Monday, September 30, 2013


24x24" oil on Fine Belgian Linen

His actual birthday is October 1st, but I'm posting today. I've been wanting to paint his portrait again and I felt the time was right so I decided to do one for his birthday. We weren't fond of having our photos taken so there is, unfortunately, a limited supply of snaps to choose from, however I did find one that hit the sweet spot. The reference shot for this portrait was taken very soon after we found each other, he's wearing that striped shirt that I loved so much.

His second birthday after leaving his earth suit behind finds us doing fairly well. As I've said in previous posts, I've decided to fully embrace his presence and chat with him constantly, even as I watch TV shows, movies and documentaries I know we'd enjoy together. I would give anything to hear him talk over the dialog the way he used to. We were forever rewinding.

Again, hopefully, I haven't overstayed my welcome with my endless anecdotes and stories about how incredible he was. To this day, he is without doubt, the nicest human being I've ever met. Of course, he got angry, like the rest of us, but it was always a controlled, low key kind of anger. I remember once at work, something happened and he looked at me and said, very calmly..."I'm seething right now." Oh, really, I can you tell? As one would expect with Tim, he was amused.

I miss his physical presence in a way that defies explanation but his spirit is ever present. I carry a printout of the session I had with the famous medium George Anderson in my journal and read it when I feel the need to. It's the most amazing document. Even now, it's difficult to wrap my mind around it. Basically, it is that "one more phone call" or that "one last visit" we beg the Universe for when a loved one passes away. It's a gift I know he found a way to give me so I would understand that he's perfectly fine and know he is always near.

I'd like to share this one section George related that day that really touched my heart if you don't mind:

"....he's still very positive, good with people. Just meeting him this way, you can feel he's very likeable, very tranquil over there, very peaceful. I'd have to say that if someone on this side didn't like him for some reason...I'd have to say that it's their problem because he's just such a wonderful spirit!"

That was only one of many indicators that Tim did indeed join us in the room that day. The whole thing still freaks me out a bit, still gives me the chills, every time I read it. And I don't read it as often as one would imagine, it's a lot to take in.

I've included another scale shot as the canvas is rather large at 24x24 inches. I can't say enough about Masterpiece Fine Belgian Linen. It's the first time I've painted on the portrait smooth version and it's like butta! What a wonderful experience. I would highly recommend it if you haven't tried it yet. Also my Catalyst brushes are really doing well. Maybe the one that's frayed already was having a bad hair day. But that said, I think I'm home in terms of process, supplies and environment. Or maybe it was just spending this entire last week with himself.

Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, caring and wonderful comments, about my work and about Tim. They are appreciated and treasured more than you can know.

I have the distinct feeling that my posts will be much brighter from here on in...mostly!

Thursday, September 19, 2013


20x20" oil on linen


Meet Allegra. She's a dragonfly and a tad narcissistic, but who among us isn't...a tad? Clearly she's enchanted with the vision of herself and why not? She's a rainbow in motion. So many incredible colors, her whispering wings, her shapely legs.... and so many of them!

She's always been a star, in her own mind anyway. And society today does nothing to discourage her, elevating her to celebrity status merely on the basis of her looks. She spends a lot of time gazing in her mirror and posting selfies, however she does find time to shop and party with her buds.

She's young, carefree and rich. Having just graduated from Dragonfly High, Leggy as her friends call her, is planning to tour the continent before taking up residence in Paris for a year, where I'm sure she'll get into lots of good times, a little trouble and some dazzling designer duds. She might even do some modeling.

Ahh, to be young, rich, beautiful and capable of flight!

Sunday, September 15, 2013


"The Lady's Dark Journey"
5x7" oil on linen

Not my best effort but it's done. This was hard. Diana chose this month's all black composition to follow last month's all white, and I must say, I was stuck. Obviously, I fell back on a familiar reference, the bunched up cloth solution, but felt I had to add something so I took some advice I've gotten over the years from you guys, and added a bug! It's red but I just couldn't think of anything black to put there except maybe a string of black pearls, however I'm not in possession of any so, lady bug time.

