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, February 23, 2012

A Few Sketches and Explanations

If you're an artist or otherwise involved in creating, you know that sometimes stuff just takes awhile, especially if it's a big project, or something new which requires development or research. And then, sometimes it still doesn't work, at least not right away. Last year I developed art for involved projects which took months to finish. 

My new paintings are coming along, but it are not at all ready to show. Neither are two other pieces I'm working on for a commission. Some little daily paintings I've done as exercises in painting from memory don't look like much so I'm not going to show those either.
But in case you're wondering, I'm still working away. I thought I'd show you a few quick figure studies from Open Studio which I haven't displayed before. If you'd like any of them, they are for sale at my Etsy Gallery. along with additional figure sketches, and more.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February Painting Challenge: "Tools of the Trade"

Challenge Group member Suzanne Berry picked this month's subject, "Tools of the Trade". 

Because I've already painted a few art supplies in the past, I decided to challenge myself with something else.

(left) "Barber Tools"
Original oil on hardboard 6"x8"
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin

My grandfather was a barber. He and my grandmother ran a barber and beauty shop in a large midwestern city. The steel scissors in this painting belonged to him and the neck brush was either his or my grandma's. The shop lives only in the minds of those who frequented its floors decades ago.
There is now a super highway where it used to stand.

But I remember the place well. The chatter and smells from the barber and shoeshine room, and the beauty shop, live in my memory as I recall sitting in the small waiting room with the coke machine. A dime and a push of the shiny lever would deliver,
with that unique whooshing sound, an icy cold green 6 ounce bottle which could not be unscrewed, but rather had to be "popped" with the bottle opener on that big red box.

A drop of the bottle lid into the hole was the final cue before sipping the cold sugary bubbles from the heavy glass container with the embossed CocaCola logo. Empties were left in the metal racks next to the machine.

Lots more comes to mind remembering the shop: comic books,
curved aluminum hair clips, ladies at their weekly Saturday appointments, picking up hairpins from the floor for Grandma with a giant magnet, monstrous hair dryers with attached manicure tables sporting red nail polish (or the paler shades in the '60s), and in the back room, a naugahyde day bed, and some early permanent wave machines that looked like some kind of torture devices. All nostalgic good memories.By the look of our Challenge Group's paintings, everyone enjoyed painting some good memories.

"Tool of the Trade"
Oil on canvas
©2012 Suzanne Berry

(Far left)
"Tools of the trade - Bartender"
Oil on panel 6"x8"
©2012 Mark Adams
"A Painter's Handful"
Oil 10"x 8"
©2012 Mary Maxam

(Far Left)
Original oil 6"x6"
©2012 Becky Joy

(Left) "Bluebird En Plein Air"
Oil on panel 4x4"
©2012 Vicki Ross

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Valentine Knight" Lego Knight and Candy Heart

Original miniature still life oil 3"x2.5"
in decorative frame
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin


This little fellow brings a heart of gold with love for Valentine's. Original miniature still life study of toy lego knight with candy heart that says "LOVE".

This special painting was created for a patron who collects very small art. She has purchased my minis and wanted something with legos in a tiny piece after admiring my larger available lego paintings. It was quite the challenge to paint this little guy with the sweet message! I'm so glad she likes it.

Speaking of challenges, my monthly painting Challenge is coming up. Check back here tomorrow to see the group's creations.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oil Paints and White Pigments

The website of Gamblin Artist's Colors has valuable technical information about oil paints and materials. There are also some useful video demonstrations at the site. I personally like their oil paint for several reasons: linseed oil vehicle, good balance of pigment, Gamblin's concern with making archival products, and the company's responsible green practices. I regularly use their stuff in my work, along with a couple of other brands.

If you're an artist you'll want to check out the links at Gamblin's home page sidebar. The Studio Notes page offers a rich source of knowledge about a variety of subjects. Robert Gamblin's latest article "Getting the White Right" tells about white pigments, vehicles (various oils used in making the paint) and the properties of each one. It is useful info for anyone who cares about the working aspects of the white paint they use, flexibility, etc.

White plays a big role in winter scenes. I typically use titanium white in my paintings, although I have used others at various times.

"Snowy Shadows" Original oil, 5"x7"
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

This piece is currently available at OutSkirts Gallery in Hope, Idaho. If you're out that way, drop in for the art and the food.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"Fallen Kisses" Fun Miniature Valentine Painting

Original oil, 2"x3"
Unframed with free mini easel
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin

During the Valentine season, chocolate kisses seem especially appropriate. They're a pleasure to eat and also to paint, with that reflective foil wrapping.

These two look like they've just fallen in love.