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, December 31, 2013

State of the Art, 2013

(left) "New Place"
Oil, 24"x18"
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin
Although I started off this year with a challenge to myself of doing a new piece every day for a month, I've been focusing more on larger paintings part of this past year.

If you've followed my blog you know that during the past few years I've worked steadily toward the daily painting goal. I started in 2004 and created 104 new works, which was over twice what I had painted the year before.

I discovered the joys and practicalities of painting small to get more practice in portraying a wide variety of subjects.

In 2005 I also did 104 pieces and began blogging about my efforts. In 2006 I progressed somewhat to 126 paintings. 

(left) "Illumination"
Oil, 12"x16"
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin

In 2007, there were 165 pieces. In 2008, 179 new works.

2009 was my most productive year with 265 pieces. That amounted to a painting or drawing  every day with weekends off.

In 2010 the number dropped to 236. 2011 saw 139 new works. In 2012 I created 104 pieces. This past year I managed 110.

All those smaller paintings and drawings helped develop my skills. However, for some time I've felt that, rather than trying to complete something (anything!) every day, I should work toward developing larger works with more thought behind them and greater visual impact. 

(right) "Light Read" Oil, 20"x16" 
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin

The three paintings shown here are new larger pieces I've created during the past few months. I haven't shown them before, either here on this blog, or in a show. Please contact me if you would like price information on any of these originals.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Our December Challenge: Christmas Dress!

"Decked Out"
Original oil on hardboard
unframed, 7"x5"
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin

I picked our Challenge subject this month. At the time I named this one, I had some specific ideas in my brain to paint.

However, with my busy schedule I was unable to pose a model for the concept I originally wanted to create. (Sigh... please insert melancholy music here.) 

So, I used an existing photo I had, and added Christmas decorations to this little girl's attire. I did have fun with it, even though I was pressed for time. Those other ideas will just have to wait.

And yes, we are late this month! Here are the other gals' paintings, which I dearly love. Thank you, Vicki and Suzanne, for painting this month with all you have to do! We did it! 

(left below) "Dressing Up" Mixed media, 20"x16” ©2013 Suzanne Berry  
(right, below) “Sarah” Oil on linen, 20"x16” ©2013 V.N.Ross

Friday, December 20, 2013

Commission and December Hurdles

I feel like I've been jumping over hedges and haystacks since I got back. I must've been crazy to take a trip in December!

Christmas season is always very busy, and to leave home with so much on my plate makes no sense. Except, I did LOVE the sunshine and warm weather during my trip to Kona and seeing such a beautiful place the Lord made. It just may get me through the next few weeks without feeling like I live underground in the dark! So.. yes, it did make sense, but the trip has also made it more challenging to meet obligations.

Along with daily tasks, I've been working steadily on a number of bigger projects the past few months, including a portrait commission.

Here I am, at left, adding the final touches to "Rest", an original oil painting. Today I shipped this art to my collector so he can give it to his wife for Christmas! He was quite thrilled to get this photo by email yesterday, along with a digital file of what the finished portrait looks like.

His approval of the painting and his comments of obvious pleasure made me quite happy, as my commission was a lot more challenging than I'd anticipated. The reference snapshot supplied by my client was distorted due to camera angle and lens. It took me several tries to get proportions to look right in the painting. If you are an artist who accepts commissions, then you probably know that other people's photos might not be what you need to see for creating a painting, even if the photograph looks okay as a snapshot.

This was quite challenging, so I'm glad I was able to paint this long-distance commission for my collector!

Speaking of challenges: perhaps you've noticed our monthly painting Challenge is overdue? I had started a little 'un for our December puzzler before my trip, aiming to have it finished for posting on our usual date of the 15th. However, there was more I wanted to do on it and it was time to travel, so I bargained for more time with my Challenge group. Turns out, Vicki and Suzanne needed more time too. Busy ladies, we are! 

But your patience will not be unrewarded. Tomorrow we plan to show you our December Challenge paintings! So I hope you will check back here at my blog to see what we've created.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Plein Air Painting in Paradise

I took my very first trip to Hawaii recently. And I left north Idaho just in time, as temps got to eight below zero while I gone.

In Hawaii, however, I was enjoying sun on my skin and no shoes in balmy 85 degree weather.

I stored up some vitamin D during my week there, along with memories of sweet sunset scenes and tropical colors.

"Glow Through the Palms"
Original oil, 4"x6"
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin

I am a warm weather girl, so it was quite difficult to leave and fly home to cold, dark, short days in our northern residence. Summers are wonderful here, especially for people like my husband, who do not like hot weather. Winters can be beautiful up here at the edge of the earth, especially when the sun shines on a new blanket of snow, but the dark months are a challenge for those of us who crave sunshine and warmer temps.

(left) "Nightfall at the Dock"
Original Oil, 6"x6"
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin

I'm missing Hawaii already. I'm glad I was able to paint there, and take some photographs.

As you can see from the top photo where I am painting from the dock in Kona, cameras simply don't do a scene justice. So I hope you will enjoy these plein air color studies I painted at that location.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Grouping Small Paintings Together

Here are more ideas for arranging similar oil paintings on a wall. Mt. Hood is a favorite subject to paint, and the frames on these five pieces work together, so I thought I'd show you how these look in a grouping.

Individual sizes range from the mini in the top row (5"x3.5") to the medium size piece on the bottom left (8"x12").

Please contact me to purchase.