Sunday, December 11, 2011

Art viewing, paintings brewing.

A couple of extremely brief trips up to NYC of late have rewarded with some excellent painting-viewing – though, of course, there’s a lot going on up there right now, and I didn’t even get around to half of it. A couple of weeks ago I caught the opening for Julio Reyes’ show at Arcadia Fine Arts. It was a fantastic show – his work is really quite amazing. Also, I had the pleasure of finally meeting in person Candice Bohannon Reyes (married to Julio), whose own paintings knocked my socks off at the Women Painting Women exhibition last November in Charleston, SC. Two very talented and hard-working painters, check out their work ASAP.

Dominion, 2010, oil on panel, 36" x 69", by Julio Reyes

I also finally got up to see the most recent show of friend and fellow Philly painter Alex Kanevsky, whose show at J. Cacciola was having a second opening reception, thanks to a mid-exhibition relocation on the part of the gallery. The space is great, and the work even better – check it out, it’s up through the end of December.

J.F.H. with Pigs, 2011, 5”x16”, oil on board, by Alex Kanevsky

 And as for me, I’m hunkered down here in the studio with my Liquin and my winter hat… finishing up commissions, and taking absolutely forever to work through some other painting projects. I do feel like it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted much of anything, though, so let me post a little sneak preview of a painting I’ve started of fellow Philadelphia artist Steve Layne, sculptor extraordinaire. This is a detail of a larger (18”x24”) piece I’m working on – stay tuned, folks. More Steve ahead:

Detail of an in-progress painting of sculptor Steve Layne

More soon!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Still here. Chuggin' along.

Hey there! You'd never know it from the lack of posts here, but yes, I have been busy and doing stuff lately - pardon the long blogging absence. This year is flying past us all with a big WHOOOOOSH, here it is already December of 2011 and all WHOAH. Crazy! Time's a-flyin'. I've been busy here in Philadelphia, painting and looking at art and giving thanks and cat herding and whatever else. I'll have some updates soon on exciting shows for 2012 and such - including some sneak previews of paintings - but for the moment, let me leave you with a quick little eye sketch I did a couple of weeks ago of my friend Alia:

eyeball sketch - 6"x6", I think?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Just wanted to let you know, dear Internet, that I have some pieces showing up in New York state at the Arnot Art Museum, as part of their 73rd Regional Juried Exhibition - and one of them even won a prize! Yipeeee!! Here are the two pieces which will be hanging in the show until the beginning of February 2012:

 leaving California (2), oil on linen, 12"x9", 2011 by me, Diane Feissel

the uncertain silence, oil on linen, 12"x9", by me, Diane Feissel

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Currier post.

John and I made an extremely pleasant day trip up to Manchester, NH this past Wednesday to visit some family; while there, we checked out the Currier Art Museum. It's a pretty small little collection, but a nice one - here's the photo recap of some of the highlights from the museum:
Did you know that Alma-Tadema's second wife was also a painter? I didn't. Live and learn! This is a painting by Laura Alma-Tadema, "A Knock at the Door":

 I have recently become aware of Joseph DeCamp, and I realize that I love his work. This one above is "Carnation and Black"
 Robert Henri, always a delight.

 A somewhat unusual-seeming (to me, at least) Edward Hopper painting - entitled "The Bootleggers." Shady stuff going on here.

 My father with a painting by William Merritt Chase.

 I've only ever seen one other painting by Lilla Cabot Perry at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, in DC... it was nice to see another. This one is called "The Black Hat," though maybe it should be called "The Surreptitious Middle Finger," given the funny position of the subject's right hand... 
 Raeburn! I love me some Sir Henry... let's hear it for the Scot.
 Rothko! I lked this one less that most Rothko paintings I've seen, but it was still nice to see, nonetheless.

 Sargent! Jackpot. From the description, it sounds as though this was the last portrait Sargent completed before his death.

 A close-up of that groovy Sargent painting, of "Grace Elvina, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston" (that's quite a title, no?)

 Another close-up of that groovy Sargent painting, of "Grace Elvina, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston"

 A painting by Philadelphian John F. Francis, entitled "A Squirrel Eating a Nut." SQUIRREL!

 Edmund Charles Tarbell - "Mercie Cutting Flowers"

 Edmund Charles Tarbell - "Summer Breeze." I challenge you to not get that Seals & Crofts song stuck in your head.
WYETH!!! Boooyeah. Andrew, that is. Beautiful. Haunting.

