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, August 22, 2012

"S Curve" Charcoal and Chalk Figure Study

Original charcoal and chalk drawing on paper
Approximately 18"x12"
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin


Friday, August 17, 2012

To Be or Not to Be... a Daily Painter

One of my blogging friends, Mark Adams, who also happens to be a member of my monthly Challenge group, wrote recently about daily painting and the thorny issues that accompany the goal of painting a new one every day.

I left a comment that I totally identify. I confessed that my dailies have fallen off too, and I've come to realize that I can't keep trying to come up with little masterpieces almost every day.

I have never reached my goal of 365 paintings in a year since I've been attempting this. It is an admirable goal, though, still.

2004 was the first year I tried daily painting. I managed to paint 104 pieces that year, most of which were a lot smaller than what I'd been doing previously. The number of completed pieces rose during the next few years, peaking in 2010 at 236. Last year and this year, I've worked more slowly and with more deliberation. I've purposely painted some larger oils, and commissions. There is simply no way I can do work like that in one day.

Be that as it may, rest assured I'll still continue to do the little 'uns and show them here at my blog for several reasons, along with some larger pieces with more thought and effort behind them. If my labors do not produce something new (and complete) every single day, then so be it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My New Shipping Article Now Published

Many of you know I write for Professional Artist Magazine (formerly Art Calendar). You can read my piece "Getting It There: Packing and Shipping Art in Mailing Tubes" in this month's issue.

The article is an expansion of a previous piece on packing and shipping flat art, such as framed paintings. I won an award for that article, which was a first for me. I hope this new piece is also helpful and well-received.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Moses Botkin August Painting Challenge: Statue

"Tale of Woe"
Original oil sketch on hardboard

©2012 Diana Moses Botkin

Vicki chose our subject for this month's Challenge. When she named a statue to paint, I thought of several ideas and settled on this one, based on a sculpture I saw of Cain outdoors at the Louvre.

At the time I had jet-lag and had been scolded at Musee d'Orsay for putting my feet up.
I had actually been reprimanded a couple of times by the guards at d'Orsay (in French which I don't speak well but I pretty much read their gestures).
And I had been chewed out (in French) by the maid earlier that morning at our cheap little hotel in Paris for having food in our room. This sculpture spoke of how I felt when I saw this piece. I hope this makes you smile, as it does for me now.

Here are this month's paintings from the rest of the group, which I like very much. This was a good Challenge and got me to thinking, which is one of our goals for the monthly exercise.

It gets us out of our comfort zone a little, motivates us to paint something we might not normally think of, and is "fun" in a punishing stressful sort of way. Month after month, we accept the difficulties and yes, the dare, to paint our Challenge.

below left) "Nymphs and Satyr" Oil on Canvas, 22" x 28" ©2012 Mark Adams
(below right) "Love" Oil on Panel, 16"x12" ©2012 Vicki N. Ross

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Painting Headed to Richard Schmid Auction

(left) "Red Slip"
Original oil on board 12"x6"
framed in dark decorative frame
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

I'm delighted to announce that this painting has been accepted to the Richard Schmid Fine Art Auction at the 17th Annual Rist Canyon Mountain Festival.

The event will be held Sunday, September 2. If you are unable to attend the live art auction, online bids for my painting can registered through September 1. I am looking forward to seeing who falls in love with this!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

"Giant" Plein Air Oil Study Daily Painting

Original oil 9"x5"
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin


Every summer my husband and I host a plein air paint out and pot luck in July for our local art group. This year marks our sixth annual event. Last year I painted this same tree on a 10"x8" panel. I see this tall noble fir almost every day and especially like to watch the light on it in the late afternoon. In the winter when it snows it looks like a beautiful Christmas tree.

For this year's paint out, I grabbed a smallish, longish piece of textured mat board that I'd primed for oil sketching and painted this before the light ran out. I think this sketch makes the fifth painting I've done of this graceful tree. It may be my favorite so far.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Portrait Studies of The Long Rider

"Long Rider" oil sketch, 12"x9"
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin

At the garden show last weekend I noticed an older gentleman. It was his stark blue eyes contrasted with his very brown skin which arrested my attention.

I asked him if was an artist and he told me he was a long rider. I suppose I gave him a blank look. He smiled and handed me a sheet of paper that explained why he was riding horses across country "to raise awareness of children's hunger in the world".

I told him I'd like to paint him, so later he strolled by my booth and took a seat while the music played
"Cheek to Cheek" from the stage nearby. He sang along at one point: "I'm in heaven", which made me smile.

After about 20 minutes he said he had to leave, so I thanked him for being a good model and took a few snapshots, thinking I'd finish up the sketch later.

Looking at the oil sketch, however, I decided to just leave that one as it was. I've ruined more than one quick study adding detail later.

So, after I got home I googled the name on the mission statement he had given me: Doc Mishler. Who was this wayfaring stranger? Such an interesting face... and quite an interesting story.

This week, I painted a more complete study from the photos, trying to work quickly and thickly and not smooth the paint strokes like I might for a child's portrait. I chose a panel I'd primed in blue because of the blue undertones in Doc's skin and the highlights reflecting the sky, from under the tent canopy where I was working.

"The Long Rider"
Oil on hardboard, 12"x9"
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin