Thursday, May 26, 2011


Ladies and gentlemen, I think I may have witnessed the most impressive gathering in one single location of the artwork of more living, talented representational artists than I have seen in a heck of a long time. Though it is on view only very briefly (May 17-28), if you’re near NYC you have this great opportunity to view the inaugural exhibition of the American artists who were invited to exhibit as a part of ACOPAL (America China Oil Painting Artists League) at the National Arts Club, plus the work of the three winners of an international painting competition held by this newly-formed organization. It was definitely an extravaganza of awesomeness… it’s difficult to even start mentioning the names of participants whose work was included, because I know I’ll leave out someone else’s work which was equally amazing. I’ll still highlight a few things, though - including the following, one of my favorite pieces in the show:

Portrait of the Artist's Wife, by Joshua LaRock

Also: there were paintings by Daniel Sprick and Michael Grimaldi, both amazing artists – and YAY, I will be taking workshops with both gentlemen this coming summer. Yipeee!! Speaking of workshops, one of the 3 winners in the ACOPAL competition was the fabulous Michelle Tully of Studio Escalier, where I was fortunate to study for month-long stints in 2007 and 2008. She’s an amazing painter and an amazing teacher, and a truly great person – I was so happy to see her painting get some props, and to see how great it looked in person! Even though online images don’t completely do justice to the original, I will still post it, below:

Also: A shout-out to my former home state of North Carolina, home to the dynamic duo of Scott Burdick and Sue Lyon, who were represented in the show! Here’s an image of Sue’s painting:

Painting by Susan Lyon

Also: A shout-out to my current home state of Pennsylvania, and the amazing Anthony Waichulis of Ani Art Academy. Here I am with Anthony and his painting, with a look of “OMG AMAZING PAINTING RIGHT HERE” on my face. He’s a super-great guy with crazy-amazing painting skills:

In short: ACOPAL! = GREAT!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


A couple of paintings of mine were not accepted (in other words: rejected!) for an upcoming portrait and figurative show (insert sad face here)... so I guess I'll just exhibit them here! Sigh. One of them is a painting I posted in an earlier draft-y form in this post; I worked on it some more since then, and here it is:

leaving California (1), oil on linen, 12"x9", 2011 by me, Diane Feissel

The second is a painting of one of my favorite people to paint, fellow painter and friend Juliette Lemontey:

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

Alas, you can't win them all. But you can keep painting! Painting until your hand falls off... or until you finish the 8,000 paintings you have in progress (I may be speaking for myself here).

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Last Friday evening a friend and I went to check out the Annual Student Exhibition (or "ASE") at the venerable Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (or "PAFA") right here in Philadelphia. This event constitutes a Big Deal here in our fair city of brotherly love, as this represents the work of the best and brightest products of the institution known far and wide as this nation's oldest fine art museum and school. Pomp! Publicity! Prizes! And, hopefullly most importantly, Art.

While there was a great amount of work on display, from not only the 3rd and 4th year certificate program and BFA students but also the MFA student body - therefore making for an interesting but slightly overwhelming viewing session - I have selected out a few of the pieces which grabbed me upon first viewing to mention here. First off was Alabama native Christina Weaver, whose wall of work centered on paintings and charcoal drawings of bridal gowns. While bridal gowns wouldn't normally strike me as a compelling subject, the artist's superior painting and drawing skills, paint handling, use of composition all conbined with spooky atmospheric effect of the works made her wall immediately eye-catching. Here's one of the paintings:

Brides and Accessories, 49"x35", oil on canvas, by Christina Weaver

Another series of pieces which stood out for me were a series of eye paintings (how curious that I would be drawn to eye paintings, ha) by artist Mark B. Goodson. The idea behind the paintings is that they are "The Critical Eye of PAFA," in other words, close-ups of the eyes of all of the faculty critics in the MFA program. See them all at this link on Mark B. Goodson's website or see this one below as an example:

