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, June 27, 2012

Teton Muse

“Grand Afternoon"
Original unframed oil, 6"x8"
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin


This is one of the lovely inspirations from my recent trip. The Tetons are such a powerful and amazing place. 

My first real plein air experience was there almost a decade ago when I took a workshop from Jim Wilcox. Although I had already begun to paint on location outdoors after I moved to Idaho, I hadn't worked far from the conveniences of my studio. The Wilcox workshop took me completely out of my comfort zone. I learned that painting en plein air meant alternately freezing or roasting, especially in a place like Jackson Hole where it can snow in the middle of summer, or heat up on a spring afternoon with burning sun. Painting out also usually meant no running water and no nearby coffee stands or toilets.

And I saw pretty quickly that carrying a lot of supplies very far, camera and lenses (plus lots of film!), along with food and drink, would tire me out more than the work of painting, which was plenty challenging just by itself.

Everywhere I looked was potential material and I had to learn to choose a scene, compose and edit. I'm still learning these facets of painting.

(above) "Teton Highlights" Oil 9"x12"
©2003 Diana Moses Botkin

Here is one of two decent paintings from that time painting in the park in 2003. This had started out as a 16"x12" painting which was unrealistically ambitious for a plein air piece. I managed to get the top part of the piece painted on location, so turned it into a smaller painting with some later touch-ups. The view is pretty much straight on, compared with the newer piece above showing the viewpoint more to the south (and a month later in the year, so with less snow).

I do see progress from those earlier plein air pieces, but I want a whole lot more!


hmuxo said...

These paintings bring back wonderful memories when I visited the Grand Tetons....It left me speechless when I first saw these amazing mountains. You did an incredible job with this, Diana.!

Diana Moses Botkin said...

We first went through there when I was a child and my mother still talks about how dumbfounded she was to see them for the first time.

I remember we stayed in a log cabin. It was summer and quite cold so we built a fire in the little wood stove.

vickiandrandyrossart said...

Such a refreshing vision for this dry, hot summer!

Diana Moses Botkin said...

That snow up high does look inviting on a hot day.

mary maxam said...

This is so involved, yet unified into the beautiful power of the mountains. I'll bet the Wilcox workshop was memorable!

Diana Moses Botkin said...

Mary, I appreciate that insight, for all those knooks and crannies in the peaks are indeed involved and need to be tied together.

The Wilcox workshop was quite an event for me. What made it so memorable was the experience of simply getting out in the Park with all my gear, watching Jim's demos, and trying to make some decent paintings on location myself. I still think it is not an easy thing to do.

ashok said...


Ruth Andre said...

The painting is very strong and dramatic. You are so right about plain air painting. It is always an adventure but brings so many memories.