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.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Pushing Through

(left)
"Supports"
Carbon pencil with chalk highlights
on grey paper 12"x17"
©2015 Diana Moses Botkin

Days turn into weeks; weeks into months. Time passes like rivers flow to the ocean. We all have it. We all lose it. Or use it.
(left) "Moonlit"
Charcoal with chalk highlights
on grey paper 17"x12"
©2015 Diana Moses Botkin

I've been laboring for months to find that place again where the mind tells the hand what to do and it's done with ability and intelligence. Various concerns have taken the forefront the past couple of years and time to draw and paint has suffered. The only way to make it better is to work it.

After scores of attempts and many sketches destined for the fire, the skills are peeking through. I'm finally feeling like I remember how to draw.

(left) "Secluded"
Charcoal with chalk highlights
on grey paper 17"x12"
©2015 Diana Moses Botkin

It's easy to let a skill get out of practice. Just let it slip, let it slide awhile, whatever it is... playing a musical instrument, dancing,... drawing, painting.

The good news is that it's not impossible to renew art skills. Although it has felt like giving birth every day, I see progress. Those earlier sketches which seemed so clumsy and ill-made can go in the fire and no one even has to see them. Oh that all our failures would be so easily swept away!

(right) "Slope"
Charcoal with chalk highlights
on grey paper 12"x17"
©2015 Diana Moses Botkin


Friday, October 30, 2015

Plein Air Painting at my Favorite Spot

(left) "Shining Evening"
Oil, 5"x9"
©2015 Diana Moses Botkin

It was a lovely afternoon during the first week of October, not too cold, with a promise of evening color. So I set out on the hour-plus drive to one of my favorite plein air spots. This place.

It looks quite different now from last year's more abundant water in the marshes.

In a small painting like this, I can set up the composition and lay in shapes in less than an hour. Lots of painters do that much more quickly.

So after the shapes are in, I can have fun with that glowing sky and the sparkling reflections in the water channels before the light disappears and the cold benumbs my body and mind.

At home, I set this piece on my easel. Then I see a couple of spots I want to tweak, just a little. They are the tiniest of corrections and adjustments. And the next day and the next... small steps to the finish line.

Friday, October 16, 2015

2015 Scotchman Peaks Paint Out

(left) "Hopeful Morning"
Oil, 5"x10"
©2015 Diana Moses Botkin

Last weekend was the annual Scotchman Peaks Paint Out. There was no competition this year, which made for a friendly gathering.

Outskirts Gallery hosted the event again this year and organized three demo/lectures by Aaron Cordell Johnson (demo on painting clouds, only one of Aaron's notable skills), Greg Caudell (demo/talk on exploring color), and Alison Barrows Young (overview on plein air history).

I was happy to get out and paint early before the demos started, and encouraged that I haven't totally forgotten how to paint. The morning oil study I did went well and helped my confidence level.

(left) "Shining Afternoon"
Oil, 4"x8"
©2015 Diana Moses Botkin

This summer and fall have been busy with other projects and plein air painting has taken a back seat. After the demos Saturday I ventured out to paint again, hoping for some rosy late light. Clouds moved in and rain started, but I managed to get this little autumn study to a decent point before quitting.

(left) "Bright Evening at the Flats" 
Oil, 5"x7"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

Then it was time to put the wet paintings in frames and take them to the gallery for the reception. I also hung this painting from 2014 that didn't get framed last year for Scotchman Peaks. The show will continue at Outskirts through the end of the year.
 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Three Works to the MAC Gala Auction

This past week I delivered these three paintings accepted for the 2015 MAC Art Auction in Spokane, Washington. They're each framed in a presentation that shows off the art.

Event dates are October 2 through November 7 to preview the many beautiful works of art offered at the show. They can be viewed at the museum.

The gala reception and auction will be on 11/7/2015 at 5:00 pm at the historic Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane.
For more information, please visit the museum's event website.
(top left) "Palouse Sunset" oil 8"x10"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

(middle left) "Last Light on Hood"  
oil 8"x10"
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

(lower left) "Verdant Valley" oil 8"x12"
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin

Monday, September 7, 2015

Recent Events

Well, I haven't fallen off the edge of the earth. But it has been a busy last couple of months with a family wedding and visiting family and friends. All wonderful.

