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, June 25, 2013

OPA Salon Show Underway

"Awake, Sleeper"
Original oil, 10"x8"
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin


In April I learned that this figurative painting of mine was accepted to the 2013 Oil Painters of America Salon Show of Traditional Oils. Competition for the OPA shows is always very tough, so having work in the show is an honor.

I had this small piece framed professionally and then packed it carefully. It is currently hanging at the exhibit, along with beautiful originals by some of the best oil painters on the continent.

You can see them all online. Scroll down on the page to find this painting on the ninth row in the middle. Being a small painting, it is one of few originals offered for less than four figures. To purchase, please contact the show venue, Crooked Tree Arts Center, at (231)347-4337.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Busy, Busy

Ever see a word and think "How strange this looks: is it really spelled like that?" This just happened when I wrote the headline to this post. And then I thought of bees and how busy they are during this season of blooming plants everywhere.

Speaking of blooming plants, there was plenty of work to do outdoors when I returned from my trip to the Wallowa Valley Festival of the Arts recently. I'll probably never catch up with the weeds this summer! I did manage to get a few tomato and basil starts put in my little kitchen garden. We finally have some warmer weather up here at the edge of the earth although I did make a fire in the wood stove yesterday because it was so cold and rainy.

Next on my agenda is the 36th Annual ArtWalk in nearby Sandpoint. Opening is tonight! This painting is one of my pieces that will be shown at Panhandle State Bank for the show that runs through September 6.

(left) "Afternoon Study"
Original oil 14"x11", framed
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin


Tonight is also the Opening for the Oil Painters of America Juried Salon Show. My painting "Awake, Sleeper" was juried in and I hope someone falls in love with it at the exhibit. For purchase information, please contact the Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petosky, Michigan

Tomorrow and next Saturday I teach workshops for Artisans at Dahmen Barn, one in pastel and the other in oil.

I'm also writing an article for Professional Artist Magazine on doing commissions. That is set for the October/November issue but my deadline is just around the corner.

Additionally, I just updated another piece that a well-known art supplier uses at their website, with my permission. I'll let you know when the new version is posted!

And I have some commissions I've agreed to do, which are not really underway yet, except for the important initial communication and discussion of poses, etc.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

"Vintage" is Our June Challenge

Our group subject for this month was chosen by guest artist Julie Ford Oliver. I asked Julie to join the group, long-term, but she has too many commitments to do this month after month.

However, she wanted to join in the hoopla, so she is with us as a guest artist!

If you've been following the Challenges you might remember that having fun is one of the goals of this monthly project. Painting something we've never tried before is another objective.

There are many vintage items around my house, as I love old stuff. I've been out of town the past couple of weeks, so when I got back a few days ago I took a quick survey of what I had on hand to paint for The Challenge.

I looked for an idea that fit the vintage subject that would be fun to paint and something I have not tried before. My old iron fit the bill, so I plopped it on my bed and got to work on a fast and loose oil sketch.

(above) "Old Hotness" Oil on canvas panel, unframed, 8"x6" ©2013 Diana Moses Botkin

This particular domestic tool dates from the 1950s and is just like the one I used as a kid when I learned to iron. Back in those days (yes, the "Old Days") men wore cotton shirts to work in the office every day and they had to be starched and ironed. Spray starch came out sometime in the early 1960s, so when I was learning to iron a few years before that, we used regular starch. That stuff came in a box and had to be mixed with water.

Mother made the mixture and dipped Daddy's shirts and other cotton clothes in the liquid and rolled them up in a plastic bag. That was kept in the refrigerator if we didn't get the whole bunch ironed up right away. I earned a nickel a shirt and supplemented my regular allowance that way. Five cents was worth a lot more back then! 

I enjoyed reminiscing about those days as I painted my quick study of the iron. I've been trying to work faster and looser and use more paint (more on that in a later post).

Here are the group's paintings for our vintage theme. I love each one and am delighted to see the variety and whimsy each artist created!

(left) "Brown Betty" Oil, 6"x6"
©2013 Julie Ford Oliver

(below left) "Old Red" Oil on linen, 20"x20"
©2013 Suzanne Berry

(below right) "Absinthe" Pastel, 20"x16"
©2013 V. N. Ross


Friday, June 7, 2013

First Place Piece

"Summer Lullaby" 
Original oil painting, 14"x11"
©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

The opening last week of the Wallowa Valley Festival of the Arts in Joseph, Oregon was a splendid event with wine tasting and other treats. I was pleased to learn that this original of mine was awarded First Place.

The next night was the quick draw, which was a good fun challenge. I'll try to post a photo soon of my small landscape painting that was purchased that night. I also sold another piece at the show.

Joseph is quite an artsy town, although it is a small community at the end of the trail. Valley Bronze, a world-class sculpture foundry, is located in town. The main street is lined with life-size sculptures by well-known artists cast at the foundry and the galleries in town show many more sculptural pieces in various sizes as well as paintings. My favorite piece among the many wonderful bronzes along the walk downtown is “All Around Cowboy” by Austin Barton.