Monday, December 8, 2008


I've been feeling a bit bleak, cold, gray, wintery of late - kind of like this:
Finally this overwhelming mood of "meh" is clearing and things are looking more positive. Aiding in this upward spiral was a recent visit to the Dorton Arena for a Carolina Rollergirls match (proper terminology: "bout"). Man, that roller derby is fun stuff. I still don't 100% understand the ins and outs of various fouls and penalties and such, but I figure I'll get there eventually. And if not, oh well - I *still* don't understand the various fouls and rules and details of basketball after 25 or so years, yet I manage to be able to get the general idea and enjoy the game.

Mostly, though, when watching the roller derby, it gives me the urge to find some good old-fashioned skates (NOT roller *blades*, tried that, I'm clearly not meant for rolling along "in-line") and skating around on my own. I'm not remotely brave enough to ever try the derby, though, I've already learned many times over that I am a fragile, prissy person, disinclined toward any activity which might risk - or, in this case, openly court - bodily injury.

I'd prefer to skate around solo... that's just how I roll.

P.S. By the way, this sign is still there, intact, saying the same thing. Maybe they really mean it! Enjoy! Enjoy!

Friday, November 28, 2008


So I'm just about done with the painting I'm putting in the upcoming show at Flanders 311, "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" In case you don't get the reference, it's a riddle in Alice in Wonderland; this is an Alice-themed and -inspired exhibition. Here's the piece I'm putting in the show:
this is how it all begins
oil on printed fabric (toile)
16"x20" me, Diane Feissel

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Saw this sign at a dry cleaner's along Western Boulevard here in Raleigh:
...and I was very glad these guys don't own a hair salon.

If you have any question as to what to be thankful for this holiday, you can start by being grateful that your dry cleaner is not louse-infested.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

More commissionage.

Now that I have my dance moves down straight, I'm ready to post another portrait commission piece I (finally) finished recently. Here's one I sent off to Illinois last week:
d - portrait commission, oil on canvas, 2008, 16"x20", by me, Diane Feissel.
Currently I'm finishing up a painting for the next group show at Flanders 311, which is an Alice in Wonderland-themed show. Wheeee. It will be up in December and January.

And when I'm finished with this painting, I will definitely be doing the cabbage patch. Whoooooyeah.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Something new, every day.

It's true what they say, you really DO learn something new every day! Whether or not that thing you learn is of earth-shattering importance, however, is another matter.

John and I both had a mutual revelation of the earth-shattering variety this past week; we realized we have both misidentified the following dance as the "Mashed Potato" for years and years:

WRONG! That, of course, is the "Cabbage Patch," despite the fact it appears to have nothing to do with cabbages or their patches (or those freaky-looking dolls). I mean, come on! Doesn't that kind of look like what one does when one makes mashed potatoes? Kind of? And yet, this dance is the "Mashed Potato":

So what exactly does this spazzy movement have to do with mashed potatoes? Stomping grapes, maybe.

I'm wandering off to initiate a local chapter of the C.T.M.S.S.D.H.T.R.N. (Committee to Make Sure Stupid Dances Have the Right Names).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Snow day.

Wait - did I mention it snowed this morning? For reals? Here in North Carolina? Before Thanksgiving, even? People in Buffalo and Moscow are laughing at me and my minor snow flurries, but man, after 9 years in California and a current zip code south of the Mason-Dixon line, snow is a BIG DEAL. Here's a video I took out our back bedroom window:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

On a break.

I'm seriously thinking about going on a 6-month-long-ish hiatus with the portrait commission work... it's great and all, but it's been pretty non-stop for the past several years, and I need a little bit of a break. And why not take a break while the economy is tanking and people will probably be less likely to request commissions anyway? Yeah! Anyway, here is a recent one that was kind of fun, though, a little bitty 5"x7" ditty:
portrait commission, 2008, 5"x7", oil on panel, by me, Diane Feissel

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Once again, falling behind on things. Sigh.

I had intended to get some things done downtown yesterday, and participate in this protest, but alas - felled by a headache likely due to crazy low pressure systems causing tornadoes and such across the state, I missed it, and am very bummed out. It also means that I had to go downtown to do some errands and studio re-configuration on a Sunday, which means taking a cab - no damn busses on a Sunday. Thank you Raleigh! So convenient, really.