There have been the day to day chores this summer, too, of course. The big deal here in our area since the end of July were fires on nearby mountains. A couple of weeks ago they moved down the mountain and across the valley quite close to our place. We were told to evacuate when the fires moved within a couple of miles and the strong wind was blowing it our way.

My husband and I proceeded to load up our 20+ photo albums plus 3 xerox boxes of additional pictures. We packed up a lot of my paintings too. However, there are so many here I knew they would not all fit in our two vehicles. It was quite the experience going from room to room to pick which ones would fit. Some of my older pieces are very large, especially the abstracts.

What a terrible choice to have to decide which pieces to save. Thank the Lord, the wind died down and then switched direction. And even though all the those hard-working fire personnel fought hard to keep the fires from spreading, there simply wasn't enough manpower to stop the fires. Local farmers saved the day by plowing fire breaks through the fields as the fire moved toward them. True bravery and brotherly love were demonstrated in their actions.

We've had rain since that scary night, and the fires here are at an end, although there are still many areas out here in the west which are still burning.

Those dark areas on the mountains near us testify to the fire damage. We give thanks for the mercies of God.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Staedtler Ads with my Drawings



In my last post, I told about the commissions I was asked to do for Staedtler's new lines of art supplies.

Here are two of the ads the company is running with my art. My name appears in all their ads and on the product packages. It's such an honor to have my work associated with this company's art materials!

The graphite pencils come in a range of hardness/softness, giving the user various choices for drawing pressure. The charcoal pencils and sticks do that, as well. 

Soon, I'll be doing another commission for Staedtler for another soon-to-be-released artists' material. I'm looking forward to trying the new stuff, giving the company my evaluations, and then creating beautiful art with the final product.

All this will take awhile, of course, but I'll show you results later if all goes well.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Here Are The Staedtler Products With My Drawings!

I've mentioned here at this blog about doing some special commissions for Staedtler to use with their new product line. I'm very pleased to finally see and handle each of the packages which show my work!

The two pencil sets on the left display my drawing I created with the pencils. The third package exhibits the piece I did with Staedtler's new charcoal pencils. And the one on the right was done with the hard pastels shown.

On the back of each package is a brief step-by-step demo on how I developed the drawing which is on the front. I'd love to hear from you if you purchase any of these new products and how you like them.

I'm very happy to have my work associated with the Staedtler name. This all started almost two years ago when Staedtler contacted me to do the work after seeing one of my charcoal figure drawings online.

It's an honor to have been chosen to do the drawings for these new materials. And besides showing off my art on their packaging and in their advertising, I'm pleased that my original drawings are now in Staedtler's permanent collection.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Another One Done

"Toothbrush Break"
Original Oil, 7.5" x 13"
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

This painting has gone through a couple of transformations to progress to something that looks finished and with which I'm also happy.

It has evolved into this simple study of the model during her break from poses. I liked her unusual uninhibited position while she stretched out her foot and simultaneously brushed her teeth as she relaxed.

This figurative piece and another one, is to be shipped this week to Tidewater Gallery in Swansboro, NC. Please contact the gallery if you would like sales information.

Monday, June 15, 2015

One of the Ones I Finished

(left)
"View From the Vineyard"
Oil, 4"x8"
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin 

I mentioned recently that I was working on a commission and finishing up a few other paintings.

Here's one that I brought to completion while waiting for passages on the large commissioned piece to dry.

This little plein air oil was sketched in on location and then I set it aside, hoping to do more to it later. It's nice to be able to add a few more finishing touches to it. I wanted to add just enough texture and detail to make it look more finished without ruining the original mood of the piece.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Newest Article in Professional Artist Magazine

The June/July issue of Professional Artist Magazine is out now. My most recent piece is on pages 62 - 65. It tells how inspiration and practice can be found participating in open studios with live models. I touch on materials to use, the challenges of working from life, plus common practices and guidelines at open studio sessions.

Open studios is a good opportunity to draw and paint from live models, nude or costumed. As you've likely guessed from this blog, I am a big fan of working from life, for figurative work and other genres.