And, it was a tad difficult painting on a smaller canvas because I've been painting so large lately. Sure did go quickly though.

I'm sorry to report that the new brushes I gushed about didn't last long. The ends are going in all different directions after only 3 washes, but I will say that I like the way they feel and will continue to use them. Like anything in this world, if you produce a permanent solution to the problem, there will be no reason to buy new, and we can't have that now can we?

It's coming around Tim's birthday, October 1st, and I'm hitting some rough patches. It's okay though, it's called grieving and it will go on for quite some time, so I will be kinder and more patient with myself. We had promised each other, that if one of us should leave early for some reason, the other would follow closely behind. And since I'm still walking around and actually living a life that I enjoy more often than not, I think I'm doing okay and that Tim is proud of me for that. Although, I must say, I'm looking forward to seeing him as soon as I possibly can, but in the mean time I have so very much to be grateful for, including each and every one of you who visit my blog, leave comments and send messages of support and hope from time to time. And again, I thank you for that from the bottom of my heart!


 "Shades of Black"
 original oil  6x6"© 2013 Diana Moses Botkin

"Black...A Study"
12x16" oil on linen
© V.N. Ross

Friday, September 6, 2013


30x30" oil on heavyweight canvas

I've never painted a flower. Leaves yes, but not a flower. I've always wanted to, but just couldn't seem to snap the right photo of one. There are hundreds in my file, you'd think I'd find one that hit the sweet spot. But no. Heavy sigh. So it was off to a stock site to make a purchase. Glad I gave in, it was fun.

This really isn't finished, it's one of those paintings that could go on forever, but I decided to call it because, not to break form, I'm way behind.

I've found that pre-mixing my palette really helps my flow, as I've mentioned. I would always run out of what I needed and now I don't! Plus, I realized that taking the paint out of the plastic container and putting it onto the palette paper was a wasted step, so now it's out of the freezer and onto the tray, still nestled in their little plastic homes. I loved this selection of colors, it looks like sherbert.

I also discovered that I have been growing as an artist! Who knew? Back in the day, I would have painted each one of those curly french fries in the center, one by one—shadow, mid tone and highlight! Instead, I found the darkest shade and splashed that in and then when that was dry I picked out the shapes with lighter shades.

I've included the scale shot even though this canvas is much smaller than the ones that I've been working on of late, but still rather large for a single bloom. I'm really hooked on Blick's Heavyweight pre-stretched. They just feel so substantial and the paint just seems to glide on.

Also, I found some great brushes there as well. I've written before about trying to extend the life of my brushes but basically, if you use them, they deteriorate. These new Princeton Catalyst Polytip Brushes seem to be just what I've been looking for. They feel wonderful on the canvas and clean up doesn't seem to be disturbing their 'do! Nice. We'll see.

I cannot believe that summer is almost over! My second summer without Tim physically here was strange. Last year, I guess I was still in shock, plus there was construction going on most of the time. The confusion and distractions helped. This summer however, it was left to me to keep myself busy and out of the pity pot.

I failed these last few weeks but that's cool. The good news is that I feel him here all the time and have embraced the reality of his presence more often than not. Sometimes though, it's back to the "real" world and the emptiness and silence. But it doesn't last long. I realize there is nothing to be sad about. He's much happier, in fact he's perfect and he's here! Where's the problem? Yeah, I know it needs work. But, it's a choice. Reach for the good feelings, the bad ones don't serve any purpose that I can see.

After I snapped the scale shot I turned to look for something on the table and there, underneath was my cheering section and support system. Raz and Blu Berry! Pure perfection.

Sometimes they seem to be interacting with someone that I cannot see. Gee... I wonder who that could be?

Thank you for stopping by, your support and comments continue to help me grow.