The Critical eye of PAFA 2010 - a series of 12 paintings
(this one above is of Tom Csaszar)
2010, oil on canvas, each panel (as above) 6"x 12"

The last series of pieces which struck me as memorable were graphite drawings on illustration board by Karen David, an MFA student for whom I can unfortunately find no website (so I'll have to post my crappy photos from my crappy camera). They were delicately rendered and utterly disturbing in a kind of 1920s Dada-ist vein, but wonderfully so - here are photos of her work taken by me, a terrible photographer with a terrible camera:

Drawings by artist Karen David

There was, of course, much more to the show... this guy's work, and this guy, for example, etc. etc., but, as I mentioned, so much work quickly became visual overload. And I don't want to have blog post overload either! So that's all I'm posting. If you're in the Philadelphia area, go check out the show yourself, it's up until June 8th. Check out

Time to go get some painting of my own done, people! Peace out.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mission: acquisition!

Much as I had done in this previous post, I wanted to take a moment to gush about yet more recent art acquisitions in the (very lucky) Feissel household! Yay! The week before last John and I acquired two pieces from two of the artists from the Charleston, South Carolina “Women Painting Women” expedition last November – one is a sketch done of me during that trip by Linda Tracey Brandon, an Arizona-based painter:

Me, all happy with Linda's sketch

…the other is a painting also done on that trip by Alabama painter Terry Strickland, of the beach behind our rented house on Sullivan’s Island:

Painting of beach at Sullivan's Island by Terry Strickland

 It’s so great to have these pieces by these amazing artists, and to have the memories of that great week in SC!!! Booyeah!!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dacia Gallery opening! A brief review in pictures.

Hey there, so I mentioned in this previous blog post that I was going to have some paintings in a group landscape show in NYC this month. John and I toddled up to the opening reception this past Saturday, and it was great - lots of things happening on the lower east side this weekend in particular and these days in general - lots and lots of galleries, restaurants, and generally cool places to hang out. John and I tried this tea place/eatery called "Teany" and we highly recommend it, if you ever find yourself in the neighborhood (checking out my work in Dacia Gallery, of course. Haha.) Anyway, here are a couple of photos from the show...

Dacia Gallery owner Lee Vasu addressing the gallery visitors

Dacia Gallery! Check it out.

Some critics discuss my painting of Alex in the Irish landscape (critics = friend and fellow Philadelphia painter David Campbell Wilson, and John)

Check out the show if you have a chance! It's up through May 28.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Drawing group.

Lately I've been going to this really awesome drawing group here in Philly at the studio of painter/sculptor Angela Cunningham. Here's a sketch from last week's session - I'm trying to decide whether I will try to do a painting of this same pose over the next 3 weeks of this pose... hmmm.

sketch of model, 4 hours, charcoal and white chalk on toned paper


I'm about ready to turn in the brushes for the night, but first, let me post a couple of quick pics from the Portrait Society of America conference from last weekend in Atlanta, Georgia. Good times! Good people! Great sessions with some great artists. All around a great event, I'm glad I joined the Society and happy to have attended the conference and met some wonderful people. Next year the conference will be held right here in my own backyard (so to speak), in Philadelphia, PA. Hurray!

More painters! L-R: Alexandra Tyng, Terry Strickland, me.

Yet more painters! L-R, back row first: Sadie Valeri, me, Terry Strickland, Alia El-Bermani, Cindy Procious

Painting by Tony Ryder from the "Face Off" portrait painting competition

My favorite piece from Atlanta's High Museum, the last painting by artist Joseph De Camp.

(this photo courtesy of Anne Nelson Sweat).

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dacia, dahhling.

I have a ton of things I want to blog about – including last weekend’s Portrait Society of America conference in Atlanta, GA - but first I want to mention that I will have three paintings in a landscape show at Dacia Gallery in NYC this month. The opening reception is this coming Saturday, May 7 from 6-10pm; if you are in Manhattan, please stop by and say hello!

Here’s one of the paintings which will be in the show:

the high road, oil on panel, 16”x20’, by me, Diane Feissel.