drawing on the balcony in Corsica


I moved from New York City to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1991 to be closer to the natural world. At the same time, my dance background attracted me to painting the figure, originally in watercolor, soon I switching to oils. This medium introduced me to the transparency, luscious color and sensuous feel I wanted. I use the technique of glazing thin layers of paint to capture the vibrancy of breath and movement.

Living in the Bay Area exposed me to breathtaking array of atmospheric effects, which have inspired me to explore using paint in a different way than how I approached the figure. I’ve been myopic since childhood. The vagueness of shapes that loom in and out of focus has always intrigued me. When this doesn’t feel threatening, an outer world out of focus can create a private inner world of clarity. I continually find, and tease out meaning from, what at first glance appears arbitrary. One could describe my process as the reverse of abstraction.

I recently moved to France. As a non-native, I find myself in a position of contemplation as I move around outside unfamiliar places. Gazing out airplane and train windows reinforces my position as an outsider: Brief moments of beauty expose themselves to me and then are gone.

I use wet-in-wet and layering techniques on gessoed and sometimes grounded wood, and rely on color as a compositional tool.

Something happened to my identity when my parents moved to Marseille when I was 16. My 10 months there transformed me: my roots were American but grafted onto them was a French version of myself. After 41 years in the States, I’m back in Provence to cultiver mon jardin. Currently, I live in Aix en Provence, France, where I am painting full-time. 


J’ai quitté New York pour San Francisco en 1991 pour me rapprocher de la nature. C’est là que j’ai commencé à peindre. Ma formation en danse me conduisait à la peinture du nu. J’ai commencé avec l’aquarelle puis je suis passé à l’huile, technique qui m’a donné accès comme l’aquarelle à la transparence, mais en même temps à des couleurs somptueuses et sensuelles. Je superpose de fines couches de peinture transparentes pour capturer souffle et mouvement en vibration.

Je suis myope depuis l’enfance. L’imprécision de ces formes qui passent dans, puis soudainement hors de mon champ de vision, l’alternance de clarté puis de flou, m’ont toujours intriguée. Lorsque ce n’est pas menaçant, la brume du monde extérieur ouvre sur une clarté interieure. En Californie du Nord, tous les jours j’assistais au spectacle d’une brume qui enveloppe tout, apparaît, disparaît, voile et dévoile le paysage. Cela m’a amenée au désir de peindre autrement et à abandonner le nu. La peinture de paysage à première vue semble arbitraire mais pour moi c’est pendant le processus de création qu’apparaît sur la toile un motif, un sens. On peut décrire mon processus comme l’inverse de l’abstraction.

J’ai récemment emménagé en France. Étrangère, je me trouve dans une position de détachement. Toute est à regarder, par exemple lorsque je voyage, que je contemple le paysage par les fenêtres d’un train c’est comme si de brefs moments de beauté s’exposaient à moi, puis s’en allaient.

Je travaille en glacis sur bois préparé avec du gesso, et j’utilise la couleur comme un outil de composition.


  • Deborah Klesenski

    Diana – you are as beautiful and talented as ever! I came across your name in my address book today and thought I’d take a look at your new website. Your work is stunning. Hello from New York City, Deborah

    • admin

      Hi there Debbie!! So good of you to check in. I’d love to catch up with how you are doing. Living in France now and full-time art, dance and music. All the best

  • Cathie Mccormick

    I have heard much praise about you and your work for years and am delighted to find you here. Your work is incredible.. but I am not surprised. Only wish I could get to actually see it!
    Trust you are well; you certainly have been through a lot in the first few years.

    • admin

      Hi there Cathie! Thanks for looking at my site and thanks for the kind words! All the best!

  • Helen

    Hi Diane,
    My name is Helen, from the US. Just discovered your wonderful site and I have been reading your writing and admiring your drawings/paintings. I saw that you attended Tarbes en Tango. A friend and I plan to go there this August. This is my first trip going to a Tango festival in France. Do you know of a budget AirBnB within walking distance of the event in Tarbes? I appreciate very much for any tips you can give.

    • Diana

      Hi there Helen,
      Thanks for contacting me. Sad to say, I have had to abandon tango, at least for a while, for foot problems. So I am not up to date on AirBnBs in Tarbes
      Have fun!

Success, your comment is awaiting moderation.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.