I interviewed several respected artists for the article. They graciously sent me photos and quotes. Morgan Weistling, William Whittaker, Sherrie McGraw, Mary Qian, and Yer Za Vue each comment on how open studios have helped and inspired them. Additionally, Za shares about the challenges of running open studio sessions. There are also suggestions on how to find open studio sessions in your locale.

If you are not a subscriber to the magazine, you can buy a copy of the digital issue here.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Finishing Touches

I'm working on a commission and at times I need a break from it for various reasons. The reasons differ, depending on the need. The particular piece I'm painting has required additional references.


During a break, there is always yard work or some other chore to do, of course.

But if the chores aren't too pressing, I can pick up an unfinished painting from my studio corners to bring something to completion. That helps my outlook, especially if a bigger project is weighing down on me.

(left) "Pink Blouse" Oil 8"x6"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

Buy this painting on PayPal
$200 USD plus $10 SH


Each of these two pieces shown here have gone through at least a couple of stages to work out the kinks. (Some paintings do, at least in my experience.)

They both had been set aside, needing something. Now I can finally feel that the finishing touches have been added.

(left) "Red Bow Tie"
Oil 10"x8"
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin 

Buy this painting on PayPal
$300 USD plus $12 SH

Monday, April 13, 2015

New Nude

"Turned Away"
Charcoal and Chalk on cotton paper, 12"x18"
©2015 Diana Moses Botkin

SOLD

The past weeks have been taken up with paper work for Uncle Sam, but I've been able to work on a few new sketches including this one.

I'll show you more later, so please stay tuned.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Another Drawing I Did for Staedtler

You may remember other drawings I've shown here at my blog that I did for Staedtler. Those were each for product lines the company markets now. This sketch, at right, appears on packaging for their tonal set of compressed charcoal and pastel sticks.

I'm delighted that the company is pleased with my work. Besides showing off my art on their packaging and in their advertising, they've added my original drawings to their permanent collection.  It is an honor to be associated with such an illustrious company.

Staedtler goes way back. Headquartered in Nuremberg, the company is a manufacturer and supplier of writing, artist, and engineering drawing instruments. Long before J.S. Staedtler founded his pencil making factory in 1835, the Staedtler family had been hand-making the beloved writing instrument for generations.

I still have some very fine point (000) Mars Staedtler technical pens. I used them a lot back when my eyes and back were better suited to bending over a detailed pen and ink drawing for a week's worth of hours making dots or lines. I also own some Staedtler tin pencil boxes that are about as old as I am, casual gifts from my artist father decades ago. They still carry pencils and other useful devices in my sketch bag.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Charcoal Drawing for Staedtler

Not long ago I showed a drawing I did for Staedtler's new pencil packaging at this blog and promised to reveal other pieces I did for the company's products. The sketching pencils, packaged with my art on the box, are now available.

Here is the sketch for their charcoal line. And yes, it is like the one I did with the pencils.

The company wanted me to use the same model and pose for several products.  There is more to show you, too. Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Rejection and Acceptance

Earlier today I found out the results of a competition I had entered, and learned that my work had been rejected. That's a hard word rejected, and it's a hard road, and a hard rain.

My work has been rejected from more shows than I care to remember. It's part of an artist's life for those of us who try for exposure and awards.

It's tempting to give up sometimes, but one must learn to accept the failures in stride and work harder and better. There are also many successes for which I count my blessings.

(left) "Morning Shadows"
Oil on Raymar panel, 8"x10"
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin 

Later today I opened my mail and learned that this piece is accepted to a museum show. I'm pleased to announce that this painting is to be part of the 18th Annual Art Auction at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art. The show opens Thursday, March 19th in Great Falls, Montana.

Saturday, April 11, 2015 is the Gala, with a live auction, music, and food. That sounds like a lot more fun than a pity party for not getting in the other show.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Another Piece I'd Been Looking For

"View from the Gîte”
12"x16" pastel on Canson paper
©2005 Diana Moses Botkin

Recently, I've shown work here at my blog which I have now finished after having set it aside months or years ago. Or, as in the case from my last post, finished art was hiding in my studio.

This pastel study is another one I had been looking for, from that 2005 journey to France. After spending time in Paris on that trip, we drove to eastern France and stayed in a gîte we had booked ahead of time, online. 

The drive from Paris was lovely except for the crowded conditions in the vehicle we had rented. The description online for what I signed up for was, I thought, something like a minivan. It was supposed to seat seven people.

The rental company was obviously thinking of seven small French people. And, in order to accommodate that number, the third row of seats when unfolded in the Opal, obliterated the luggage space. All seven of us had a suitcase. After scratching our heads awhile and inquiring if there was a bigger vehicle available (there wasn't), we folded up the third seat, stacked our luggage there and put the two smallest family members (my youngest, and me!) on top of the pile. That left 3 to squeeze in the back seat. My husband drove and my second child navigated.

It was a very chummy drive but we made it to the gîte, where the friendly owners met us and showed us the place. The house was clean, roomy and reasonable. It fit our low-budget trip to buy groceries nearby and cook our own meals. The location was a beautiful setting and I did several plein air studies while there, a few in oil and this one in pastel.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Uncovering Buried Work

This year, one of the tasks I've been tackling has been to go through corners of my studio to deal with unfinished and abandoned work. For the pieces I'm finding, I've set several objectives: either file, finish, or put in the fire. 

Digging through the stacks of stuff, I discovered a few pieces I'd been looking for, buried in a pile of half-done work. These particular pieces were some sketches I did on my trip to France in 2005.

During the first part of our stay there, we were in Paris where I was able to make my pilgrimage to the Louvre. My family and I ventured to the museum right away. What an amazing collection of world treasures is there! The drawing at left was done from Michelangelo's Dying Slave, a most inspiring and beautiful sculpture from the Master.

It's interesting to run across the studies from a decade ago. I can see improvement in my drawing skills since I did this study. 

(left) "Study of Michelangelo’s Dying Slave"
16"x12" charcoal and chalk on cotton paper
©2005 Diana Moses Botkin

A different sketch (not worth showing you) I did while at Musée d'Orsay, which is another colossal treasury of art. When at the Louvre the previous day, I'd had no trouble when I scooted an unused chair over by The Slave, to sketch the piece. At Musée d'Orsay the next day, I also found a vacant chair and moved it by the statue I admired, for observation with my sketching materials.

Soon after I sat down in the chair near the beautiful Oedipus at Colonos by Jean-Baptiste Hugues, the guard on duty told me something in angry French. Now my French is very bad, limited to a few words and phrases. But I was able to tell, from the guard's body language and gestures, that I should move the chair back to its original location. I complied and then sat on the floor by the sculpture to study.

Not long after that, I noticed the guard was on the phone, gesturing toward me and speaking in urgent angry tones. There I was, in a foreign country with jet-lag and extremely limited language skills. I had visions of being carted away by the gendarmes for lock-up in some lonely Paris jail. I was able to manage only a quick drawing, not much more then a gesture, before hurriedly putting away my supplies and moving away to the ladies room to compose my rattled brain.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Painting at Yellowstone Art Museum Gala Event

(left) 
"Trees on the Hill"
Oil 5.5"x7.5"
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

I'm pleased that my work is showcased again this year at the Yellowstone Art Museum Exhibit and Auction in Billings, Montana. You can visit the link to see show information and the catalog, and even make an early bid for the art.

The show opened last month on January 22 and continues to March 7, 2015 when the gala and auction is held. That night is very festive, with delicious food, live music, and of course, the auction of beautiful art.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Win a Free Painting for Your Valentine!

(left) "Pie Cherry" 
miniature oil painting, approx. 2"x3"
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

(lower left) "Cherry on Granite" 
miniature oil painting, approx. 3"x3"
©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

I haven't done a giveaway in a long time. Valentine's Day seems a nice reason to do that.

You can enter for a chance to win one of these little jewels by leaving a comment here at this post, or sharing this blog link at your facebook page. Either at this post or on facebook, tell me why your sweetheart would like some sweet art!

Please also send me a private email to let me know which you did (comment here, or share my link at your facebook page) and also tell me how to get in touch with you if you win.

