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.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

"Black" is the Moses Botkin Challenge for September

(left) "Shades of Black" 6"x6" Oil
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin

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Perhaps you may remember that last month's Challenge was "White". It was my turn to choose our subject for this month, so it seemed an obvious choice to follow with "Black".

Black would seem to be a simple subject to paint, but it proved to be challenging indeed to find just the right visual idea. I have plenty of black clothes in my closet and I drink black coffee every day. Those were some of my first thoughts on the subject.

Several more ideas presented themselves to me in these past weeks but they either required a model or more time than I had to find what was needed. Since I'd been gone for a two week painting trip I needed to choose something workable.

Just in time, I remembered some pictures I'd taken of one of our cats in the snow a few years ago. He, being black, made quite a contrast with the white stuff, even in the soft overcast light of that day.


I have fond memories of this cat which we named "Diesel", as he had a very loud purr. My little painting of him was fun to create with that simple black shape, the fur and whisker effects, and those liquid green eyes. 

Vicki and Suzanne did some stellar paintings for this month's Challenge, even though I heard from both that they thought this was more difficult than last month's subject of "White".

It seemed harder to me also, but since one of our goals for this monthly exercise to challenge ourselves, it definitely served the purpose.

I hope you will enjoy all our efforts to paint something "Black"!

(top left) "The Lady's Dark Journey"
5x7" Oil on linen
©2013 Suzanne Berry

(lower left) "Black...a Study"
12x16" Oil on linen
©2013 Vicki N. Ross 

9 comments:

Julie Ford Oliver said...

All of the paintings are completely different. Fur/hair, fabric and glass make for interesting comparisons because of the way light responds on the different surface.
I enjoyed learning something from each painting.

hmuxo said...

You did an amazing job with this black cat, Diana!!!! I love the eyes...Excellent work!!!!!

Diana Moses Botkin said...

You are so right, Julie! One of the best aspects of doing this Challenge month after month is seeing how differently each of the participants puts the puzzle together. Thank you so much for dropping by here to see our efforts.

Hilda, thank you. Those eyes were the most fun part of painting this one!

Shirley Fachilla said...

You caught that soft fur (I can feel it... almost!) and those mesmerizing eyes are wonderful.
I enjoyed your OPA post. Sounds as though it was a grand workshop and I totally agree that it takes awhile for the lessons imparted to fully sink in.

Diana Moses Botkin said...

Shirley, thank you for your kind words. It was indeed a wonderful workshop and I've thought much of the lessons there in the past weeks.

My husband asked me after I got back from my recent plein air event if I was painting better since the workshop. If only it was that easy!

I do think I've looked at my work differently since the class. I could tell at the plein air event when I was adding TOO MUCH. (But that was only after I added it.)

It would be so much better to be able to stop on a piece when there was "just enough".

suzanneberry said...

this is really one of my favorite of yours Diana. the placement on the canvas, the incredible eyes, the highlights of blue, just really spectacular.

Diana Moses Botkin said...

Thank you for kudos, Suzanne. They are much appreciated and especially mean a lot coming from you.

vickiandrandyrossart said...

Love the composition, Diana. Good interpretation

Diana Moses Botkin said...

Thanks, Vicki! This was a fun puzzler, even though quite a head-scratcher!