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 26, 2011

"Morning Trees by the Lake" Plein Air Landscape

Original oil painting, 7"x5"
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin


The annual paint out this past weekend for Scotchman Peaks was challenging and fun. Because most artists typically work alone, the camaraderie of being with the other painters is a big part of what makes group plein air events exciting.

Of course the beauty of the landscape inspires, but, along with the chance of creating paintings on location, being in the company of other artists brings opportunity for learning, sharing, and commiserating.

My oil study shown above was awarded third place at the show yesterday. The painting sold to a lady and her husband who coincidentally had bought one of my paintings at another show a few years ago. It was encouraging to connect with them and hear that they've enjoyed my work in their home.

At the plein air show, the couple ask for my painting (which had been hung quite high) to be taken off the wall so they could see it better. A few moments later I saw the husband clutching their new found treasure to his chest after they had decided to add it to their collection. It is moments like these which make all the hard work of painting so rewarding for me.

I left the event yesterday with mixed feelings: gratification/regret, happiness/insecurity, competence/ineptness, exuberance/fatigue, etc.

There was gratification with having connected with a number of people, but regret that I didn't get to share time with more. There was happiness about some good work having been accomplished during the weekend, but insecurity about whether I could've worked harder or smarter. I felt competence painting in the field and enjoyed the kudos of the award and words of encouragement from others, but also felt ineptness wanting my work to be better. The exuberance of creating new work and being with friends was real, as was the physical fatigue because painting out and being away from one's accustomed mattress and quiet life can be exhausting.

I like this quote I recently posted to my facebook artist's page by Charles Horton Cooley, a sociologist. "An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one."

That was pretty much the content of a short speech which the judge for the Scotchman Peaks show, Ben Mitchell, gave yesterday when announcing awards for the plein air paintings. It is an act of bravery to share our artistic efforts with others, whether the piece is poetry, literature, dance, music, or painting.


suzannepaints said...

Loved your commentary, especially about seeing you painting in the clutches of your collector. Bravo! So happy that you have shared your gift with all mankind.

Diana Moses Botkin said...

It's fun to know you enjoyed that, Suzanne. I love blogging and being able to share our victories and defeats with each other.