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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Plein Air Studies from the Columbia Gorge

(left) "Hood Awakes"
Original framed oil, 8"x8"
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin


Saturday morning I got up and painted a couple more studies of beautiful Mt. Hood in the glowing morning light. The gift of such a sight is worth missing sleep and morning coffee, and freezing my hands too.

The night before, there had been storms and I was awakened several times by the lightning flashes. Later I found out that those storms started fires on Mt. Hood and you can see haze from low-lying smoke at the base of the mountain even in these quick studies. At the time I painted them, I simply thought it was morning fog.

(left) "Morning Light on Mt. Hood"
Original unframed oil, 4"x6"
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin


Our meeting place for Saturday's paintout was Mosier Plateau, near Hood River. This is a very windy spot overlooking the Columbia River. Although I worked several hours on a study, I wound up scraping it all off, as I was not happy with the painting. The longer I worked on it, the worse it got. Some painting days are like that, especially when working en plein air. I was very tired from fighting the wind and gave up at the location.
After some food and rest, I connected with Becky Joy to paint again and we discussed possible locations for the evening. We settled on trying to find a good view of Mt. Adams and drove up to overlook areas to find a good spot.

A frie
ndly orchard grower let us set up near his fruit trees to study the distant view of Adams. Smoke from Hood and other forest fires was parked over Mt. Adams and made for interesting color at sunset.
"Smoke Above Adams" Original oil, 4"x6" ©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

Friday, August 26, 2011

Morning and Evening Plein Air Paintings

"Morning Highlights"
Original oil 5"x5"
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

My family and I have driven through the Columbia Gorge numerous times on trips. I've always been enthralled with Mt. Hood, but had not had the opportunity to paint the mountain until this week. Unless you are going to take a side road, there is simply no good place to pull off the interstate and see a good view.So participating in this plein air event gave me time and place to study the peak. Early morning light on Mt. Hood is especially lovely and I wanted to capture the feeling of the mountain waking up as the sun shone on the snow. I knew I would have to do several studies to become familiar with the features of this well-known landmark.

Working as fast as I could before the light changed drastically, I managed to finish two small color studies. It's always a challenge to get something on canvas in rapidly changing morning and evening light, but those are my favorite times to paint because I love that rosy glow. 

(left) "Hood Morning" 
Original oil, 4"x6" framed  
©2011 Diana Moses BotkinNOW SOLD

paint out meeting place for the day was at Pebble Beach in Stevenson, Washington: a bit of drive from where I was staying north of Hood River. I had taken time to do these Mt. Hood studies, so I didn't get to the beach until almost lunch time. By the time I walked along the river to find the group, most of the artists had done at least one painting there at the beach already. It was a hot day so I opted for a swim in the Columbia River, and a picnic before setting up my paints.My two starts for afternoon studies both got wiped off, so I was hoping to get something interesting painted in the evening.

Fellow painter Becky Joy and I decided to drive toward Portland to find a good view of the gorge cliffs to paint. We also managed to find some blackberries to add to our picnic dinner, which was quite a lovely gift.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Last Light on Hood" Plein Air Daily Painting

After orientation and introductions at the Pacific Northwest Plein Air 2011, invited artists got to work painting the beautiful views of the Columbia River Valley from our location at the Gorge White House near Hood River, Oregon. I started 3 pieces and scraped off the morning painting and one from the afternoon, too.

This evening study of beautiful Mt. Hood with snow in shadow and rosy light worked well enough to be a keeper.

(above) "Last Light on Hood"

Original oil 7"x10" framed
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pacific Northwest Plein Air 2011, August 25-29

I'm pleased to say that I've been invited to participate as one of the artists in this event. It looks to be a wonderful paint out and show!

I've been busy preparing panels, gathering frames, and packing a few clothes for the trip. Tomorrow I make the drive to Hood River to participate.

In it's 7th year, Pacific Northwest Plein Air features the art and literary work of accomplished painters and writers. The gallery showing of the works opens September 2 at Columbia Center for the Arts, 215 Cascade Ave, Hood River, Oregon.

