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, October 23, 2014

Fall Plein Air Painting

"Slice of Light" Oil, 7"x5"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

Earlier this week I went with a fellow artist to nearby Kootenai Wildlife Refuge to paint en plein air. It was a beautiful afternoon and we actually had some sunshine after a week of rainy, grey days.

We drove to a couple of spots before settling on this place to get to work. I wanted those water reflections and the dramatic sky.

The sun was setting quickly and the mountain shadow darkened most of the scene before me after I'd been working only a short time. Which was actually quite nice, as it contrasted with that last bit of sunlight in the distance and lit up that glorious orange tree. Sometimes on-site paintings don't work well, but this one serendipitously came together nicely.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sunset Painting Finished

As I mentioned recently, that pile of unfinished paintings in the corner taunts me from time to time. This one needed something even though it had a lot going for it. It had been sitting for a couple of years, so I added a few touches to tie it together and am calling it done.

That amazing show of glowing green sky at the horizon contrasted with the scarlet clouds is what captured my fancy.

"Sunset Splendor Show" Oil, 8"x8"
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin

Monday, October 13, 2014

Another One from Scotchman Peaks Paint Out

(left) "Monarch Morning" oil 8"x10"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin
 

This is the piece I started Saturday morning at the Plein Air event. I felt it needed a little more something than what I got on location.

I've bumped up contrast a tiny bit. I resisted doing much to the piece, so perhaps this is enough to call it done.

Friday, October 10, 2014

End of Day Plein Air

(left) "Bright Evening at the Flats"
Oil, 5" x 7"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

The Pack River Flats of Lake Pend d'Oreille is one of my favorite spots for plein air painting. This little study is one I did about a month ago but felt it needed a few touch ups before it was ready for prime time. I think I'm done now.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Scotchman Peaks Paint Out 2014

The knats and flies are swarming these days in our neck of the woods. This makes for misery when painting outdoors... not as bad as mosquitoes biting, but annoying none the less. Crazy making if they're really active: bugs in the eyes, ears and nose and flying into one's clothing and into wet paint. Ah the joys of plein air painting.

This past weekend was the annual paint out for Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. It was a Saturday one day event this year, although some participants started the night before.

(left) "Pink and Green" oil 6"x8"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

Evening paintings are really my favorite for plein air, so Friday evening I headed to a spot I love to capture what I thought might be a good sunset. Even though I was pretty much painting in the dark at the end, the piece turned out to be satisfying, even in the light of day next morning.

Early Saturday I downed some coffee after sleeping (sort of) in my van and headed out from my camp spot to see what the light was like on the lake. Those evil bugs kept me company as I worked on a study of the Monarchs in the early light by Lake Pend d'Oreille. Early and late light changes pretty fast, so I snapped a few photos to finish the piece later.

My middle of the day painting wound up being scraped off. I'm trying to use more paint in my work, but sometimes it gets me into trouble and this was one of those pieces that just got  worse the more paint I put on. No big deal... it's just some wasted paint and time. Even though I had the bugs for company I did get some sun while I worked, so that was something.

(left) "Fall at the Creek" oil 5"x7"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

I managed a little study at the last minute of a distant scene I'd had my eye on while I was working on the failed one. That one, and my evening painting from the night before, would suffice for taking to the gallery (Outskirts in Hope, Idaho) for the show. I wouldn't be in the competition this year anyway, as I was the judge, having won first place last year.

Judging, as is usually the case, was a challenge. There were quite a few really lovely paintings. Of course we all have our prejudices. It was fun to be able to pick my favorites for the prizes. I wish I had a link to the winners. Maybe soon they'll post something on facebook so I can show them to you.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Three of My Paintings Juried in The MAC Auction

 

(above, left) "Way Over Yonder" oil 8x10"
(above, right) "Hood Awakes"  oil 8x8"
(below, left) "Clear Palouse Afternoon" oil 10x10"

I'm pleased that three of my paintings have again been accepted this year to the MAC Art Auction, benefiting the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.These three plein air pieces are framed and delivered to the museum for the auction preview.

