Sunday, October 31, 2010


The pool and patio at our hotel known as The Fig on top. In the middle an imposing modern building rising up from the charming cacti growing around poolside. The door to Wolfgang Puck's restaurant downtown.NFDP

I'm back! I joined my husband in Los Angeles for the Adobe Max seminar this past week. We left on Sunday and arrived back home on Thursday. It was very, very interesting. A lot of the classes featured programs I have only recently begun learning so seeing their capabilities first hand was invaluable. But there were three we participated in that really made the flight across the country worth it. Eliminating the background of a photograph in Photoshop is quick, easy and painless and the ability to do so existed in the very early versions, if not the original. Who knew?

Anyway, Tim was asked to attend the seminar this year and was happy to do so, however when he asked me to go with him, I hesitated. Traveling isn't one of my favorite things, especially in a very large metallic object lumbering across the sky. But, I've been working from home for the last five years and I needed to know I could indeed travel, so I agreed to go with him. And it turned out to be a great time. The flights both to and from were delightful if not a little cramped, our hotel wasn't at all what we expected but we adapted and downtown  itself was very cool. Sort of like the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, in a much smaller area, but without the frenzied rushing around vibe and a lot tidier— in spots. And on the creative side, it was invigorating to see what the latest technology can offer and experience it all with my favorite human.

I almost got us into trouble going through security though. I'd emptied all my stuff into the tray to walk through when I remembered I'd left my little pot of lip gloss in my chest pocket. Not thinking, I called to Tim, who had just gotten cleared and I...wait for's worse than you think...tossed the lip gloss to him so that I could then walk through the detector! A very large and burly security guard wrinkled his fleshy forehead and declared—in what I swear was the same vocal cadence Tom Hanks used in A League of Their Own when he told the women there was no crying in baseball— "you can't throw that over to him!" A little excitement ensued and Tim was made to walk through the detector again while I was treated to a thorough patting down by two very large, mint-green gloved hands.

You can imagine the comments I had to endure halfway across the continent. Anyway, on top of a lot of electronic freebies, the Adobe folks gave each attendee, and there were a lot of us, a free Droid 2 and Google TV! I'm so glad I got to share this with himself and that he asked me to accompany him. Thanks dude!

Friday, October 15, 2010


6" x 6" (15.3cm x 15.3cm)
oil on canvas
$100 plus $15.95 shipping and handling in the US
E-mail me for International shipping rates or other inquiries.

Well, I failed. The challenge, given to us this month by our newest member Aaron Johnson, was very simple. Paint anything your little heart desires, however, you must use a 6x8" canvas and a one half-inch brush. My apologies to the group. Due to this past weekend, I had to nip along smartly yesterday and get a piece done asap and in my haste I misread the canvas size requirement. So sure I was right, I was happy to see the everyone else used a 6x8" canvas which meant I wasn't alone in not following the rules. Not! I'm the only one with a 6x6. And before I could begin yesterday, I sat at the easel with a ruler for 15 minutes measuring every brush I own before I realized, to my great surprise, I did not, in fact, possess a one half-inch implement of construction!

Anyway, I used a quarter of an inch and an eighth of an inch brush so if you combine the two I'm an eighth short. Hope I don't get bounced out for this. On the bright side, it was a challenge to get something done in a few hours and I was forced to be loose and spontaneous and I'm ok with the results. I think it would be a good idea to include a size restriction of canvas and brush as some form of a daily exercise. Great idea Aaron, thank you! I believe it would help me on so many levels. I'll put it on the "things to do that will help me improve but i'll ignore them until i'm in pain" list.


“Bright Bales”  
Oil on canvas board 6x8”
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

“Facing the Morning Sun”
6x8” oil on panel
© 2010 Robin Cheers

Oil on canvas, 6x8”
©Aaron Johnson

“Still Life”
oil on canvas 6x8"
©2010 Vicki Ross

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Top: setting up the second day.
Middle: the trees in back of the booths next to the carnival rides.
Bottom: pausing for a drink.

