unframed, 5"x7"
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin


We've had quite a lot of snow lately. It's lovely when the sun comes out but the grey weather can get a bit much if it lasts very long.

This is a painting I started during recent grey days to rev up my brain with some color. I hope it does that for you too, especially if you're short on sunshine.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Two Recent Sunset Paintings

(left) "Nightfall Glow" Oil, 2"x4" 
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin

Here are a couple of new little dailies: good warm-ups for bigger projects.

The sunsets are always intriguing for me and I continue to try capturing that final glow in the sky. 

It's a challenge that presents itself time and again, daring me to give it a shot. The snowy scene and the lake scene both had similar colors and that scarlet glow, but were each unique, as every sunset is.

(above) “Goodnight, Lake” Oil, 5"x7"

©2012 Diana Moses Botkin

Monday, January 23, 2012

Valentine Art for Your Sweetie at my Giclée Gallery

"Five Kisses" and some of my other sweetheart art can now be ordered as giclée prints and cards.

You will find them at my Still Life reproductions gallery in several sizes, available framed or unframed, as posters or printed on canvas.

If you order soon, you can save 35% off regular prices. (Savings offer good through February 10 on all art at my giclée galleries).

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cats and Other Critters Now Available as Repros

I've listed a group of new pieces at my giclée reproductions website. There are cats, kittens, dogs and a raccoon.

You can find them in my Animal Gallery, and save 35% off regular prices through the end of January.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Copying Someone's Art: Don't Do It!

All the artists I know work very hard. We labor day after day and often night after night to create original work. This is our livelihood, our legacy, and much more. Our efforts are also our property. Intellectual property rights (copyright) belong to the author (creator) of the work unless sold or expired.

For instance, anything published before the 1920s would now be in the public domain because copyright has expired. However, there can be exceptions, so one should be cautious about copying work even that old. A museum, licensing company, or individual may own rights to that image.

I tell my students (and anyone else who will listen) to do their own work. Don't copy. Use your own photo references unless you have permission to use someone else's. Don't work from someone else's painting, whether from direct observation or from memory.

Although it is a long-standing tradition for artists to learn by copying, to avoid copyright infringement, an Old Master work can be used. The student should label the copy as such, by including the words, "after So-and-so" naming the artist copied. And never, ever, pass off a copy as something original you did.

Nowadays, there is so much beautiful art to see online. It is tempting for folks to copy someone else's work. Don't do it.

Copying another artist's painting or sculpture, even if it is changed somewhat, does not constitute an original work. The copy is actually a derivative work. Copyright law gives only the original author/copyright owner the right to make copies and derivative works, or grant permission for others to do so.

So unless you have permission to copy, don't do it. That goes for images (also writing) you find online, articles you read in magazines, books, advertisements, etc.

Students who don't know any better and even artists who should know better mistakenly believe that if they change it a little, it's somehow an original work. It isn't. Chances are, if your piece looks a lot like someone else's art, it's a derivative work, and it's copyright infringement.

Fellow artist and blogger Susan Roux touched on this sticky situation in a recent post. She commented on an artist's painting that looked like another artist's work: a woman with an umbrella in the same format, composition, colors, and model position, as the other painting.

While no one owns exclusive rights to paint women with umbrellas, it is absolutely vital that, if you want to paint a woman with an umbrella, you do your own work, from conception to final brushstroke. Pose your own model, take your own photos. Don't copy. It's risky, legally, and can be really embarrassing. The artist whom Susan Roux wrote about perhaps thought no one would notice that she copied. Maybe she excused copying by thinking she'd changed it enough. She didn't. The piece is very recognizable. I'm embarrassed for her, as are others.

Just last week I explained about derivative work to a student and she responded, "Wow it's like stealing."

Yes, it is like stealing because it IS stealing.

Copyright notice (such as I usually post on my paintings you see here at this blog) reminds viewers that the work is not up for grabs. I own the rights. However, copyright notice is not required by law. If an image does not have the copyright notice posted, it is likely still a copyrighted image. So don't copy it.

Artists work very hard to create original and outstanding work. We should be asked for permission if someone wants to use it, and yes, paid for it. And yes, legally, as copyright owner I have the exclusive right to reproduce or grant others a right to do so.

I've stated this at my sidebar, but let me make it clear. Art, photos & text on this blog are copyrighted and may not be used in any form without my written permission. All rights reserved. So if you are interested in reproducing something of mine, please contact me and I will get back to you with
information on usage.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January Painting Challenge: "Plastic Bag"

I picked this month's subject for our Challenge. I've been wanting to try painting some materials like the plastic produce bag. And it was indeed a challenge. Portraying something which I haven't previously tried painting usually is. The first thing I had to figure out was how to actually arrange a plastic bag to make it interesting in the set-up. I tried a number of bag poses, with various objects inside and settled on this idea.

