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.

Monday, September 30, 2013

"Back Highlights" Pastel Sketch

This is a recent practice sketch.

(left) "Back Highlights" 8.5" x 11"
Pastel on Canson paper, unframed
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin 

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Article on Commissions

My latest write-up can now be seen on page 70 in the October/November issue of Professional Artist Magazine. The Basics of Creating Successful Commissions gives info on getting jobs, how to charge for your work, and the commission process itself. I also touch on how to handle changes and other snafus.

Speaking of commissions, I'm currently working on a project that involves 3 pieces. I can't wait to tell you about it but it will be awhile longer until I can!

I've also been asked to create two paintings for Christmas gifts. If you've been thinking of ordering a special piece for someone, please contact me a few months ahead of your deadline. I can put your project in the line-up. Depending on size, Christmas gifts are still a possibility.

This little painting at left is one of my favorite commission pieces I've done.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"Twilight at the Creek" Water Reflections

Original oil, 9"x12"
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin 


This is one of my summer studies: a little duck swimming in the creek by a topsy-turvy town.

Please contact me for purchase information.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Three Paintings Headed to The MAC

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

I've heard favorable reports about the prestigious MAC show from artists in past years. I'm  happy to report that these paintings have been juried in the show, and headed to the Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane.

(middle painting) 
“Blues and Greens”
Oil 7"x14"
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin

(lower left)
"Lauren Reclining on Elbow"
Oil 9"x12"
©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

The exhibit of accepted work will hang at the museum through October. All the art will be transported to the Davenport Hotel in Spokane for a black tie gala auction, held November 9.

Last year's catalog boasted paintings by a number of artists whose work I admire such as Del Gish and Jim Wilcox. I'm honored to have my paintings hang in such talented company!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

"Black" is the Moses Botkin Challenge for September

(left) "Shades of Black" 6"x6" Oil
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin


Perhaps you may remember that last month's Challenge was "White". It was my turn to choose our subject for this month, so it seemed an obvious choice to follow with "Black".

Black would seem to be a simple subject to paint, but it proved to be challenging indeed to find just the right visual idea. I have plenty of black clothes in my closet and I drink black coffee every day. Those were some of my first thoughts on the subject.

Several more ideas presented themselves to me in these past weeks but they either required a model or more time than I had to find what was needed. Since I'd been gone for a two week painting trip I needed to choose something workable.

Just in time, I remembered some pictures I'd taken of one of our cats in the snow a few years ago. He, being black, made quite a contrast with the white stuff, even in the soft overcast light of that day.

I have fond memories of this cat which we named "Diesel", as he had a very loud purr. My little painting of him was fun to create with that simple black shape, the fur and whisker effects, and those liquid green eyes. 

Vicki and Suzanne did some stellar paintings for this month's Challenge, even though I heard from both that they thought this was more difficult than last month's subject of "White".

It seemed harder to me also, but since one of our goals for this monthly exercise to challenge ourselves, it definitely served the purpose.

I hope you will enjoy all our efforts to paint something "Black"!

(top left) "The Lady's Dark Journey"
5x7" Oil on linen
©2013 Suzanne Berry

(lower left) "Black...a Study"
12x16" Oil on linen
©2013 Vicki N. Ross 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

On Location in the Columbia Gorge

I've been on the road again, attending a plein air event in Hood River, Oregon. I was pleased to be juried in again this year for the Pacific Northwest Plein Air paint out and show. 

Some of us chipped in for a model this year at the garden location, which a fun challenge. I enjoyed painting the young lady who posed for us with her pink umbrella. (Photo at left, courtesy Dave Burback).

The Gorge is such an amazing and challenging place to paint. This is my third year to participate and I always enjoy the cameraderie with the other artists.

Since most of us work in solitude much of the time, it is nice to paint alongside each other at these events. I also really love seeing what everyone chooses to portray and the different approaches to a specific scene.

Here I am (left) with three of my paintings at the Opening last week. The top painting shows Mt. Hood but you can't see it in the photo, as the spotlight is very bright on it. (A better image is below.)

That painting in the black frame was painted at a very windy overlook of the Columbia River. At one point, I had gone to my car for something and my plein air pochade blew over. (There is a good reason that the area is one of the top spots in the world for wind surfing!) My set-up went sideways, and the painting fell butter side down on the grass. Thankfully, as the paint dried the next day I was able to remove the grass fragments.

(left) "Verdant Valley"
8"x12" Oil on hardboard 
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin 

Mt. Hood is one of my favorite scenes to portray. The spectacle of that graceful form rising from the landscape never ceases to inspire!