I'll put your name in the hat and pick a name at contest ending. This giveaway opportunity will be open only until February 14 at midnight, so don't delay.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Oil Portrait Study from Life

(left) "Stevan"
Oil, 10"x8"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

I'm still catching up on adding finishing touches to paintings I started awhile ago. If you're an artist, you probably know what I mean when I say there are pieces sitting in my studio waiting.... either to be finished, painted over, or thrown in the fire.

That last choice is usually out of frustration from ruining a painting by working on it too much or trying to finish without good references. Or simply because it was terrible.

This is one I did in OKC last fall at Geatches. I was able to get a good likeness of our model during the Saturday morning Open Studio, but I needed to clean up a few areas. There were some scratchy brush marks that were distracting. Sometimes those can be useful, like the effect in hair edges, and Stevan's unshaved jaw. Since I didn't have a reference photo to use for touching up the painting later, I kept my additions to a minimum.

It is not uncommon for Open Studio policy to be no photos allowed. Unless the model will pose after the session for a quick snap, that's the way it is.

I really miss the Open Studio sessions in OKC, and also in Scottsdale. The group in my area is a bit of drive and sessions can be hit and miss.

Open Studio means that anyone can join in, working from live models. Model fees are reasonable, models are professional and able to hold poses, and the camaraderie is a welcome change from working alone. There is no instruction at these sessions but it is fun and often educational seeing what the other artists draw or paint.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Oil Sketch to a Painting Only Took Me a Year

Well, I didn't actually work on it all year. After I did the initial live study last January, I set it aside, wondering what to do with it.

The piece showed potential and I liked it even in the rough stage. But there wasn't enough there. So, months later I tackled it again, working from the limited information in a quick snap the model let me take at the time, which was mostly overexposed from the strong lighting.

The painting went through several changes, as sometimes happens.

It would've been a lot easier to have this model pose live for all the painting sessions, but that was not possible. So I did the best I could from memory and my vague photo reference.

The lean and muscular young man sat deep in thought as he posed and the visible ear looked like he had done some boxing. It was really just a mood as a sketch, but the added detail now contributes to the story. I still like the painting, and I'm happy I didn't ruin it.

(above left) "He Carries a Reminder" Oil on canvas, 10"x8"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin


SOLD

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Nude Studies

(left) "Bent" 
charcoal/chalk on cotton paper approx. 14x11" 
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

Our model for this particular open studio session wore her boots and sometimes her eyeglasses. The footwear made for an interesting contrast.

She also had a hairstyle that I found challenging to portray: one side of her head was shaved and she wore long blond matted dreadlocks on the other side.

This young woman was a very expressive model and although I did a number of charcoal sketches that session, these are the only two I saved.

(at left)
"Studious" 
charcoal/chalk on cotton paper approx. 10.5x12"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

Monday, January 26, 2015

Figure Studies in Longer Poses

(left) "Royal Role"
Charcoal and chalk on cotton paper 17"x12"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

These are more of my life drawings from last Fall during my trip to Oklahoma City.

The first two studies are from Pizza Night at OCU, which is always a lot of fun. The costumed models were especially interesting to study.

Both the young lady in the fluffy cape and the young man with the furry collar are studying acting. Interesting in their assumed roles, they were also very good models, holding still for the long pose.

(left below) "Introspective"
Charcoal and chalk on cotton paper 14"x11"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

 (right below) "Point of View" Charcoal and chalk on cotton paper 12"x10"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Figurative Gesture Drawings

(left)
"Turning Around"
charcoal on grey paper, 17"x12"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

I'm finally getting some of my drawings from Open Studio last Fall photographed and inventoried. To do that, I need good natural light (sunshine) for decent digital images. Sunny days have been precious few in the past few months. We've had a few lately, however, for which I am very thankful.

These sketches and half a dozen others were the only ones I kept from several sessions with the nude model during my trip last fall to OKC.

Although it's a bit painful to throw away drawings or paintings, I'm trying to be more cold-blooded in my approach. After a few hundred sketches and as many paintings, storage can be a challenge.

(left)
"Advance"
charcoal and chalk on grey paper, 17"x12"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Balance and Grace

In my last post, I told some about typesetting changes in recent history and from my own experience. I think type has a special place in my psyche because one of my first jobs other than baby-sitting was working with type. My dad, an art director for a large ad agency in the Midwest, put me to work when I was a teenager.

