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.

Friday, September 21, 2012

My Critique Group Article

Recently I wrote an article about art critique groups. It is now out in this month's issue of Professional Artist Magazine.

I've enjoyed our local gathering for over a decade since I first heard about it and have found it beneficial. It's easy to be too close to our own work sometimes, so getting a fresh perspective is helpful.

If you've ever wanted to attend a critique group or start your own, the piece covers basic guidelines and suggests practical plans for making it successful.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Columbia Gorge Plein Air Paintings

(first painting)"Morning Sails” Oil 8"x10" ©2012 Diana Moses Botkin  SOLD 
(second painting) “Evening Garden View” Oil 8"x10" ©2012 Diana Moses Botkin SOLD

(third painting) “Evening Highlights” Oil 7.5"x13"
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin


The town of Hood River, about an hour east of Portland, sits on the Columbia River in the gorge. The area is full of amazing views. Mt. Hood is always inspiring and this year at the paint out I was especially pleased to have an evening panorama of the mountain for my wide format painting "Evening Highlights" above. Another artist and I stayed at that particular location for the evening light (my favorite to try to capture). I'm willing to forgo supper and keep painting for a view like this, even after working hard all day. 

Last year was my first time participating in this plein air event and I enjoyed it so much I applied again for 2012. I was very encouraged to win the Best River award this year for my painting of "Morning Sails". Please contact me if you are interested in these paintings.

(left) “Glowing Hill” Oil 5"x7"
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin

Saturday, September 15, 2012

"Childhood", our September Painting Challenge

"Summer Coolness"
Original unframed oil

on hardboard

©2012 Diana Moses Botkin

Mark named our Challenge this month and it turned out to be more difficult than I had anticipated, coming up with an idea to fit the theme. Other members were not able to participate this month, but Mark and I managed to meet the deadline. 

The Challenge continues to be fun for our group and challenge us to come up with something we might not normally think of painting.

It certainly got me to thinking about the idea of childhood. I wanted to portray something of the innocence and playfulness of that stage of life, plus some fascination that children have with the way things are in the world.


"Willow - May Day Celebration"
Oil on panel

8" x 10"
©2012 Mark Adams

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Paint Out in the Columbia Gorge

After the paint out for the Trail in Sandpoint, I drove down to the Columbia Gorge for the Pacific Northwest Plein Air in the Hood River area.

The Trail paintings were a perfect warm-up for the Gorge paint out. I think I felt more comfortable with the plein air experience and paintings seemed to be working better for me. Or maybe I was just working better.

The Gorge is such a beautiful place to paint and I was pleased that I was juried in again this year for the paint out and show.

I about froze the morning I was painting "Morning Sails" up above the Columbia River last week. That's the painting with the ribbon (Best River award) in this photo. The one above it is another one of my oil paintings from the plein air paint out. I'll post images of them, and others, soon.

Our monthly Challenge is coming up on Saturday, so that's what's on my plate (er, easel) right now.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Plein Air Paintings of The Trail

"Painting the Trail"
Oil 8"x6"
Diana Moses Botkin


"Evening on the Trail"
Oil 8"x6"

Diana Moses Botkin


These two small works are what I chose to submit for the Bay Trail Paint Out show in Sandpoint the end of August. Although I painted several other pieces, none of them seemed finished enough to put them in a frame and show them at the gallery.

These two were the last ones I did during the paint out. I had fun with these after struggling with all my other pieces. These felt a lot more playful, especially in those dappled shadows and the various colors of the water.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Painting Out

Last week I participated in a plein air event in Sandpoint for the new Bay Trail at the Lake. What a wonderful walking and biking path! I had a chance to paint with several friends. It's always nice at these paint outs to socialize with other artists. Most of us work in solitude much of the time, so events like these give us a chance for some company while we work.

And this week I am in Hood River, Oregon for another paint out. Oh so fun, and oh such hard work it all is!

Here's a link to the Hood River event. You can see photos of all the artists participating at each day's location. Sometimes I go to the arranged spot and sometimes I find a view on my own that I want to paint.