Friday, October 28, 2011

It’s not late, it’s Early.

Fun things of late: been doing a bit of modeling at Studio Incamminati, where there are a good number of super-talented painters roaming around, between the students and instructors. Here’s a painting done by Stephen Early, one of the Studio Incamminati instructors:

Painting by Stephen Early

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Go West.

Just back from a great little trip to the West Coast – in San Francisco, to be more specific – hanging out at the studio of fellow artist (and fellow Women Painting Women blogger) Sadie Valeri. Sadie invited a guest artist to hold a workshop at her studio; that artist was Timothy Jahn, who also made the trek across the country to San Francisco to give this workshop - in his case, from New Jersey. Tim studied with Anthony Waichulis at his studio and will soon be heading up the Anguilla location of Waichulis’ Ani Art Academy. Here is my favorite painting of Tim’s, though he has many, many other amazing paintings and drawings at his website here:

The Transported Man, 11"x14", oil on panel by Timothy Jahn
Here are some photos from the painting demo the night of October 13th and the workshop itself on Friday, October 14th:
 Tim setting up for the demo, with Sadie's dog Ripley helping out.

 Tim explaining his painting methods in the still life demo.

 Tim's painting demo of a still life.

Attendees at Tim's demo in Sadie's studio.

An in-progress shot of Tim's still life demo.

 Tim's examples of the exercises we learned in the Friday workshop, all part of the methods of the Ani Art Academy Waichulis.

Tim Jahn, Sadie Valeri, and Anthony Waichulis, who was also in town for the weekend...

While out west, I got to see the Trompe L’oeil show at John Pence Gallery in downtown San Francisco, with work by many wonderful artists, including Anthony Waichulis and some artists who have studied with him. Check out more info on the show here:
 Four paintings by Anthony Waichulis.

Painting by Adam Vinson.

 Painting by Carl Dobsky.

Paintings by Zack Zdrale.

Painting by Helen Crispino.

It was a great workshop, a greta show at Pence, and it was great finally seeing Sadie’s beautiful studio, (link is here: and to have a wee bit of leisure/ painting time back in San Francisco. I lived there for nine wonderful years, but it’s been a while since I’ve been back to visit. Here’s a little photographic recap:
 The stairway leading to the apartment building in Russian Hill, where John and I lived in the early 2000s. We were living here when we got married, and when we met our beloved cat Huey. Good memories associated with this place! Yep.

 Possibly rabid raccoon - fortunately taxidermied and therefore harmless - at Loved to Death on Haight Street.

 Sadie's crazy cute little dog, Ripley.

 Tim Jahn channels The Fly at Will Wilson's studio

 One of two decidedly sub-par little paint sketches I did on the streets of San Francisco - this one is on board, about 4"x4"

 Me with that wonderful ole San Francisco Bay. Ah, the Bay.

 You know you're in California when the trees start looking like this.

 The Curious Sofa, anyone?

Some of Sadie's amazing work, on the wall of her studio.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

En plein air.

The weather here in Philly has been wonderfully, gorgeously, truly beautifully amazing lately… so where better to paint and draw than outside in this beautiful weather, right? Right ON!

I've been obsessed with this one tree on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, not far from the lovely Fisher Fine Arts library. It's a fantastic tree, really, very shapely, really, for lack of a better word. Here are a couple of sketches I've done of this tree - a painting will have to come soon:

There's this beautiful church here in Fishtown, on Girard Avenue - it's a Presbyterian church, I believe, but it has the most unusual dome atop the church, with a very distinctive shape which can be seen from a great distance away. It's lovely, and I've begun trying to capture it:

In addition to these sketches I’ve done on my own, I also participated in the first of this year’s painting sessions to benefit the Camphill Special School (see my blog post on the 2010 show here). A group of artists is invited out to paint on the grounds of the school and the school’s working farm out in Phoenixville, PA, with the end result being a show of the painter’s work, with proceeds benefitting the School. It was a great day, with a ton of artists including Joe Sweeney, Richard Ranck, Alex Tyng, Alyce Grunt, Kerry Dunn, Patrick King, Garth Herrick, Charles Newman, David Lee and many others whose names I did not catch (oops). Here are some of the painting sketches I came up with from the day; I’m hoping to go back for more painting later in the year: