Wednesday, October 28, 2009

With Feathers Flying

6x6 oil on panel
$100 + s/h

Loved this carriage horse who was so proudly tossing his head, shaking that pretty plumage and trotting around Central Park in June. I'm working on a couple of larger park horse paintings now too. So much for my ballet ideas (for now!)

I can't tell you how happy I am though to have these busy weeks behind me and be able to just focus on painting what makes me happiest.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wedding Reception - Molly Pitcher Inn

I'm back home after a whirlwind trip to the northeast. Three cities in three days... the rock star lifestyle is not for me! On Facebook, I've posted some pictures from the awards dinner at the National Arts club. Owing to the usual delays that inevitably happen when traveling, I barely got there in time for dinner and was a little damp from a long walk in the rain. But had no trouble getting too and from the city on the trains. Well - I got off at the wrong station on the way back to my hotel, but jumped on the next train and finished my ride.
I met some lovely people at the awards dinner and was warmly welcomed. I was so impressed by the quality of the work in the show, and therefore even more honored and amazed that my painting was chosen for an award.
The National Arts Club is in a gorgeous old home in Gramercy park. Stunning.

Next day (Sat.) I was driving down the New Jersey Parkway heading for the coast for the wedding reception. The fall color was beautiful. I missed my exit... you'll note a theme on my missing exits and getting lost....

Suffice to say, I made it to town and got my canvas and mineral spirits at a local art supply store and then got to spend some time enjoying downtown Red Bank.

The wedding reception was a lot of fun. People talk about southern hospitality, but I have to say, the people there (guests, dj, lighting guy, wait staff, etc.) were all so friendly and fun. Everyone danced! From the youngest to the oldest... to all the music. Its really fun to get to take part in these events as an observer. I'm really honored to be asked to do this kind of work!

That being said, I'm exhausted. I'm in my jammies still and not moving from my sofa today. Its pouring rain too which makes it all the cozier.
I am not traveling the the rest of the year. Soon it will be time to turn our attention to the upcoming holidays and family. But for now, I think I need a nap.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

South Street Bridge

16x20 oil on linen

I'm heading for New York and New Jersey this weekend. I'll be attending the closing reception of the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club show and be present to accept my award. very fun.
The timing worked out very well as I have a wedding reception painting event Saturday night in Red Bank, New Jersey. It will be a lot of traveling about - but I will call that sightseeing. I'm anxious to see NY in the fall. Will Central Park be all decked out in color? Wish me luck as I go it all alone in the big city.

You might remember the study I did of this scene (below). I really liked the warm color scheme but I am not liking the buildings in the back. I think I've put too much "detail" in them. Also, the photo of the larger image doesn't capture the yellows at all... the ground and sky are much warmer than appear here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On the Prowl - Cat

8x6 oil on panel
$150 + s/h - sold

"Sherbet" was one of Sonny Moss's fun little studio cats. He ran all over Mud Creek pottery studio chasing a little laser light V was playing with. He was quite the character. I sketched him quite a bit as I posed for V's students. He wasn't still long and it was good practice for capturing moving subjects for Saturday night's gala painting.
Check out Sonny's pottery - he is quite talented.

Here are a couple pages from my book.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Calvert Victorian Gala

18x24 oil on linen - sold

What a fun and festive event in Calvert. I wish I could have been dressed up and dancing, but seeing it all was great. I worked smaller than I usually do for live events and finished the scene so that it could be auctioned that night to benefit the Calvert Historical Society. V....Vaughan's beautiful painting of the afternoon tea was a real crowd pleaser too. I think we are both happy to have participated in the events of the day and enjoyed the hospitality of this quaint East Texas town as a whole. Many thanks to Barbara, Cecilia and Jody for their hospitality and planning!

Some fine looking young ladies chatting around my painting corner.

The gentleman and lady in the center were the second place Best Dressed couple of the evening. They are in my painting on the right. I actually had all three winners for the best dressed couple in my work. I guess I had a good eye for authentic costume!

V's gorgeous painting is seen in the background here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Blue Dancer

10x10 oil on panel

I am going to do another triptych of ballet dancers and began to work out ideas today. This will be available once I've decided on the larger work. Making blue flesh is crazy fun. Always good to push aside "what should be" and paint what is in my mind.

I'm off for Calvert now to enjoy their historic weekend events and to meet some artist friends whom I've known only in email. Saturday will be a full day. My traveling companion, V....Vaughan will be teaching an early workshop and I am sure she'll goad me into rising before dawn to paint with her.
Later in the day we will be at the Victorian Tea (V painting, me drinking heavily) and then Saturday night I'll be painting the gala event. I'm picturing "Moulin Rouge."
Our works from the tea and ball will be auctioned at the ball midway through the evening. Exciting stuff!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Moses Botkin Monthly Challenge

Water! Water is life. We've had a very hot and dry summer here in Texas. The other day I was out near one of the inlets at Lake Travis and it was completely dry - had grass growing in it in fact. People's docks were dangling off the hillsides. We've had a lot of rain lately, but the lake levels are still very low (~50 feet still.) I've been enjoying these rainy days and welcome them, knowing we're finally putting this brutal summer behind us. But there are good memories to go along with summer, like the sprinkler park I've painted below!

