Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I had the great surprise and pleasure last week, upon cracking open the latest copy of Artist's Magazine, to see a profile on fellow artist (and fellow former San Francisco Bay Area resident) Matt Condron. Great guy, great work – great thing to see him profiled in AM! Yay Matt! Go check out the profile on Matt here, and check out Matt’s website at
Notes of Citrus, oil on canvas, 34" x 24", 2008 by artist Matt Condron.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Square pegs.

I'll have the painting below and four others showing at Square Peg Artery & Salvage here in Philadelphia this coming month. Stop by and show the squirrels some love, whydoncha?
uninvited picnic guests, 2008, 10"x10", oil on printed fabric... by me.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Here's another sketch - this time from this week's Tuesday night drawing session at Mark Bullen's studio here in Philly. I've been enjoying trying to work on toned paper, for some reason I'm finding it to be a real challenge, though.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Just for kicks – or, more accurately, out of curiosity and general art nerdy-ness – I went to a Nelson Shanks portrait painting demonstration last night here in Philadelphia. Though I’ve never been 100% sold on the Shanks methodology, as I'm less inclined toward the high chroma going on in his palette and in his paintings, I'm really quite glad I went to the demo; it was surprisingly affirming, inspiring and informative, all at the same time. This, despite the fact that the evening's portrait subject (local radio personality Michael Smerconish) was of little interest to me – was, in fact, completely unknown to me before this event. Not so for the rest of the audience, evidently – there were plenty of people conversing at an unfortunate volume during the proceedings, which I took to be emanating from those less interested in the painting process than in being in the presence of said Radio Personality. Grrr.

The "live painting demo" concept in general is a strange beast, really, when you think about it; especially when presented for an audience composed predominantly of non-artists, it almost comes off as a peculiar spectacle, a sort of magic show or other novelty. As though the artist is pulling off some kind of entertaining and mildly amusing trick: Watch as the AMAZING art-man turns seemingly random strokes of paint into a recognizable human face!! BEHOLD!!! *gasps from audience* Watch as one deft placement of a paint daub renders the eye liquid-y and three-dimensional!!! *audience bursts into applause.* Even within the vaguely circus-like nature this format lends itself to, however, it definitely was interesting to observe someone else at work making those critical decisions about color, tone, shape, form, value and so forth with which I am so familiar – yet in front of not only a live model but also A LIVE AUDIENCE. No pressure! And, I have to say, the man's got some serious chops, I can't deny him that. Here's a finished version of the portrait sketch:

Nelson Shanks’ portrait sketch of Michael Smerconish

Monday, March 22, 2010

N! Y! C!

A day in NYC!
Had to check out the first phase of the High Line, which is kind of New York's answer to Paris' Promenade plantée:
It's basically just a walking/jogging path and a garden up on the old railroad trestle, but yet interestingly integrated with the buildings surrounding it... we definitely need one of these in Philadelphia.
Hey, I finally figured out what that castle-like edifice in Central Park is all about... it's Belvedere Tower, click this link for more info... here's a view of the park from the tower:
And the tower itself, all towering over Central Park:
So as usual, I eventually found myself at the Met... and I was checking out the Temple of Dendur in the Egyptian section... and whoa, check it out, there's 19th century graffiti on the walls!! Check out "Leondardo" here, leaving his tag back in 1820:
Here's a little sketch I did in the Met's European sculpture section - been meaning to try working on toned paper with charcoal (actually graphite here) and white chalk, thought I'd give it a stab in the Met:
And here are two reasons to miss Raleigh:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Art with Sartre.

I've been working on about forty different things at once of late - including portrait commissions - which is not a particularly efficient way of working, truth be told. Anyway, here's one I feel like I've been working on forever:
Being and bubblegum, work in progress, oil on printed fabric. by me, Diane. Hey.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Art of the Mozartkugeln.

Happy new discovery: I found this great international magazine vendor in West Philly, out at Penn: Avril 50. In addition to having heaps and heaps of harder-to-find international and art magazines in stock, they also have some international snacks: behold, the truly divine Mozartkugeln:
... no one can resist the Mozartkugeln! (Cue Pete Schwedde here)

OK. And now for some art-related content here, which you may think I had forgotten, what with all this swooning over Philadelphia's urban delights and such. Well, here's a complicated one, because it involves potentially shady dealings to acquire yet more urban delights for Philadelphia in the form of a highly valuable art collection: (you still with me? ok.) we saw the film "The Art of the Steal" last Friday night, about the decades-long saga of the Barnes Foundation, its (mis-?)handling over the years since Albert Barnes' passing, and the eventual planned relocation of the collection from wealthy suburb to downtown Philadelphia. The film is a good watch – somewhat biased, of course, but possibly for good reason – and definitely raises some creepy questions about... well, lots of things, really – go see it for yourself.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


More pics of phillythings from our usual Saturday walkabout, including of course an outing to the Piazza's Farmers' Market:

The usual cat at Chic Petique, getting extraordinarily up-close and personal with John's back:
"Cipro" here reeeally likes the Ricky Gervais show, I guess.
Part of the Norris Street mural, a nice attempt at making Fishtown less unattractive:
Sidewalk kitten face! Kitty.
A species native to Fishtown, evidently - and reproducing in the streets at an alarming rate - behold, the omnipresent discarded Arctic Splash container.
A line-up of jean-clad posteriors on Chestnut Street:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Grupo de dibujo.

I'm still on the search for a good drawing group, but I might have found a suitable one – the right combination of location, timing, vibe, so forth. Love the Sunday Open Studio sessions at Studio Incamminati, but Sundays are the time when I tend to get a lot of my own painting done... so I haven't made it back to that session in weeks and weeks. I liked the portrait session at the Philadelphia Sketch Club, but it was during the weekday – having a "day job" kind of rules out that option. Alas. There's one I've been meaning to try at another artist's studio on Saturdays, but I'm always busy during that time, too. So, I found a good drawing group on Tuesday nights at painter Mark Bullen’s studio near Rittenhouse Square – after work but not too late, 2 hours, good model, nice studio, good vibes, good group. Yay! I'll post some drawings from these sessions once I have something show-able...
Visit this link for more information on the Rittenhouse Drawing Group.