One of the free-lance tasks I did for him was hand-setting lines of type with stick-on letters. There were certain applications, now simply done on the computer, that at the time, had to be done by hand. These included lines of type on a curve and other applications. This is not difficult, but it does take a certain amount of aesthetic judgement to balance each letter with the right air space.

Adjusting spacing between letters  is called "kerning". It is easily done now on the computer but a few decades ago it could be tedious and time-consuming. I had a good eye for balance and spacing, so this came easy to me. An ability to see how type balances has a downside, however.

I notice examples everywhere of bad letter spacing: in ads, on buildings, magazines and books.. even on our wood stove. I see that "RESOLUTE" layout (in cast iron!) and want to move the letters: decrease spacing after the "E", the "S", the "O" and the "U". Or increase spacing in the other tight areas.

If I look at the ill-constructed arrangement very long, it really bugs me. Especially in fairly permanent applications, it becomes a source of irritation and I can't help but wonder why someone in charge of putting the project together didn't see the problem.

Logos, which represent a product with an identifiable symbol, should be especially beautiful, but just looking around my house reveals a bevy of unbalanced lettering: everything from art supplies to high-end garments. Why?


Such is life. Insults to aesthetics abound in this world.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Way It Used to Be... Not That Long Ago

I have some old typestyle books I used decades ago when I made my living doing commercial art (now known as "graphic art").

This was back in the “old days” before computers.

It’s truly amazing what can be done on the computer so quickly now: tedious and time-consuming tasks we used to do by hand…draw up layouts on paper, and do a wide variety of tasks for the camera-ready art such as rule lines, hand-set headlines, cut photo drop-out windows, paste down the set type, etc.

A few decades ago, if we needed type at the ad agency for camera ready art for ads, annual reports, etc., the copywriter typed it up on a typewriter (and hopefully it had been proofed for typos), and gave it to the delivery boy to take downtown to the typesetter’s.

The art director (or assistant) usually had specified typeface, point size, letter spacing and line spacing based on how many letters were in the typewritten copy and the space available in the layout. Layouts were drawn by hand with felt markers (and with chalks in the days before markers). 

The typesetter was usually across town (and by town I mean, a large metropolitan city). The delivery boy drove in traffic to the location to drop it off. Then the typesetter figured out how it would fit the layout by counting letters and setting copy width on his machine, and made sure that the point size was right. After that step, it was produced on slick sheets which would be pasted down for what was known as "camera-ready art". Usually the next day, the delivery boy could pick up the galleys.

During my stint as a commercial artist, it was typically phototype, but before that was around, there was moveable type... little individual metal letters which were set (backwards). And there was wooden type before that (like the old western typestyles... usually fairly big).

Going back farther to hand-set metal linotype… or wood type before that (which the ancient Chinese used)… the typesetter set the copy backwards and then it could go to press.

Think of those poor souls working away at daily newspapers setting letter by letter in the trays. And then they had to put it all away in the proper cabinet after the printing was finished. Dyslexics would probably do well in that job.

Anyway, after the long slick sheets of galleys came back from the typesetter, the layout artist had to paste the type down to create camera-ready art. Sometimes the type didn't fit, or there was a missed typo (there was no such thing as "spell check").

Now, on the computer, we can just change the size of the type and move it around ever so easily. No rubber cement involved. Back then, fixing could involve getting a section of type redone at the typesetter, or pasting in individual corrections if we happened to have duplicate galleys and could pick up a corrected word from it.

Occasionally we did hand lettering. Commercial artists did a lot more hand work overall back then for many tasks (ruling lines, cutting overlays for dropping out backgrounds on photos, etc.). Lettering can be very tedious, unless it's a brush script or calligraphic, more free type. Those could be fun.

I still have my favorite typefaces. Most of them have been around for a long time. But I remember when Friz Quadrata came out in the early 1970s. I liked it a lot back then and used it for many applications. I still like it and get nostalgic when I see it, although it was perhaps overused. It frequently dates materials to that era.