I am thrilled to report that the fare, it's called the Huntington Fall Fare I believe, their spelling, not mine, was a resounding success for me and oddly enough, not one single painting of mine was sold!

Diane Portigiano and Maria Misko, both members of digho, a custom design/branding firm, offered me some space in their booth this past weekend and luckily for me, I accepted. 

Not only did I snap enough reference to paint from for the next two years but my business cards and information got into more hands and in front of more faces than I could possibly even hope for in a year let alone the two days of our attendance!

Diane and Maria had their work displayed as you entered the booth along the back "wall" of the booth.Their custom invitations, logos, announcements, branding and promotional materials made an incredible display. While Angela, a wonderful new friend who makes, among other things, soaps, balms, salts, and lip gloss in her basement, took up the right side while I occupied the left. It made for an attractive group and we were graced with a lot of visitors during the two day period.

The weather was, in a word, perfect. The crowd, diverse and interesting, was enormous and the painting of my niece, Claire, got more attention than I ever thought possible. I'm still buzzing from the many kind, generous and wonderful comments my work received and have already gotten two commissions as a direct result of attending, with promises of many more! Oh my!

Diane and Maria, thank you so very much for inviting me, it was one of the most fun times I've ever had selling myself! It was painless...especially since Maria and Diane were kind enough to stand out in "traffic" in front of the booth and hand out our information.

Guess it might be a good idea to get outta the house once in a while.

I've been busy getting Claire done and haven't been able to visit my favorite blogs. I can't wait to see what's been going on.

Friday, October 8, 2010


oil on canvas

I had to rush this and I'm not sure I'm happy but...brushes down, time's up, step away from the easel. I've been offered some space in a booth tomorrow and thought drumming up some commissions with a sample portrait might be a good idea. Of course waiting to start it a week before I needed it seems normal to me, I mean who would I be without my drama? And, thank you Maria and Diane, I appreciate your generosity so very, very much!

This is my niece-in-law in her daddy's baseball cap. She is an extraordinary child. Obviously adorable, smart, funny, a spinner of yarns, resident prophet and wise old sage all wrapped up in this freckled-face compact little body. I didn't include them because they weren't that discernible in the reference photo and I felt it wouldn't be a good idea to fake the freckles.

Tomorrow will be my first public outing with some of my work. I'm interested to see how it goes, the weather is slated to be perfect and the function takes place in the park. Should be a fun time.

Anyway, we'll see. Happy weekend and thank you for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

untitled as yet

24x36" oil on canvas  in progress

OK, so I'm breaking my "in-progress" rule. I will finish this! I will finish this!

A few weeks ago we visited The Brooklyn Museum which is in, of all places, Brooklyn, to specifically take a look at the winner of Bravo's Work or Art reality show. His name is Abdi and I believe him to be uber-gifted. It was incredibly inspiring to see his work up close and personal. His treatment of shadow, mid-tone and highlight is, for me, very Sargent-esque. I spent a good deal of time standing in front of his work, just soaking it in.

Anyway I brought my camera along hoping to capture some good reference shots of other visitors, standing casually around gazing thoughtfully at the artwork, sculpture and exhibits. We were in the building all of 10 minutes when I spied this incredible creature strolling around taking in the sights. It is New York after all, one expects to see interesting humans clad in extremely unique vestments, but I was beside myself when I saw this girl. She had a companion with her, equally uniquely attired and I asked them to sit for a a few shots which they were happy to do.

But this girl, just by virtue of walking around, provided the most incredible opportunities for great shots, however the very first shot I took was exactly what I was looking for. I thought perhaps I could combine a few shots to create the perfect composition, but in this particular shot her head is at just the right angle, her toes turned inward as she balanced gracefully on the four inch thick sole of her "bootie/shoes" and most importantly, some really great detail of that glorious Betty Boop jacket.

And to top that all off, the palette is limited! Every shade and hue of her outfit seems to compliment her surroundings. I'm limited by my reference! Who knew? Looks like this might be a good way to slip into the limited palette thing I've been avoiding for 2 months.