Thursday, April 30, 2009

From the other side.

So here's an item coming from the other end of the real estate spectrum, far away from my previous post about the wee, humble condo John and I are selling here in Raleigh... my awesome sister and her awesome husband (and their awesome dogs) are selling their awesome home in Park City, Utah. It's a beauty (did I mention it's awesome?) – check it out here! Pic below is the exterior in winter.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The King.

Before I forget to mention it, allow me to announce here that I will have work showing at Artspace in downtown Raleigh from May 1-30, 2009. The works on exhibit are some paintings in the series entitled "Fabrication", paintings in oil paint on printed fabric.

The opening reception is on this Friday night, May 1, from 6-10pm; if you're in Raleigh, please stop by! The painting below is a new one in the series, which will be on display at the exhibition - the fabric I used came from French Connections:

it's tiring being the king, 2009, oil on printed fabric, 10"x10", by me, Diane Feissel

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Des pieds.

The view from my side of the bed, late Saturday night:
Libby to the left, John to the right. That's one relaxed cat.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Chez Feissel, à vendre.

Anybody want to buy a comfy, wonderful 2-bedroom, 1.5 bath condo in Raleigh, North Carolina? We're trying to sell it before we move back to California, click here for details.
The front of our condo building. Click on this link for more photos and detail.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Glass fully half-empty.

Things that have been good of late:
1. Carolina Rollergirls bout on 4/11/09. Yes, their butts were whupped by both the Philly Rollergirls and the Austin, TX team, but Ladies, you are still winners in my book. Go Carolina Rollergirls! Woot!

2. Neko Case at Memorial Auditorium on 4/7/09. Neko, you are perfect and I love you. And man, whatta voice. Sigh.

3. Thanks to the awesomeness and generosity of my former studiomate Shaun, who gave me a groovy book on artists' materials and techniques (yes, I'm woefully ignorant about these things, it's true), I have learned how to marouflage – very simply, how to glue fabric to (wood or other) panel for painting support purposes. So far, my trial samples seem to be working out well, once I have some time to actually finish priming them and such, then *maybe* I will actually find the time to paint on them as well. Whooyeah!

Little marouflaged panels, which I shall one day paint upon. Fabric comes from French Connections in Pittsboro, North Carolina, an awesome place with awesome fabric (among other things).

Things that have been not-so-good of late:
1. Raleigh drivers, who are surely going to kill both John and I as we walk to work one of these days. Good God. If this blog goes un-updated for an extended period of time, please know that it is because I have been mowed down mercilessly by a clueless driver all hopped up on Bojangle's fried chicken. Until people learn to look both ways before peeling out into traffic or around a corner or anywhere, really, we the pedestrians of Raleigh are doomed.

2. Our refrigerator, which died an extremely untimely death. We currently appear to be living under the rule of Murphy's law when it comes to all things home-related, probably because we are trying to sell our place and move back to California. This, I understand, is the time when everything will go wrong and be costly and painful. Let the seller beware, or something...? Caveat venditor, baby.

3. The most recent Depeche Mode album ("Sounds of the Universe"). Now, to be fair, I need to give it another listen... if I can stand it. Man, is this a lousy album. Yipes. I think they were trying a *wee* bit too hard, and they ended up kind of tripping over themselves. Alas. Though I must admit the video for the song "Wrong" is good, in a deliciously disturbing sort of way. See it for yourself here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Side note: Will I ever finish this painting? Hmm....
tentatively entitled isolation, 2008-2009, oil on canvas. By me, Diane Feissel.
The verdict? Someday. Probably.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Okay. It wouldn't be a complete dianefeissel post if I didn't air a gripe, so let's just start with that and get it out of the way, shall we? Good. Here goes:

TTA SUCKS. Good Lord, do they suck. The last straw? It came today, in the form of this: NO BUSES ON GOOD FRIDAY. ??????? Since when is Good Friday a no-bus day? Sigh.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming: ARTTALK! Before I got distracted by and enchanted with Raleigh's First Friday, I had meant to post info on my visit to Seattle's Frye Museum, which was wee yet lovely. The particular exhibition which wooed me thither was entitled The Munich Secession and America, which highlighted work both from the Museum's permanent collection and from museums in Germany. I would like to share with you some images from the show (with all due respect and credits and props and such to the museums which own the works)... sadly, some of my favorites - of COURSE - are not find-able online, nor anywhere, it would seem. I'm still debating on whether I want the catalogue, as it seems to be the only place to locate some of these images. Grr.