Palatino, a classic typeface, is another of my favorites, especially the Palatino Italic. It's very graceful. I'm a sucker for a pretty face. Palatino has that lovely little airy space in the P, and a nice balance. It’s like much of art… what we like in a font (we used to call it "typeface") can be quite subjective. Other personal favorites are Weiss (an old hand-set serif typeface with lovely balance), Copperplate Gothic, and Michelangelo Titling (another hand-set face with beautiful form and balance, all caps).

Typesetting is only one aspect of change in graphic art in my own lifetime. Illustration has also drastically changed in the last few decades and is not used as much these days as are photos or computer generated images.

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Small Nude Portrait Study

"Meditative" Oil, 7"x5"
©2014 Diana Moses Botkin

Purchase this art with PayPal
$140 USD + $10 SH

This is a little study I started from life this past fall at Open Studio when I did this other nude.

It needed some simple adjustments but sometimes those little touches take more time than one would think. I'd work on it, think I was finished, and then see something that still needed a tiny tweak. Crazy, especially since this is such a small painting.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Day Five for the 3-in-5 Challenge

What to show you for the last day of these postings? Most of my recent work can be seen in my posts for past few years, so I thought I'd share at least a couple I've not previously shown.

The portrait below was a commission for friends and one of my favorites I've done. These special people, artist husband and ballet teacher wife, were a pleasure to paint. It is especially meaningful to me when fellow artists collect my work.

(below left) "Miller-Youst Family" Original oil on canvas 20"x16"
 ©1991 Diana Moses Botkin



(above, right) "Marsh Glow"
Oil on primed watercolor paper, 4"x8"
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin 

(at left) "Morning Sails"
Oil on hardboard 8"x10"
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin

"Marsh Glow" was a piece painted for inclusion in a special book for Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.

The Peaks organization holds a plein air event each year and I've participated since the beginning, to capture the area in memorable (and sometimes, award-winning) images.

The flats I portrayed in this painting is one of my favorite plein air spots. Working on the heavy primed watercolor paper was good, too, and I've thought I should do some more with the medium. One of these days.

"Morning Sails" is one of a handful of successful plein air paintings I did while participating in the Pacific Northwest Plein Air Paint Out in Hood River. This one won "Best River" award that year and sold to a collector in the area.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Day Four of the 3-in-5 Challenge

(left) "Her Choice"
Original oil on linen, 16"x20"
©1996 Diana Moses Botkin 


Here is another sampling of my work for the 3-in-5 challenge. You can see that by the time I did these, I was getting away from the tight realism I'd been practicing in my earlier paintings.

I still love detail, but for the past decade or so, I've been trying to focus on it not as much, with the idea that "less is more".

Abundance of detail can be quite beautiful, but for many paintings it is simply a distraction from the visual idea. It's interesting to see the progress while looking at the body of my work for these postings.

"Her Choice", above, received top honors at the 1996 National Christian Fine Arts Exhibit in Farmington, New Mexico and was purchased by the sponsor, Farmington United Methodist Church. Like the piece I showed yesterday which also resides in their permanent collection, I'm very happy it is being enjoyed on a daily basis by many people. This painting also was used, with my permission, for a book cover and for materials for Lutherans for Life.

(left) "Ministering Hands"
Original oil on hardboard, 16"x20"
©1999 Diana Moses Botkin


"Ministering Hands" is special commission I painted for St. Peter Hospital, Family Practice Clinic, Olympia, Washington. I'm pleased it is also in a public collection and being enjoyed on a daily basis by visitors. Reproductions of "Ministering Hands", and also "Her Choice", can be found at my LifeImages Gallery.

I'm skipping through much of my work since Y2K. Many of those have been smaller pieces, a lot of them efforts to learn plein air painting. I also started trying to do the daily painting practice about 10 years ago and most of those pieces have been small studies of everyday objects. They've been good for practice, but looking through them I can see there are not many paintings which went to public collections or won awards. There are a few, but most of those smaller paintings have been purchased by individual collectors, which of course makes me happy.

(left) "Dancer in Red Slip"
Original oil on hardboard, 12"x9"
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin


"Dancer in Red Slip" appeared in the 2011 Oil Painters of America National Juried Exhibition and resides in a private collection overseas.