Friday, November 22, 2013


 "Bearded Iris"
30x30" oil on heavyweight canvas

Here's another really big flower and again referenced from a purchased stock photo, which is something I'd rather not do, however it was such an incredible shot to work from, I couldn't resist. Next summer I plan to set up and shoot my own flower reference incorporating this mysterious blackness from which the flower emerges with some of it still in shadow. I think it adds such a dramatic feeling to the painting.

I'm busy trying to finish that portrait I've been stuck on for over a year. I was either very arrogant or completely naive in thinking I could dive right in and be satisfied with the results, however, either way the experience is opening up my mind to the possibility of new techniques and approaches to my work.

Still have trouble grasping the concept that consistent studio time equals somewhat consistent improvement. I've always favored learning through osmosis. I have quite the collection of how-to books, magazines and DVDs and still maintain that having them in my possession is all that's needed for me to gain the knowledge they contain. The fact that that hasn't happened yet has not dulled my expectations that someday it will.

Tim's been rather quiet, however I suspect it's because my mind is all over the place. As one might expect this time of year increases and exacerbates grief bubbles which have been popping up rather frequently. But there again, it's a choice. It feels so much better to be grateful for how fortunate we both are to have found each other and for every moment we shared in the physical world.

So, top of my list this Thanksgiving is Timothy Berry! Surprise! And the boys, the roof over our heads, food on our table, transportation, caring friends and relatives, the ability to create and the hope that someday we will all finally learn to live in peace.

I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving, good times with friends and family and I thank you again and again for all of your loving support.

Friday, November 15, 2013


16x16" oil on linen


Thank you all so very much for the wonderful comments you left on "In the Hood!" I'm so grateful and elated!

Challenge time again! My turn this month. I chose shellfish. Didn't spend as much time on this as I had planned however I'm not altogether unhappy. My friend commented, and I agree, my oils sometimes resemble watercolors. Weird. My guess is I use a lot of Liquin so it will dry overnight and be ready for another layer the following day.  Also, the shadow was first painted solid, then gone over with white to give the appearance of fading. I discovered that works well when I was preparing "Allegra" the firefly for her journey. While tidying up the white canvas background I accidentally painted over her wings and noticed they appeared less "there", which I thought worked because they were so delicate.

Simply cannot believe it's almost Thanksgiving again!! Holiday decorations for sale, Santa and his crew in commercials, and reminders to order those holiday desserts! It's all goin' too fast for me! I look out on falling leaves and naked trees but in my mind, it's still sultry summertime.

Tim gave me a virtual hug the other day! I have my favorite shirt of his hung on the left side of the closet, right as I walk in. It still has "eau de Timberry" on it and from time to time I just go in and bury my face in the shirt and inhale deeply. Amazing! This past Saturday as I stepped back from the shirt and told him how much he is missed, the lights and tv went off and then came back on. The strangest thing is that when the lights go out the cable needs to be turned on again, but this time it just snapped right back on. Wonderful!

Could have been a coincidence, however, for it to happen during one of my "shirt sniffing moments" tells me it wasn't.

Apologies, I digress. Enjoy:

4x6" oil on hardboard
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin

"Pick Me...Not!"
7.5x7.5" Encaustic

Thursday, November 7, 2013


"In the Hood"
16x16" oil on Belgian Linen


This is Shawn, the son of one of the construction crew members that worked on the house last year. I have been struck by this young man's amazing features since I met him back when we had 30 inches of snow and they came to bail us out. Last week, when they were here to move some furniture, I decided to at last ask if he would mind if I took some reference shots of him. Happily he was fine with the idea which made my day because I had a great time painting this.

I've been listening to Eckhart Tolle's audiobooks while working which makes it near impossible to listen to the "voice" at the same time. I've struck a nice balance I think. His words help me with grief, insecurity, mind clutter and the near constant negative chatter that seems to become so very loud whenever I work. Nice.

Shawn wore a hooded sweatshirt that day and I think it frames his face so nicely. I want to do more work on his hood but don't want to get bogged down in detail and take away from his incredible features.

I am falling in love with this linen surface however it is a tad expensive. It's so me. I go along and work on surfaces for years, just accepting that that is what I'm used to until I actually realize in the middle of a painting that a different surface would be better for the subject matter.

Reminds me of the time when I was a pre-teen and a gentleman came to the door offering music lessons. I wanted to take guitar for the longest time back then but because he was selling accordion lessons I studied that for four years! Hated every minute of it. Never occurred to me to ask for guitar instruction. What's up with that? In hindsight it's seems pretty messed up, but we were taught to be very agreeable. Asking for something you wanted instead of what you were offered was thought to be I guess it makes sense...a little.

Oh well, I finally got around to trying the portrait smooth linen on Tim's portrait so the timing was perfect. I'm so pleased that I did his painting on this surface, I think it added a lot to the feeling of it.

He's been quiet lately save a few perfectly timed light flickers. But I've been quite content embracing his presence since the peanut dream so I guess he see's I'm good to go right now. Thank you so much for your kind words of support and understanding on that post. I'm very fortunate to be able to share this journey with so many open minded and caring people. I will be forever grateful.

Thank you for stopping by!