A Current Painting by Diana Moses Botkin

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, August 24, 2017

Still Alive

(upper left) "Short Pose"
Charcoal and chalk on cotton paper 11"x17"
©2017 Diana Moses Botkin

Here it is almost the end of summer and I'm still catching up from my winter trip south.

It was a good winter to be gone from the Great White North, as the heavy snowfall all winter and resultant spring mudslides made life miserable and dangerous for many folks up here.

In sunny Oklahoma City I was able to get to many open studio sessions at Geatches. Drawing and painting was difficult for me, as I've been fighting injuries and pain issues. At times my right arm hurt too much to use, so I resorted to using my left hand until my left arm hurt too much. Results were not always good, but I tried.

It's interesting and challenging to use the non-dominant hand and a good brain exercise. Try it sometime!

(middle left) "Top Interest"
Charcoal and chalk on cotton paper 17"x11"
©2017 Diana Moses Botkin

I also caught some open studio sessions at Scottsdale Artists' School, along with a wonderful figurative painting workshop with Rose Frantzen at SAS. She is inspiring, helpful, wonderfully gifted, and downright righteous. Plus she is very entertaining to watch paint.

These are a few of my sketches from this past winter that I've managed to photograph. I'm planning to get more of that done soon, so I hope you'll check back in a few weeks to see more.

Summer chores and personal issues have taken up most of my time and energy these past few months. Although it seems I've been invisible, I'm still here.

(lower left) "Far Away"
Charcoal and chalk on cotton paper 11"x12"
©2017 Diana Moses Botkin

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Paintings by Three Artists

What a busy summer it's been! It's amazing how the time has flown by every day, working on chores and ideas. Even though I've had little finished work to display here at this blog, I'm pleased I've been able to get paintings ready for a show this summer.

It's a privilege to exhibit my work with two other outstanding artists, Dana Aldis and Aaron Cordell Johnson. The reception is this Friday evening from 4 to 7, at the Valley Art Center in the charming town of Clarkston, Washington, not far from Spokane. Show will hang through the month of August. Info and some pictures are on the facebook event page.

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Page From an Old Sketchbook

(right) "Kitty"
pencil on paper, 10.5"x8"
©1971 Diana Moses Botkin

I've been remembering a dear friend who passed away a few days ago. I'm so thankful for the gift of her kindness and friendship and support of my work through the years and am especially grateful to have been back in the touch the last few years through the modern miracle of technology. Who would've thought, decades ago, that there would be such conveniences for communication as the internet and facebook?

Although I didn't posses a camera when I lived in Kitty's house, I do have this drawing from one of my old sketchbooks from that time of my life. This is Kitty, decked out for a social gathering, stalwart and sturdy. Every time I make bread or pie crust or cornbread or pour honey from a jar or visit a fabric store, I think of her with fond remembrance and gratefulness. I'm so glad I'll see her again in the sweet by and by.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Portrait Oil Sketches

Oil 6.5"x5"
©2016 Diana Moses Botkin

Here are a couple of studies, from sessions this past winter at Geatches in Oklahoma City. Both of these lovely young ladies were patient models with fun hair for portrait oil sketches.

These two pieces are the last I have to show you from my stay in OKC. The one plein air painting I did there looks terrible, so I'm debating its destiny. 

I also have some other work from my winter travels, which is not quite ready for prime time. Some of it I'm trying to decide if I should do anything more, or simply call it done. A few others I've worked on and have likely ruined. Trying times.

Oil 9"x9"
©2016 Diana Moses Botkin

Friday, March 25, 2016

Charcoal Figure Studies

It was so good to be able to attend sessions with live models during my travels this winter. Those brave souls who pose for us to study are part of the process of learning and growing as an artist.

It's not an easy job, holding still long enough for a drawing to be made. And the models who return to the same pose after breaks I especially admire.

All I can say is, they are either able to rise above the pain of being in the same position for long periods of time, or they are especially blessed with super powers of rest.

Here are a few more charcoal and chalk drawings to share with you, from sessions at Geatches.

(above left) 
Charcoal and chalk on cotton paper 17.75"x11"
©2016 Diana Moses Botkin

(second sketch at left) 
"At Ease"
Charcoal and chalk on cotton paper
©2016 Diana Moses Botkin

(third sketch at left) 
"Back Forms"
Charcoal and chalk on cotton paper
©2016 Diana Moses Botkin

(bottom sketch at left) 
"Form Lights"
Charcoal and chalk on cotton paper 
©2016 Diana Moses Botkin

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Studies from OCU Art Social Evenings

Mike Wimmer's monthly Art Social evenings at Oklahoma City University are always a treat and I was fortunate to be able to participate this past January and February.

(left) "Girl in Purple Robe"
Charcoal, chalk, and pastel on grey paper 15"x11
©2016 Diana Moses Botkin

Mike offers attending artists the opportunity to draw from live costumed models and in the company of live musicians during the evening. The small girl in the study at left sat for us in January with a contented smile, composed and still, like a little princess.

During the February session, we were treated to live cello music by maestro cellist John DeVore while we drew this lovely young woman with the dark hair and eyes.

(left) "Night Eyes"
Charcoal, chalk, and pastel on Canson paper 12"x16
©2016 Diana Moses Botkin

Also while in Oklahoma City, I was able to attend Rick Berry's opening at OCU's Norick Art Center. Berry's expressive figurative paintings were an amazing sight to behold, and getting to talk to the artist about his astonishing work was a treasured gift.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Winter Figure Studies

It was good to be in places this winter where I could get drawing time at live model sessions. Here are a few sketches from Geatches in Oklahoma City.

"Reclining Highlights"
Charcoal and chalk on grey paper 12"x17" ©2016 Diana Moses Botkin

I have more new drawings which I'll post soon. There are paintings started too, and one or two studies fit to show, as is.