Friday, August 19, 2011

"Pondering" Small Figure Sketch

Original charcoal and chalk drawing
on 11"x8.5" Canson paper
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

These small figure studies would
make a handsome grouping matted and framed on a wall.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Crossed Straps" Small Figure Sketch

Original charcoal and chalk drawing
on 11"x8.5" Canson paper
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

I'm enjoying using this rust red Canson paper for some small figure studies in charcoal and chalk. It makes for a dramatic presentation, don't you think?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"Lost in Thought" Small Figure Sketch

Original charcoal and chalk drawing
on 11"x8.5" Canson paper
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin


I am enjoying peace and quiet here at home and a slow pace before the next event.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"Dreamy" Small Figure Sketch

Original charcoal and chalk drawing
on 11"x8.5" Canson paper
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

The big music event is over now. Being at the concerts to sign posters was fun, but LOUD. Although I enjoyed talking to people who dropped by to see my painting for the poster, my voice suffered each day talking over the high decibels.

It is good to be back home with the cats and my garden. Along with weeding, it's time to get back to doing some drawing.

Monday, August 15, 2011

August Challenge: Something On or In Our Cars

Sharman named our Challenge and even though I've painted my car before, it was different to think about something "in" or "on" my vintage Hawk as a subject. 

The fins seemed an obvious choice, although I did consider some other ideas. Maybe I'll paint them later. 

Studebaker's award-winning designer, Raymond Loewy, created for clients ranging from Zippo lighters and Coca-Cola to Pennsylvania Railroad and the US space program. 

Loewy's influence on industrial design is seen practically everywhere you look in modern civilization. I'm a loyal fan of his work, which spans seven decades. 

(above left) "Rocket Girl" 5"x5"
Original oil on hardboard
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

This monthly challenge with my fellow blog artist friends was especially fun and I love the viewpoints from each member of the group! 

(left above) "Just Working" 6"x8" Oil on canvas ©2011 Ruth Andre
(right above) "Aerodynamics" 5"x7" Oil on panel ©2011 Robin Cheers

(left) 5"x5"
Oil on panel
©2011 Vicki Ross

“Old Mobile” 6x6”
Oil on hardboard
©2011 Sharman Owings

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Morning Expedition" Painting of Children and Fields

Original oil
9"x12" unframed

©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

This lively looser study is another of my recent projects. I love watching the carefree kiddos when they don't know I'm looking.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Light Nap" sleeping baby/children portrait

Original oil
11"x14" unframed

©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

I've been working on some slightly larger pieces that have taken me a lot longer than a day to paint. This is one I started some time ago and recently finished.

It is for sale at this link. Or contact me for information if you would like to order an original painting of your own sweet babies.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Special Study for my Festival Painting, "Twirly Girl"

Original oil on canvas
12"x9" unframed

©2011 Diana Moses Botkin


Here is a more finished painting I did of that main dancer shown in my large painting for The Festival at Sandpoint.

All my studies are being displayed at The Festival, along with the final large painting. It's been very rewarding to be there and talk with the concert goers about my work.

I've loved hearing people's remarks about the poster art and the studies. I typically work alone, so seeing reactions to my work, first-hand, is really fun. And the bidding for the large piece has been very encouraging. It is up to 3500 this evening and the festival is not even half over.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"Stand by Me" Cherry Still Life Daily Painting

Original oil 5"x3.5", unframed
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"Standing Alone" Cherry Still Life Daily Painting

Original oil 5"x3.5"  ©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

Picking these beauties from our trees is not an unpleasant chore. I love summer and eating fresh cherries is a highlight of the season for me.

Cherries seem all pretty much alike when I think of them in a big bowl. Upon examination, however, it's obvious they are not identical. This was one I saved to paint because it still had the stem attached. It seems like such an individual to me now, with quite a personality. Or maybe I've just been staying up too late.

Monday, August 1, 2011

"Orange Cherry" Miniature Daily Painting

Original oil 2.8"x1.8"
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

The oil sketches I've done this past week are a tribute to the delicious cherry varieties which arrive this time of year. I wait all year for the ripening of these special treats from our trees and enjoy them alone or with other fruits. I'm a big fan of these gifts from a loving Creator!