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.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Good Gifts

"Dancing in the Spotlight"
Oil 12"x24"
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin

My painting at left pretty much illustrates my current mood.

I received news on Christmas eve that I've been selected to receive Oil Painters of America's Shirl Smithson Scholarship to attend an art workshop. This was truly a delightful surprise and a wonderful Christmas gift!

I'm excited and thankful. I'll keep you posted on my workshop plans, as I've mailed my deposit to enroll but haven't yet heard back whether I'm in. I'm hoping this particular workshop has not filled up already!

Thank you to all who visit this blog, comment on my paintings and drawings, and encourage me in my struggles to create something beautiful, day after day. It is good to share my art with you here online and get your feedback. And I love visiting your blog pages to see what latest inspiring work you've done!

All my chicks were gathered under my wings for Christmas: a sweet gift and better than any wrapped present. It was fun, though, making or finding some special things for each other and opening the gifts to see the surprises we had prepared for each other.

I hope your Christmas was filled with rich moments, good remembrances of family and friends, and the One whose birth we celebrate as the Greatest Gift of all.

Wishing you each blessings in this coming New Year!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Our December Painting Challenge: Old Age

"Contrasts of Life"
Original framed oil 8"x10"
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin

Our Challenge this month is the conclusion of the last few which progressed, starting with Childhood in September. Time marches on, like the progression in our Challenges.

I wanted to show contrasts in this painting and as I was working on this piece with the baby and the great-grandma's hands I thought of the childlike quality of old age, too.

I also thought what a nice job it is to hold and rock a baby at any age. The great-grandchild is one of the best rewards of life for this woman, a great-grandma who is a widow, in her 90s, nearly blind, and confined to a wheelchair.

I really like the other paintings for our Challenge this month. I hope you'll visit Mark and Vicki's blogs to read their take on this month's subject.

(left above) "Self portrait with Sammy" Oil on panel, 6"x8" ©2012 Mark Adams
(right above) "Mary and Delys in Salzberg" Pastel, 20"x16" ©2012 Vicki Ross

Monday, December 10, 2012

Creating Suitable Art for Special Conditions

(left) "Back Lights"  24"x30"
Original charcoal and pastel drawing
on special board with waterproof coating
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin

Special conditions of temperatures or humidity call for unique solutions for the art environment, unless the art itself is not created to be permanent.

For instance, one of my sculptor friends, Lee Harris, who, along with making art with lasting materials, creates snow sculptures that can be enjoyed for only a short time. She and her team compete in winter events and work in the freezing cold to create amazing pieces that will last only as long as cold, dry winter conditions cooperate. Lee and I worked on a joint sculpture of a mama and baby bear a few years ago with more lasting materials.

How long should art last? It depends on the medium and the artist's intention, I think.

The recent large drawing commission I did for a collector's bathroom originally had me flummoxed. I wanted it to last longer than a few months, especially since the client did too. A drawing on paper simply wouldn't fare well in a humid bath environment. Eventually, a drawing on paper would buckle, mold would grow inside the glass on the matting and paper, and condensation would obscure the picture itself. What to do?

(photo, above) Applying the humidity resistant coating after the drawing is completed. The art doesn't need to be framed or put under glass.

In October I posted about my new process so I could create the work for a bathroom.

(photo, left) "Back Lights" is wrapped, boxed once, cushioned well, and then boxed again for added protection. That's the large sturdy package waiting by the door to go to the shipper.

Here is a photo of the finished piece hanging above my client's very large tub. She noted, "In the picture, she looks a little small in the space, but in person, she is a great size." How nice to know my reclining lady is enjoyed there in that lovely room!

(final photo) 
"Back Lights" made it safely to the collector, was unpacked successfully, and then carefully hung in the spacious bathroom above the very large bath tub.