Sprinkler Park
11x6 oil on linen
$150 + s/h

Water Bottle
16x20 oil on canvas
(c) 2009 Suzanne Berry

Cool, Cool Water
8x8 oil on panel
(c) 2009 Vicki Ross

Ocean Waves
18x24 oil on canvas
(c) 2009 Marie Fox

Fish Tale
8x6 oil on hardboard
(c) 2009 Diana Moses Botkin

Half Full
8x8 oil on board
(c) 2009 Michael Naples


10x10 oil on panel

This painting will be available at
Tidewater Gallery next week.

This feels somehow "different" from my usual work. But I like the muted palette and the almost silhouetted man sketching the statue before him. It feels very quiet. I could use some quiet. You have no idea.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Closer Look

12x9 oil on panel

This painting is going to Edward Montgomery Fine Art in Carmel next week.

I wanted to really punch up the lights on this to create a spotlight feel. The woman is in one of the halls in the Met.

I wish I was better at naming paintings... I am sure someone clever could come up with something fun to play off the heads or something. Give me your best shot.

Survey Says?

I have this ongoing debate with myself about how I should set up my website... I have three "galleries" now featuring work for the past three years. But I have reached the max. number of images for 2009 already!
So once again I am considering other ways to separate the work. Makes me wonder what others like to see when browsing and how other artists set up their own online galleries.

Do you like to know details on every piece? Just want an image? Thumbnails or no? Categories? Send me an email or post a comment to share your ideas!

Personal fact: One thing you should know about me is that I can't make decisions, esp. about things that really have no consequence, and have to poll my family and friends frequently for guidance. Use your powers wisely. ;-)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


12x12 oil on canvas

Available at Dutch Art Gallery Oct. 17th - Nov. 30th as part of the Daily Painters of Texas group show.

This is one I am really excited about. Very colorful. I loved the light I caught. Just one of those "ahhh" moments!

Monday, October 05, 2009


11x14 oil on panel

This is a similar scene to one I did that just focused on the resting man. Once again, strange and somewhat eerie lighting and reflections make a neat study.
I was reminded this weekend of another fun thing that people might do while riding mass transit... painting. I have a friend, Kathleen McElwaine, who paints fun little watercolors while riding the bus into Austin everyday. Check out her video on YouTube! We visited with her this weekend and my daughter was most impressed, and came home to begin making her own little watercolors!

Check back for availability on this painting.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Digital Practice

I'm not sure this is very good as far as painting digitally goes, but it was a good exercise in planning for a real painting. In doing this, I try to minimize my colors (out of laziness), so I end up using 5-6 and using them throughout the image. So the picture ends up quite harmonious. Its a good exercise and gets me thinking about approaching work on the easel. Good fun for a rainy Sunday morning.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Night Rider

6x6 oil on panel

Available at Loretta Goodwin Gallery

So I am still interested in studying the lighting and atmosphere of the subways. The people are pretty fascinating too. I love the idea of mass transit and I would def. use it if we had it here in Austin. Traffic is just frustrating, but on a train you can kick back and relax, read, listen to music, and people watch. My favorite pastime!

Mass Transit

18x24 oil on linen

Check back for availability!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

South Street

I decided today to not go to the gym. Best Decision! I've just been running around so much that I am not getting the extended time in my studio that I've craved. I had the best day painting. I haven't had this kind of surge in a couple of weeks so I am really glad I decided to focus on ONE thing for once. PAINTING!

Among some horses, figures in the city and a muse
um patron or two, I worked on these "vignettes" as an exercise. The subject was a rather nicely composed scene of South Street near the Brooklyn Bridge. This photo really lent itself to breaking it up into big blocks of values. This first one I intended to be a vignette, but it turned out rather mundane and typical. I got into too many details and lost focus. Imagine that.

6x8 oil on panel

So I did the scene again in just 4 values using mars black.

6x8 oil on panel

I liked that so well, I thought I'd lighten up and do it in a "high key" and really liked that. It taught me so much about cityscapes. Street scenes are so busy and colorful that it can be hard to avoid details and making a patchwork quilt (see above!) By reducing my values to large masses I was able to leave out all non-essentials and create an impression that conveys the mood of the city without belaboring it with tons of signage and competing facades.

6x8 oil on pa

le image

Note to self: Start looser from the beginning!
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