"Apples From the Store"
Still Life Painting, unframed
Oil on hardboard, 8"x10"
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin

It was harder to paint the diaphanous material of the bag than I'd thought it would be. The lack of solid form, the translucency of the sheer plastic at differing depths, the wrinkles and turns were all very interesting and challenging.

I did have fun with this one, however, although it was hard work. And I love what everyone else did.

"Clearly Decadent"
 ©2012 Mary Maxam

"Bluebird of Happiness at the Fruit Market"
grisaille Oil on linen, 5x7" 

©2012 Vicki Ross


"Spillage" Oil on canvas, 5"x7"
©2012 Suzanne Berry

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Oil Painting "On the Watch"

Original Oil Painting on Hardboard
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin


I love watching the cats, whatever they're doing.

I often catch a glimpse our kitties waiting and watching, very patiently, for signs of movement... a mouse perhaps?

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Challenge Group: Changed, but Alive and Well!

This little painting at left was my first Challenge painting from 3 years ago and also the first time I'd portrayed those playful little toy figures. It got me thinking about how the figures could illustrate painting themes to make a statement. I continued exploring ways to use them for ideas in 2009, both for my Challenge paintings and other work.

For 2012, The Moses Botkin Challenge continues! We will be painting new subjects and ideas month after month. Membership has changed from the first artists I invited to join me three years ago for that first Challenge. Now, Vicki and I are the only ones left from my original group.

However, as new artists committed and (sadly) others had to bow out, our monthly puzzlers have continued to challenge and inspire us. With each new personality contributed to the group, our adventures have expanded.

For those of you who have only recently starting following this blog, here's the scoop. The Challenge happens 12 times a year. Every month, each artist in the group emails their image to all the other members. Although we've all known for at least a couple of weeks what the Challenge subject is, we do not see each others' paintings until the email release. The day we receive each other's art in our Inboxes is delightful and surprising. I often think, when I see the others' paintings, "Now why didn't I think of that?"

Then we post them all at our blogs on the 15th of the month for the rest of the world to see! That is really fun too, and we all enjoy reading comments from other bloggers who've been watching for The Challenge.

For 2012, we've lost a couple of members, but
I'm very pleased to announce two new additions to the group. Mary Maxam and Becky Joy have agreed to join The Moses Botkin Challenge.

I've enjoyed seeing Mary's and Becky's beautiful paintings online for some time and was delighted to meet each of them in person last spring at the Oil Painters of America gathering in Coeur d'Alene. If you haven't yet visited Mary's blog, or Becky's blog, you are in for a treat. Their work is always inspiring.

Please keep watch here for our January 2012 Challenge in a few days!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Thoughts for the New Year

Passing from the old to the new year carries with it a desire for reflecting, evaluating, and planning for many folks. It does for me. Not to say I don't do these things for birthdays, anniversaries, the leaves dying in Fall, or during funerals and weddings.

So thinking back on 2011 reminded me of all the year has brought. It was a challenging year for many of us, especially in the arts. It was also a banner year for me with some exciting honors, including:
~ My work was accepted to Oil Painters of America National Show.
~ I was chosen to paint the art for The Festival at Sandpoint 2011.
~ My art was accepted to Richeson75 Small Works National Exhibit.
~ I was awarded 3rd Place at The Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Paint Out.
~ My art was published in 2 books: Richeson75 Small Works & Richeson75 Portraits.
~ My oil painting "Encircled" was added to Salem (Oregon) Hospital's collection.
~ A new venue, Entree Gallery at Priest Lake, added me to their artists.

It was a year of much hard work and growth for me! I completed 140 new works, including that custom-made large painting for The Festival at Sandpoint (which took me away from doing the smaller daily paintings). I also painted a number of other landscape and portrait commissions.

This past year I was invited to participate in two plein air
Paint Outs (one in Oregon and one in Idaho) and I did both of them. Additionally I participated in a number of regional art shows, plus exhibiting in my regular galleries. I also wrote work published in Professional Artist Magazine.

I'd like to thank each of you who visit this blog for your comments, feedback on my art, and your encouragement during 2011. You are a vital part of my creative process.

As 2012 unfolds and new ideas for my art take shape, I look forward to hearing from you at this blog, and I wish you blessings in your own endeavors!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"Persimmon on Marble Tile" Still Life Painting

Original oil on hardboard, 4"x6"
in museum style gold frame
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

This was my final painting for 2011, which I managed to do after finishing up the portrait of the young man. I didn't have time to show you this one last week, however. My life has been really busy with family activities this time of year. All good, and fun... but I'm certainly ready to settle down to painting again!

I'd like to thank all of you who visit this blog to encourage me, give me feedback on my work, and cheer me on. Wishing you all the Lord's best for you and your families in 2012!