Some of the work, though - especially that of Frank von Stuck - was already familiar to me, as I spent 4 months in Munich as an au pair back in 1996 (i.e., in the last century, last millennium, even. I know, I'm OLD). During that time I made it to the Villa Stuck (conveniently located in the same neighborhood as the home of the family for whom I was working) as well as the Lenbachhaus, a museum based around the work and art collection of 19th/20th century painter Franz von Lenbach. The Villa Stuck is the elaborately decorated home of artist and Munich Secession leader Franz von Stuck, whose most famous work may be the following:

Die Sünde (Sin), Franz von Stuck, 1893. He made the frame, too.

... the Lenbachhaus, despite having plenty of work by Franz von Lenbach himself and his contemporaries, is possibly best-known for its collection of paintings by a later group of Munich-based artists known as the "Blue Rider" (or "Der Blaue Reiter", if you're down with the German). The most famous of these artists – at least in the States, I would imagine – is probably Wassily Kandinsky. If you know me well, you will likely know that Kandinsky is not particularly my cup of tea. So, back in 1996, I actually had gone to the Lenbachhaus in search of works by Lenbach's contemporaries, including the circle of Wilhelm Leibl and Carl Schuch and such... alas, at the time that I went, the particular room ordinarily housing their works was under repair. Scheiße!

In questioning the elderly museum guard nearby regarding this situation I managed to get myself entangled in a peculiar yet oddly moving quasi-relationship with said guard throughout the remainder of my visit through the museum. I was never able to fully determine the exact nature of his peculiar attachment to me – our interaction was entirely in German and therefore some of what he was saying was lost to me – however, I did gather from things he said that in his distant past he had a great love for the U.S. and some prior close connection with an American... my gut tells me it was a onetime Ladyfriend, and that I unwittingly tapped into some great lost joy (and sorrow?) of this man's life. In any event, what this meant for me was that every once in a while he would catch up to wherever I was in my meanderings throughout the museum's galleries and he would initiate some manner of chat about the art in the museum. It was actually really very cute and refreshing, the enthusiasm this guard had for the art which he guarded all day long. In particular I remember his fascination with the following painting by Blaue Reiter painter Gabriele Münter:

Whoops, I'm not sure about the title or date, I just know it was done by Gabriele Münter sometime in the early 20th century...

Herr Guard was awestruck by how the subject's face could be "painted completely green, but it just works." Again, the Blue Rider crowd is generally not 100% my taste, but I had to agree with him... it is pretty cool to think about, the manipulation of pigment and paint to interact and play with the eye's capacity to perceive. Painting? It's a glorious thing.

Anyway, at the end of that visit to the Lenbachhaus back in 1996, I was snooping around in the gift shop when I caught sight of my security guard, this time in a group of his colleagues. When he saw me, he waved enthusiastically, and then... began to weep. It was sad, and ever so slightly disturbing. Again: not sure if he was just extremely emotional about something, or perhaps a tad crazy. I'll never know.

In summation: the show in Seattle at the Frye was equally moving, yet with fewer tears.
For more info on the Frye exhibition and to answer the question "what the heck is the Munich Secession, anyway?" see the museum’s website at the following link:

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Raleigh! Art! Yessss!!