Despite my Raleigh public transportation-related gripes, last weekend John and I engaged in a full-force effort to re-discover the positive things about Raleigh and the Triangle region generally, as we hung out with friends who are in the middle of transition and possibly looking for a new place in which to settle themselves. John and I hope they will re-settle here, which would definitely make Raleigh more appealing to us!! In the meantime, since we were trying to sell them on the place, we took them to Morning Times. Good ole Morning Times:

In other Raleigh-based news and art-related news, my studiomate and I partially moved ourselves into our new studio at 311 West Martin Street - at least more or less - in time for First Friday this month. (For those of you who are keeping track, YES, it's the third studio I've been in within the same building - 311 West Martin - since last December. What can I say? I crave change.) Here's a glimpse of the stuff I put on the walls, pretty much the same stuff I had up out in San Francisco in mid-October:
311 West Martin Street Galleries and Studios
Happily, one of these recent "fabrication" paintings sold (to a very good home, yay) - one of my favorites, the following:
global warming will bring us together, oil on printed fabric, 2008, 12"x12", by me, Diane Feissel

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Progress, or the lack thereof.

This painting is one I've been working on in between portrait commissions and the "fabrication" series of paintings on fabric... very much in-progress. Needs help. We're getting there.
painting in progress, 2008 (possibly -2009), by me, Diane Feissel.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I'm going to distract myself from the nerve-wrackingness of today, Election Day, and take some time to review some good things from the weekend before last, which I was too lazy to post about at the time.

We got to see (and hear, in fact) Paula Poundstone at the Carolina Theatre in Durham back on the 24th... I even got my book signed, yay!

It's the second time we’ve seen her this year – we also went to see her in Greensboro in January. You can never have too much Paula Poundstone in your year, in my opinion.

Since we had rented a car to get to Durham, we kept it for the rest of the weekend and went to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University to see the "El Greco to Velasquez" show of early 17th century Spanish painters. I have to give Bank of America some props, despite my earlier rant against them, for their sponsorship of this exhibition and therefore for saving me $6 on our admission price when using my BofA card. Whooo! I won’t spend that $6 all in one place, don’t worry.

So anyway, it was a good show, even if there were too many damn people (damn people!!) getting in my way and preventing me from hanging out in front of some of the paintings as long as I would like... such as the Ribera, for example. I was also fond of this one, however – love that still life action, gorgeous!

Unfortunately photos are FORBIDDEN in the Nasher and especially in the special exhibition; but I snuck one in from the front door (and managed not to get busted by any security guards, yesss) of that giant latex head. I love it.
Overall, a decent Durham experience. Thanks, Durham.

P.S. This was on the side of the road on the way into the Nasher. Random hubcap or art installation? You decide:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Man, I'm not good at keeping up with this.

Hey, so I'm back. Why does it take me so long to get back to posting updates on this blog? Damn. Anyway, I meant to post updates on last weekend's trip to Durham for the "El Greco to Velasquez" show at the Nasher Museum... I'll get to that soon, but in the meantime here's a recent painting in the "fabrication" series:
Siamese twins
oil on printed fabric
by me, Diane Feissel

Thursday, October 23, 2008

And yet more tidbits from the San Francisco trip...

So I haven't yet mentioned a cool surprise from the trip to SF... one of the best parts - that is, aside from getting to see my old studiomates, getting to spend some quality time with Sadie and meeting Nowell, seeing my in-laws, catching up with Jennifer, and generally touching base with the ole Bay Area - was accidentally stumbling upon a thoroughly grade A+, awesome, new, little, excellent, fantastic fabric store. Whooo!!! I was planning to sniff around for some more fabric for future installments in the "fabrication" series while I was out on the West Coast... I just didn't expect that I would happen upon the exact perfect place just wandering from my studio over to meet a friend in the Mission. But that's exactly what happened: I was shuffling down 18th Street on Friday afternoon and happened upon Whiz Bang Fabrics, a physically small but amply and carefully stocked repository of awesome fabric product. They had EXACTLY the type of fabric I was looking for - interesting, vibrant prints, primarily 100% cotton. Plus the owner is really nice and her mother and her intern too (yes, I was there 3 different times in my short trip) so I highly recommend you pay them a visit if you are even remotely interested in fabrics and other fabric-related crafts and you plan to be in the SF Bay Area anytime soon. You will be overwhelmed by their awesomeness.

Fortunately, the fabrics I purchased also passed the stringent quality standards maintained by our cats (upheld via extensive sniff tests and vigorous rubbing). Behold:

Above: Libby tests the fabrics for chin supportability. Below: Emmy rubs her entire body against the stack of fabrics, ensuring maximum cat hair dispersion.
I love those guys. And my new fabric.

More Open Studios recap.

So 1890 Bryant Studio #212 is still a groovy place, with groovy people. Here's a view of me with my paintings, which Tessa was kind enough to let me hang in her studio... this particular space used to be mine (the long studio space is divided into 4 semi-separated workspaces and a storage area, currently shared by 4 artists) and I miss it. Sniff.
Though sales were minimal, the reception to this particular series seemed to be relatively positive, although most people seemed to think it was a significant departure from my previous work. For me, of course, I don't see it - maybe because I know that everything I come up with is coming from the same brain, it naturally all makes sense to me. Hmm. Anyway, it left me wishing that I had planned ahead enough to type a little explanation of where this "fabrication" series came from. Its genesis and all that. Naturally lots of credit for the fabric idea goes to Juliette, with whom I did an artistic exchange in the past couple of years; she paints on antique sheets and other linens, though usually those without a pattern. Anyway, that's what gave me the idea initially... I'll elaborate on the full development of the idea soon, when I have more time... in the meantime, let's take a look at what my studiomates are up to - here's Michele King and some of her paintings, and some lilies:
And here's Tessa with her paintings:

As for the stay in SF as a whole, it was great but short - but not so short that I didn't get some quality time with one of my favorite SF residents:

I ♥ Olio.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Open Studios Recap.

Just back from San Francisco, and participating in Open Studios at my old studio... good ole 1890 Bryant Street Studios. Ahh. I'll have more updates when I've recovered from the redeye flight back to the East Coast - but in the meantime, some photos:

Michael, all wistful and melancholy and such.
Michele, Chris and Tessa, all feisty in the studio.
More soon. Zzzzzzzz.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Open Studios San Francisco 2008

Before I forget to mention it, I'm going to be showing work this weekend, October 17-19, 2008, with my former studiomates out in San Francisco. You can find me and the rest of the gang - Chris Leib, Tessa Merrie, Michele King and Michael Schoenig - at 1890 Bryant Street Studios (Bryant at Mariposa, which is between 17th and 18th Streets), Studio #212. If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, I hope you'll stop on by to say "hello" – here are the dates and info:

Open Studios Fall 2008 - 1890 Bryant Street Studios
(Mariposa & Bryant Streets, San Francisco - btw 17th & 18th)

    Come on up to Studio #212 on the following dates:
    Opening Reception: Friday, October 17, 7-10pm
    Saturday and Sunday, October 18-19, 11am-6pm

Here's a pic of the studio from a couple of years ago, when I was still there (sniff):

Monday, October 13, 2008

In a muddle over mediums. (media?)

I'm not sure if other artists go through this, but I find that I occasionally battle with myself back and forth over whether it is better to work with the highest quality painting mediums, paints and supports possible, or if I should be creative enough, improvisational enough, free enough (whatever you want to call it) to just pick up any objects or mediums, supports etc., and be able to create something brilliant out of it. Does anyone know what I mean here? Anyone?

Anyway, when I'm not thinking about those issues, I'm just going ahead and painting, these days on printed fabric:

ladies, your prince has arrived
oil on printed fabric
2008, by me, Diane Feissel

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Okay - this one goes out to Sadie:
some of us crave excitement, oil on printed fabric, 10"x10", 2008, by me, Diane Feissel.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Okay, I finally opened up a "flickr" account, here's the link: So far I'm mostly uploading pics of recent paintings or paintings-in-progress and so forth... here's a sneak preview, below, of a piece from the series on fabric I've been working on:
chewing the scenery, oil on printed fabric, 12"x10", 2008.
I've also uploaded some new paintings from this series on my website, at this link.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dropping in.

Hi, I'm back. Dropped out of sight for a while there, at least according to this blog. What have I been up to? Namely, painting - especially portrait commissions, trying to catch up on that front. Other activities of late include getting mowed down by lousy Raleigh drivers, weaning myself off a bad peanut M&M habit, working on my latest series of paintings (entitled "fabrication" - you can see some examples here), weeping over the sad state of the country, visiting Triangle area farms, reading Judy Blume books in French, and taking plenty of naps with Emmy. Oh, and having twelve thousand headaches from the frequent low-pressure systems here in Raleigh. It's hurricane season, apparently.

