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, April 25, 2013

It's a Full Moon Tonight

My show "Live Color" at Monarch Mountain Coffee Company opens tonight, from 6 to 8 pm. If you're in the Sandpoint area, please stop by for the doin's.

It's a full moon tonight, so I'm including a couple of night paintings in the mix just for fun. This is one of them, which I recently revised and now have framed for the show.

Oil 13.5"x7" in black frame
©2000 Diana Moses Botkin

Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Painting Accepted to OPA's Salon Show

"Awake, Sleeper"
Original oil, 10"x8"
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin


I'm pleased to announce that this small figurative painting has been accepted to the 2013 Oil Painters of America Salon Show of Traditional Oils.

This is the Salon's very first year and I'm honored to have work juried into the show. The exhibit will open June 21 at Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey, Michigan.

Monday, April 15, 2013

April Painting Challenge "Trompe l'Oeil"

Suzanne chose our Challenge this month. I've admired many trompe l'oeil paintings through the years and have sometimes thought about doing one... but never have until now.

Trompe l'oeil (French for "deceive the eye") painting aims to give the impression of being actual 3-dimensional objects, rather than painted 2-dimensional ones. While this is generally what many painting styles try to do, trompe-l'oeil presents the piece in a format that invites the viewer to believe the objects are real, rather than painted.

(left) "To Do"
10.5"x13", unframed
Oil on Canvas
with painted edges
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin


Many trompe-l'oeil paintings portray life-sized objects in a small format, such as I've done here. Flat or nearly flat items are commonly used in trompe-l'oeil set-ups such as this one.

There is room  on my "bulletin board" to tape a photograph or other real item, (which is sometimes done in this genre to assist the illusion). Any number of items would be fun additions to my little lego boxing man who has been working out, the needle and thread with the button, the keys, and my lists. What would you put on there?

I've read that Rembrandt's students painted coins on the floor of his studio for the pleasure of watching him bend down to pick them up. Maybe they set the stage by leaving a real coin one day and then painting sham coins after that.

There are also large trompe-l'oeil works: impressive paintings of forced perspective that fool the viewer into thinking a ceiling has a dome, a solid wall has a window with an outdoor view, a door opens to another room, a bookshelf exists on a flat wall, and other such deceptions of space.

This was indeed a very challenging puzzler this month. As if April was not challenging enough with taxes due! I am also working on a small commissioned portrait for a client.

However, like with many of our Challenges, I learned something, had fun, and pushed myself to do something I hadn't tried before.

The other gals did too and I love what they painted!

(above left)
"Red Vase in Niche"
4" x 4" oil on marble
©2013 V.N.Ross

(at left)
"That Shirt"
16x20" Oil on Canvas
©2013 Suzanne Berry

Monday, April 8, 2013

Tuscany Awakes

Casole d'Elsa, the ancient walled city just up the hill from our hotel offered amazing views and other surprises, as well. At the top of the city one can see more old cities on hilltops. Those Italians must like to dig, for all the wells had to be quite deep.

We stumbled on Verrocchio Art Centre there in the city and talked to Nigel Konstam, director and sculptor. He explained how the Greeks used body casting for some of their sculptures.

I started this study our last morning at the lovely Hotel Terre Di Casole. It is difficult, if not impossible, for me to paint fast enough to capture fleeting conditions like this scene, even in a small study. The rising light and fragile fog soon changed. The panorama before me as I painted moved to something much less dramatic than my initial impression.

What I had seen when I first stepped out on the chilly balcony and looked out at the landscape after awakening from my comfortable sleep was something like this painting.

I had to add to it and just finished making it like my original intention.

"Rousing The Hills"
Original oil 5x7" unframed
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Good Views in Tuscany

After our stay near San Gimagnano, we drove the little rental car to another fascinating walled city on a hill, Casole d'Elsa in the Sienna Province. We explored the town, and found a hotel nearby with good views, good beds and off-season rates with breakfast included.

"Evening Shine" Oil 4"x6" in Gold Frame
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin

Our balcony view gave me opportunity to do some studies of the Tuscan landscape. This is the first one I did after we settled in to our room.