"At Ease"
Charcoal and chalk on cotton paper 11"x17" ©2016 Diana Moses Botkin

Please check back here at this blog in the coming days to see more of what I've been doing lately. 
(left) "Unruffled"
Charcoal and chalk on cotton paper 15"x11" 
©2016 Diana Moses Botkin

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Pushing Through

Carbon pencil with chalk highlights
on grey paper 12"x17"
©2015 Diana Moses Botkin

Days turn into weeks; weeks into months. Time passes like rivers flow to the ocean. We all have it. We all lose it. Or use it.
(left) "Moonlit"
Charcoal with chalk highlights
on grey paper 17"x12"
©2015 Diana Moses Botkin

I've been laboring for months to find that place again where the mind tells the hand what to do and it's done with ability and intelligence. Various concerns have taken the forefront the past couple of years and time to draw and paint has suffered. The only way to make it better is to work it.

After scores of attempts and many sketches destined for the fire, the skills are peeking through. I'm finally feeling like I remember how to draw.

(left) "Secluded"
Charcoal with chalk highlights
on grey paper 17"x12"
©2015 Diana Moses Botkin

It's easy to let a skill get out of practice. Just let it slip, let it slide awhile, whatever it is... playing a musical instrument, dancing,... drawing, painting.

The good news is that it's not impossible to renew art skills. Although it has felt like giving birth every day, I see progress. Those earlier sketches which seemed so clumsy and ill-made can go in the fire and no one even has to see them. Oh that all our failures would be so easily swept away!

(right) "Slope"
Charcoal with chalk highlights
on grey paper 12"x17"
©2015 Diana Moses Botkin

Friday, October 30, 2015

Plein Air Painting at my Favorite Spot

(left) "Shining Evening"
Oil, 5"x9"
©2015 Diana Moses Botkin

It was a lovely afternoon during the first week of October, not too cold, with a promise of evening color. So I set out on the hour-plus drive to one of my favorite plein air spots. This place.

It looks quite different now from last year's more abundant water in the marshes.

In a small painting like this, I can set up the composition and lay in shapes in less than an hour. Lots of painters do that much more quickly.

So after the shapes are in, I can have fun with that glowing sky and the sparkling reflections in the water channels before the light disappears and the cold benumbs my body and mind.

At home, I set this piece on my easel. Then I see a couple of spots I want to tweak, just a little. They are the tiniest of corrections and adjustments. And the next day and the next... small steps to the finish line.

Friday, October 16, 2015

2015 Scotchman Peaks Paint Out

(left) "Hopeful Morning"
Oil, 5"x10"
©2015 Diana Moses Botkin

Last weekend was the annual Scotchman Peaks Paint Out. There was no competition this year, which made for a friendly gathering.

Outskirts Gallery hosted the event again this year and organized three demo/lectures by Aaron Cordell Johnson (demo on painting clouds, only one of Aaron's notable skills), Greg Caudell (demo/talk on exploring color), and Alison Barrows Young (overview on plein air history).

I was happy to get out and paint early before the demos started, and encouraged that I haven't totally forgotten how to paint. The morning oil study I did went well and helped my confidence level.

(left) "Shining Afternoon"
Oil, 4"x8"
©2015 Diana Moses Botkin

This summer and fall have been busy with other projects and plein air painting has taken a back seat. After the demos Saturday I ventured out to paint again, hoping for some rosy late light. Clouds moved in and rain started, but I managed to get this little autumn study to a decent point before quitting.

(left) "Bright Evening at the Flats" 
Oil, 5"x7"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

Then it was time to put the wet paintings in frames and take them to the gallery for the reception. I also hung this painting from 2014 that didn't get framed last year for Scotchman Peaks. The show will continue at Outskirts through the end of the year.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Three Works to the MAC Gala Auction

This past week I delivered these three paintings accepted for the 2015 MAC Art Auction in Spokane, Washington. They're each framed in a presentation that shows off the art.

Event dates are October 2 through November 7 to preview the many beautiful works of art offered at the show. They can be viewed at the museum.

The gala reception and auction will be on 11/7/2015 at 5:00 pm at the historic Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane.
For more information, please visit the museum's event website.
(top left) "Palouse Sunset" oil 8"x10"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

(middle left) "Last Light on Hood"  
oil 8"x10"
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

(lower left) "Verdant Valley" oil 8"x12"
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin

Monday, September 7, 2015

Recent Events

Well, I haven't fallen off the edge of the earth. But it has been a busy last couple of months with a family wedding and visiting family and friends. All wonderful.

There have been the day to day chores this summer, too, of course. The big deal here in our area since the end of July were fires on nearby mountains. A couple of weeks ago they moved down the mountain and across the valley quite close to our place. We were told to evacuate when the fires moved within a couple of miles and the strong wind was blowing it our way.

My husband and I proceeded to load up our 20+ photo albums plus 3 xerox boxes of additional pictures. We packed up a lot of my paintings too. However, there are so many here I knew they would not all fit in our two vehicles. It was quite the experience going from room to room to pick which ones would fit. Some of my older pieces are very large, especially the abstracts.

What a terrible choice to have to decide which pieces to save. Thank the Lord, the wind died down and then switched direction. And even though all the those hard-working fire personnel fought hard to keep the fires from spreading, there simply wasn't enough manpower to stop the fires. Local farmers saved the day by plowing fire breaks through the fields as the fire moved toward them. True bravery and brotherly love were demonstrated in their actions.

We've had rain since that scary night, and the fires here are at an end, although there are still many areas out here in the west which are still burning.

Those dark areas on the mountains near us testify to the fire damage. We give thanks for the mercies of God.