Anyhoo, now that it's already time for First Friday in Raleigh for October, here's a painting I had showing for the month of September... and yes, in the future I solemnly vow to be 110% less lazy about posting here.

painting (dammit, I forget the title I gave it), 2008, oil on canvas, 20"x16", by me, Diane Feissel.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Okay. The NYC review.

Ok - I'm trying to take a deep breath and get over it, and move on, and vote with my brain in November. There's not much more to be done, and I will acquire ridiculously high blood pressure if I don't just let it go. Fwooosh.
In the meantime, here are some photos from last weekend's brief time in NYC:
Me and John in the subway: Christopher Street station.
Face on building. East Village.
Evolution in Soho: a store that manages to be cool and creepy and cool and sad and fascinating and terrifying and gross and great and borderline unethical and utterly awesome - all at the same time.
Awesome cat in Bleecker Street Records. Mmmmmm, cat.
Mmmm nice! Bleecker Street Records.
Love the subway tilework. Plus, seeing this always puts the Simon & Garfunkel song in my head. Mmmm.
S.'s awesome hat...
After 9 years in California, NYC looks deliciously old. Mmmmmm, old.
Here's us on the way back to the Philadelphia airport, on SEPTA. Beware "Slippery Rail Season," by the way. Beware!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Unpleasant intermission.

I had intended to continue a photo recap of our vacation... but the hideousness of the RNC got in the way. I have been rendered cranky beyond my own belief. Two things that haven't helped this crankiness situation:

1. I was nearly run over by a crappy Raleigh driver on the way home.

2. Some certain cat peed on my side of the bed today.

Repeat: I am cranky beyond my own belief. I will return to make another post when my mood improves. Stay tuned.

P.S. And Hanna will probably hurricane all over First Friday tomorrow night. *%#@!!!#

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Trip on the Day of Labor.

Okay, we're back from a tragically brief, whirlwind-y trip up to Philadelphia/NYC. If you live in the area and we didn't get to look you up, our apologies - it was a quick and ill-planned venture... and we'll catch you the next time around.

Here's some photo recap on the Philadelphia leg of the journey:

chez P., with G., E. and L., qui bouge beaucoup...

On Walnut Street: the old and the new, mingling.

In Society Hill, the historic area: perhafs you would like fome molaffes?

Would a trip to Philly be complete without a photo of Rocky? Probably not. Yo.

Would a trip to Philly be complete without a visit to La Colombe? Probably. Sorry y'all - it's pretty, but their hot chocolate is sub-par. Meh.

Would a trip to Philly be complete without a visit to see wee Milo? Decidedly not.

Last but not least: the front gate at the Barnes Foundation - pretty much the only place you can photograph anything as they practically confiscate all belongings upon entry to the grounds. They're... a tad protective of their collection, it would be fair to say.

More soon from NYC... stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

All things political.

So - despite my raging cynicism, I think I was actually wooed by Michelle Obama's speech last night. Truly wooed. Moved. I was listening to it on NPR so it wasn't even that I was mesmerized by her beauty or anything... the words, they swayed me.

I can't decide if her ridiculously cute kids and the exchange with their father was overkill, though. Hmm.

In other political notes, please inform anyone and everyone you may know in Utah that my sister, the lovely and talented Katherine Lofft, is running as a Democrat for her district's (53) seat in the Utah state legislature. Here's her campaign website: Vote Lofft! (

Monday, August 25, 2008

Still hunkered.

I'm camped out most of the time in front of paintings these days, so not a lot to report... though I was wishing I had my camera with me while I was doing some errands around Raleigh on Saturday. Things were lookin' good - cool mural by the Amtrak station, passed through a nice park - Edna Metz Wells park, I believe - near Cameron Village. Anyway, more photos soon, especially after we go away for Labor Day weekend (yesssss!!!!) In the meantime, here's a painting that's on my most recent postcard:
and now it is time to party, oil on printed fabric, 10"x10", by Diane Feissel

Friday, August 22, 2008

Beaucoup de travail.

Long time no post... I've been hunkered down in front of the easel with some portrait projects, and trying to slip in some other work on the side. Like painting polar bears.

Here's a portrait from back in early 2007, which I still need to post on the "commissions" part of my webpage. One of these days, man. I'll get there.

oil on canvas, 2007, Diane Feissel