The gala event happens on November 8, 2014 at the historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane Washington. Please visit this link for tickets, information and online catalog.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Two to Redo

(left) "Sky Light" oil 4"x6"
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin

If you are an artist you might have, like I do, a pile of paintings that still need work or should get thrown in the fire. I have several sizable such piles which taunt me from time to time. I've been wrestling with a few of them lately: some successfully and others not so much.

Here are two I've brought to a better conclusion. These were both plein air pieces I did during a paint out a couple of years ago on a day when nearby forest fires pretty much ruined long-distance visability.

(left) "Hazy Canyon" oil 6"x8"
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin

The three studies I did that day were all pretty much failures so into the pile they went. These two look a lot better now: presentable, even. I've added more color, bumped up contrast and cropped the canyon piece.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Two More Orphan Drawings

(top left)
"Deep Slumber”
Original drawing, approx. 10"x18"
Charcoal and chalk on grey paper 
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin

I mentioned in a previous post about uncovering previously undocumented and unphotographed work while straightening and filing in my studio space.
 
Although there were some pieces which were not worth saving, here are a couple which I didn't relegate to the wood stove. To purchase, simply contact me.

(lower left)
“Deep in Thought” 
Original drawing, approx. 16"x11"
Charcoal and chalk on grey cotton paper 
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Plein Air Skyscapes

"High Against the Sky" Original oil 10"x8"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

Although portrait and figurative subjects are my favorites, I also love painting skies. Landscapes, especially in beautiful light, continue to inspire.

When I first tried plein air work, I was surprised how impossible it felt to capture a scene before it changed completely! During the past decade of painting on location I have managed to pull together some decent pieces and also wipe off more than a few failures. Rubbing shoulders with other plein air painters shows me I'm not alone with the difficulties.


"Storm Silhouette"
Original oil, 7"x7"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin 

This second painting I've been looking at for almost a month since I put down the paint. I knew I wanted to tweak that cloud shape just slightly. I noticed after I painted it that it was a little too symmetrical, so I've finally added a teensy bit of volume to one side.

I can show you these two small pieces that I'm not wiping off or painting over! I hope you enjoy them. Please contact me if you would like more information about them.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Charcoal Drawings

Since the return from my winter art trip I've had more catching up to do than I care to mention. But I've checked stuff off my to-do list. That, at least, feels like some things have been accomplished. Doing taxes, major cleaning, and weeding are certainly not what I like doing, but I'm glad to get them done. I'm enjoying having them done (at least for a little while).

During some recent organizing of my limited studio space I discovered a small pile of drawings I'd set aside before my journey. The sketches had not been photographed or put in my inventory list. At the time I had lots to do to get ready for my extended trip.

I had also been asked to do more evaluations of art materials for Staedtler. These first two sketches shown here, I did to assess sets of charcoal sticks for the company and the last one I did using a line of charcoal pencils they plan to market.

Please contact me if you would like more information about these studies, or my other work.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I'm Pleased to Finally Show You This

Over a year ago, I was contacted by Staedtler after they saw one of my figure drawings.

The international art materials company based in Germany was redesigning several lines of supplies and wanted me to develop art for each line, similar to my drawing they liked. They planned to use the pieces for their new packaging and related advertising.

So, finally the first product line is ready for market, the Tradition® pencil sets. I created this special drawing you see at right, using their products. 

Last year when I was testing out the pencils and working on this drawing to meet their deadline, I hinted at the process in some blog posts. I'm so happy to finally be able to show you my work.

I saw Staedtler's advertising for the first time yesterday for the Tradition® pencil set (in Drawing magazine), which shows my work in the ads. I feel blessed and honored to have my art shown off by Staedtler. Soon there will also be a couple of other products with my work on the package. I'll let you know when those are out! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"New Place" Available

One of my larger paintings I completed during this past year brought some interesting remarks. One friend noted that she had stood in doorways of new residences many times like this, wondering how to make the empty place seem like home. 

This image is now available at my giclée reproductions gallery, in the figurative/portrait section. Or you may contact me to purchase the original oil painting.

(left) "New Place"
Oil on hardboard, 24"x18" 
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin