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.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Staedtler Ads with my Drawings

In my last post, I told about the commissions I was asked to do for Staedtler's new lines of art supplies.

Here are two of the ads the company is running with my art. My name appears in all their ads and on the product packages. It's such an honor to have my work associated with this company's art materials!

The graphite pencils come in a range of hardness/softness, giving the user various choices for drawing pressure. The charcoal pencils and sticks do that, as well. 

Soon, I'll be doing another commission for Staedtler for another soon-to-be-released artists' material. I'm looking forward to trying the new stuff, giving the company my evaluations, and then creating beautiful art with the final product.

All this will take awhile, of course, but I'll show you results later if all goes well.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Here Are The Staedtler Products With My Drawings!

I've mentioned here at this blog about doing some special commissions for Staedtler to use with their new product line. I'm very pleased to finally see and handle each of the packages which show my work!

The two pencil sets on the left display my drawing I created with the pencils. The third package exhibits the piece I did with Staedtler's new charcoal pencils. And the one on the right was done with the hard pastels shown.

On the back of each package is a brief step-by-step demo on how I developed the drawing which is on the front. I'd love to hear from you if you purchase any of these new products and how you like them.

I'm very happy to have my work associated with the Staedtler name. This all started almost two years ago when Staedtler contacted me to do the work after seeing one of my charcoal figure drawings online.

It's an honor to have been chosen to do the drawings for these new materials. And besides showing off my art on their packaging and in their advertising, I'm pleased that my original drawings are now in Staedtler's permanent collection.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Another One Done

"Toothbrush Break"
Original Oil, 7.5" x 13"
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

This painting has gone through a couple of transformations to progress to something that looks finished and with which I'm also happy.

It has evolved into this simple study of the model during her break from poses. I liked her unusual uninhibited position while she stretched out her foot and simultaneously brushed her teeth as she relaxed.

This figurative piece and another one, is to be shipped this week to Tidewater Gallery in Swansboro, NC. Please contact the gallery if you would like sales information.

Monday, June 15, 2015

One of the Ones I Finished

"View From the Vineyard"
Oil, 4"x8"
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin 

I mentioned recently that I was working on a commission and finishing up a few other paintings.

Here's one that I brought to completion while waiting for passages on the large commissioned piece to dry.

This little plein air oil was sketched in on location and then I set it aside, hoping to do more to it later. It's nice to be able to add a few more finishing touches to it. I wanted to add just enough texture and detail to make it look more finished without ruining the original mood of the piece. It feels just right now. Please contact me to purchase.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Newest Article in Professional Artist Magazine

The June/July issue of Professional Artist Magazine is out now. My most recent piece is on pages 62 - 65. It tells how inspiration and practice can be found participating in open studios with live models. I touch on materials to use, the challenges of working from life, plus common practices and guidelines at open studio sessions.

Open studios is a good opportunity to draw and paint from live models, nude or costumed. As you've likely guessed from this blog, I am a big fan of working from life, for figurative work and other genres.

I interviewed several respected artists for the article. They graciously sent me photos and quotes. Morgan Weistling, William Whittaker, Sherrie McGraw, Mary Qian, and Yer Za Vue each comment on how open studios have helped and inspired them. Additionally, Za shares about the challenges of running open studio sessions. There are also suggestions on how to find open studio sessions in your locale.

If you are not a subscriber to the magazine, you can buy a copy of the digital issue here.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Finishing Touches

I'm working on a commission and at times I need a break from it for various reasons. The reasons differ, depending on the need. The particular piece I'm painting has required additional references.

During a break, there is always yard work or some other chore to do, of course.

But if the chores aren't too pressing, I can pick up an unfinished painting from my studio corners to bring something to completion. That helps my outlook, especially if a bigger project is weighing down on me.

(left) "Pink Blouse" Oil 8"x6"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

Buy this painting on PayPal
$200 USD plus $10 SH

Each of these two pieces shown here have gone through at least a couple of stages to work out the kinks. (Some paintings do, at least in my experience.)

They both had been set aside, needing something. Now I can finally feel that the finishing touches have been added.

(left) "Red Bow Tie"
Oil 10"x8"
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin 

Buy this painting on PayPal
$300 USD plus $12 SH

Monday, April 13, 2015

New Nude

"Turned Away"
Charcoal and Chalk on cotton paper, 12"x18"
©2015 Diana Moses Botkin


The past weeks have been taken up with paper work for Uncle Sam, but I've been able to work on a few new sketches including this one.

I'll show you more later, so please stay tuned.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Another Drawing I Did for Staedtler

You may remember other drawings I've shown here at my blog that I did for Staedtler. Those were each for product lines the company markets now. This sketch, at right, appears on packaging for their tonal set of compressed charcoal and pastel sticks.

I'm delighted that the company is pleased with my work. Besides showing off my art on their packaging and in their advertising, they've added my original drawings to their permanent collection.  It is an honor to be associated with such an illustrious company.

Staedtler goes way back. Headquartered in Nuremberg, the company is a manufacturer and supplier of writing, artist, and engineering drawing instruments. Long before J.S. Staedtler founded his pencil making factory in 1835, the Staedtler family had been hand-making the beloved writing instrument for generations.

I still have some very fine point (000) Mars Staedtler technical pens. I used them a lot back when my eyes and back were better suited to bending over a detailed pen and ink drawing for a week's worth of hours making dots or lines. I also own some Staedtler tin pencil boxes that are about as old as I am, casual gifts from my artist father decades ago. They still carry pencils and other useful devices in my sketch bag.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Charcoal Drawing for Staedtler

Not long ago I showed a drawing I did for Staedtler's new pencil packaging at this blog and promised to reveal other pieces I did for the company's products. The sketching pencils, packaged with my art on the box, are now available.

Here is the sketch for their charcoal line. And yes, it is like the one I did with the pencils.

The company wanted me to use the same model and pose for several products.  There is more to show you, too. Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Rejection and Acceptance

Earlier today I found out the results of a competition I had entered, and learned that my work had been rejected. That's a hard word rejected, and it's a hard road, and a hard rain.

My work has been rejected from more shows than I care to remember. It's part of an artist's life for those of us who try for exposure and awards.

It's tempting to give up sometimes, but one must learn to accept the failures in stride and work harder and better. There are also many successes for which I count my blessings.

(left) "Morning Shadows"
Oil on Raymar panel, 8"x10"
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin 

Later today I opened my mail and learned that this piece is accepted to a museum show. I'm pleased to announce that this painting is to be part of the 18th Annual Art Auction at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art. The show opens Thursday, March 19th in Great Falls, Montana.

Saturday, April 11, 2015 is the Gala, with a live auction, music, and food. That sounds like a lot more fun than a pity party for not getting in the other show.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Another Piece I'd Been Looking For

"View from the Gîte”
12"x16" pastel on Canson paper
©2005 Diana Moses Botkin

Recently, I've shown work here at my blog which I have now finished after having set it aside months or years ago. Or, as in the case from my last post, finished art was hiding in my studio.

This pastel study is another one I had been looking for, from that 2005 journey to France. After spending time in Paris on that trip, we drove to eastern France and stayed in a gîte we had booked ahead of time, online. 

The drive from Paris was lovely except for the crowded conditions in the vehicle we had rented. The description online for what I signed up for was, I thought, something like a minivan. It was supposed to seat seven people.

The rental company was obviously thinking of seven small French people. And, in order to accommodate that number, the third row of seats when unfolded in the Opal, obliterated the luggage space. All seven of us had a suitcase. After scratching our heads awhile and inquiring if there was a bigger vehicle available (there wasn't), we folded up the third seat, stacked our luggage there and put the two smallest family members (my youngest, and me!) on top of the pile. That left 3 to squeeze in the back seat. My husband drove and my second child navigated.

It was a very chummy drive but we made it to the gîte, where the friendly owners met us and showed us the place. The house was clean, roomy and reasonable. It fit our low-budget trip to buy groceries nearby and cook our own meals. The location was a beautiful setting and I did several plein air studies while there, a few in oil and this one in pastel.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Uncovering Buried Work

This year, one of the tasks I've been tackling has been to go through corners of my studio to deal with unfinished and abandoned work. For the pieces I'm finding, I've set several objectives: either file, finish, or put in the fire. 

Digging through the stacks of stuff, I discovered a few pieces I'd been looking for, buried in a pile of half-done work. These particular pieces were some sketches I did on my trip to France in 2005.

During the first part of our stay there, we were in Paris where I was able to make my pilgrimage to the Louvre. My family and I ventured to the museum right away. What an amazing collection of world treasures is there! The drawing at left was done from Michelangelo's Dying Slave, a most inspiring and beautiful sculpture from the Master.

It's interesting to run across the studies from a decade ago. I can see improvement in my drawing skills since I did this study. 

(left) "Study of Michelangelo’s Dying Slave"
16"x12" charcoal and chalk on cotton paper
©2005 Diana Moses Botkin

A different sketch (not worth showing you) I did while at Musée d'Orsay, which is another colossal treasury of art. When at the Louvre the previous day, I'd had no trouble when I scooted an unused chair over by The Slave, to sketch the piece. At Musée d'Orsay the next day, I also found a vacant chair and moved it by the statue I admired, for observation with my sketching materials.

Soon after I sat down in the chair near the beautiful Oedipus at Colonos by Jean-Baptiste Hugues, the guard on duty told me something in angry French. Now my French is very bad, limited to a few words and phrases. But I was able to tell, from the guard's body language and gestures, that I should move the chair back to its original location. I complied and then sat on the floor by the sculpture to study.

Not long after that, I noticed the guard was on the phone, gesturing toward me and speaking in urgent angry tones. There I was, in a foreign country with jet-lag and extremely limited language skills. I had visions of being carted away by the gendarmes for lock-up in some lonely Paris jail. I was able to manage only a quick drawing, not much more then a gesture, before hurriedly putting away my supplies and moving away to the ladies room to compose my rattled brain.