Last night – First Friday here in Raleigh - was singularly pleasant: good art, good people, and good weather (finally! Jeez.) Despite my gripings about lousy bus service and the overall suburbanity (is this a word?) of Raleigh, some days it definitely comes through with Quality Stuff, artwise and otherwise. I stopped into Morning Times to catch the current show, featuring works by artists involved in the Bain Project. I was asking myself, "who is this Luke Miller Buchanan kid whose work I've seen all over lately and why haven't I seen it sooner? Because it's awesome." (In doing a little bit of research, I've found that he's part of the Bonded Llama posse, good stuff).
This painting by Luke Miller Buchanan

Next stop was Artspace; but first, a stop into Sosta Café, which I hadn't expected to be open so late – but they were showing some art, and therefore participating in First Friday. A funny discovery was made, which may speak to the smallness of Raleigh – it turns out that one of the two owners of Sosta is married to my dentist (Rebecca Schmorr). It was a nice discovery to make though, given that I love Sosta, and I love this dentist. A winning combination.

As for Artspace, good stuff going on there... loved the "Recreation" show currently in the upfront gallery by the awesome artists (and forces behind Visual Art Exchange) Sarah Powers and Rachel Herrick. I also stopped in at the studio of current Regional Emerging Artist in Residence (R.E.A.R., yes, this makes for an odd acronym) Megan Sullivan, who makes clever, whimsical and overall excellent fabric/thread-based art, an interesting combo teetering between 2-D and 3-D. Groovy stuff. Then I stopped by the studio of the awesome photographer Alison Overton, whose work grabbed me from the very first time I ever set foot in Artspace in 2007. Gorgeous, eerie work – we have one of her prints of an abandoned house, and I absolutely love it.

This photo by Alison Overton - title is Bending not Breaking, medium is transparent oil paint on silver gelatin print, image size 10" x 10", framed size 20" x 16, image is from 2008

After that I took a trip over to 311 West Martin Street to see the current show at Flanders 311 and in the 311 hallway, and to visit with the folks there. You may recall, this is where I’ve had my studio since December 2007, most recently sharing space with Shaun Richards. However, I've decided that I won’t be keeping a separate studio any more, for the time being... I do all of my painting in my home studio at this point, anyway. It's kind of sad, though, because I miss the people over there – Julie Niskanen, Susan Martin, Judy Jones, Shaun of course, Kim and Dan Chapin, Kristianne Ripple, all good people and groovy artists. I'll miss them (sniff!) In fact, another funny thing - in visiting Artspace, I checked out the current "New Works" exhibition, juried by Trevor Schoonmaker of the Nasher Museum over at Duke... and it's funny, because I realize that, out of the artists selected for the exhibit, 4 of them are from the ole 311: myself, Shaun, Judy and Susan. And, funnily enough, out of the 4 awards given by the juror, 3 were given to 311 peeps!! (Shaun got "Best in Show", Susan got third place, and I got an honorable mention). Whooo for the 311!!!! I'm so bummed that I'm not going to be there anymore... sigh.

One last thing, because this post isn't *quite* long enough – M Street Gallery, located within 311 but sadly closing at the end of this month, had a great show of work by Jenny Eggleston: surreal and meticulous nature studies rendered in graphite. Good stuff. Again, I should have taken note of her work sooner. And so should you!!

this drawing by Raleigh artist Jenny Eggleston.

In summation: Raleigh has some darn good people, and some darn good art. Yeahhhh!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Paddle around Seattle.

Okay! We're back. Seattle was great – what a cute, cute city that is. Actually, "cute" is hardly an apt descriptor, considering the city center is, in fact, much denser, larger and more cosmopolitan than I was expecting. Overall it's a really pleasant place... though of course I can't speak for the experience of people who have to live there gray, drizzly day after gray, drizzly day... something tells me that probably gets old FAST. As for myself, I would have a sinus headache 24/7 what with all the low-pressure systems hanging around.
I hear summers are lovely, though!

Here are some photos:

Seattle Public Library. Wacky!!
Guess what? They like coffee here. Did you know?
Groovy ironwork down at Pioneer Square.
You know what? I already posted a lot of my photos on Facebook, can I just direct you there? Thanks. Click here to access the album. More info tomorrow on the Frye Museum...