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Diane Paoletti, Artist of the Week

Diane Paoletti exhibited her work as an Artist of the Week on May 29, 2020.

Diane is a self taught artist that learned by studying the techniques and methods of the European Old Masters. A love of the arts and a desire to expand her skills propelled her to attend as many workshops and opportunities that she was able. For the past 8 years Diane has taught oil painting in her studio, Paoletti Studio of Art. She believes it is her privilege to teach the means of making art, not the ends; hoping to give her students the skills they need to express their own creative ideas. Diane specializes in oil painting. Painting in her private studio and also outdoors, her work can be described as contemporary realism.

Gallery

Interview

Interview Transcript

Emily Longbrake
Thank you for joining us today: I’m here with the beautiful Diane Paoletti, and she’s going to tell us a little bit about her work at the Palmer Museum of History and Art. Could you tell us about the artwork that will be on display this week?

Diane Paoletti
Sure. I have some paintings down there. I believe I have. It’s mostly oils, but some a few acrylics, and a couple landscapes and portrait and some chickens.

Emily Longbrake
Excellent. I know that chicken painting is really popular! Your work includes a bunch of different subjects, landscapes, portraits, animals: how do you choose your subjects?

Diane Paoletti
I usually try to pick something that touches my heart, especially with the portraits. I’ve done my dad and my husband’s dad who had passed away, my grandchildren, and I also do pet portraits, which I really like to do a lot, because they’re just super fun. And then the landscape, same thing, like, you know, it’s just something that really catches your eye that you know is just spectacularly beautiful.

Emily Longbrake
Sounds like you get to travel and see some beautiful places when you’re painting and plein air versus in the studio. Is there anything particular you could share about that?

Diane Paoletti
I really enjoy plenn air painting a lot. It’s funny because the first time I did it, I was like, why would anyone do this with the elements and the sun, constantly moving and I just thought it wasn’t my thing. But then I gave it another shot and I just I really, I really love it a lot. It makes me think of last summer: I went down in my backyard (we live on Cottonwood Creek) and I packed up my equipment and walked down there. I know that salmon come up the creek and we have eagles that hang out and stuff. But when I went down there, it was the middle of the afternoon and I was the only one there. And I had two eagles that were just swooping down the entire time, talking back and forth to each other. I had salmon coming up the creek, and it was just something I’ll never forget. And I really I will never part with that painting.

Emily Longbrake
Wow, that sounds so magical. And so Alaskan!

Diane Paoletti
I was so great. I can’t I can’t even convey to you how great it was.

Emily Longbrake
Wow. Yeah, that sounds like something the old masters would probably not have experienced.

Diane Paoletti
I still really enjoy studio painting too. There’s just such a huge difference between the two. And the majority of the time I will take my plein air painting back into the studio and finish it off.

Emily Longbrake
That sounds like the best of both worlds.

Diane Paoletti
It is actually.

Emily Longbrake
I would like to ask you a little bit about your, your techniques, which would also involve your painting workshops in your studio. Can you tell us a little bit about the workshops you offer and how that relates to the work that you have on display right now?

Diane Paoletti
Sure. I really try hard to get some really good artists up here from Outside [Alaska] because I know it will only benefit those who want to learn more, and it’s had a big influence on everything that I do. I got into portraits because I have a woman I brought up in California for like eight years in a row. She got us hooked. Just this past year, I had Dustin Van Wechel from Colorado, who is a very well known wildlife artist and the things that we learned (and I know everyone that was in that workshop would agree with me) are just priceless. We learned from him, and I hope to have him back. Just this past February, we had Lyn Diefenbach, who is an internationally known pastel artist and oil painter.  She did a 10 day workshop. We did landscapes, florals in portrait. And just same thing with her: what we learned is just so priceless, and I had never touched pastels in my life. I really like them a lot, and I’ll continue to do them too. While I brought up Lynn, I just want to say that just recently from that workshop, we ended up forming the Pastel Society of Alaska. I’m president of the group, and we’re starting to get that going now. So if anyone has any interest in joining, just contact me.

Emily Longbrake
Great! I’ll put a link to that in the notes for folks to check out.

Diane Paoletti
Here I want to mention one more thing because I do have a workshop coming up at the end of September: Kyle Stuckey will be coming up from North Carolina (see kylestuckey.com). If you think you’re interested in portraits, this guy is just phenomenal. We’re all really excited about it, and I do still have openings.

Emily Longbrake
Oh, excellent. On your website, you mention that you are a self taught artist, but it sounds like all these influences really have expanded your work.

Diane Paoletti
For sure. When I say self taught, I mean I just I never formally went to college or art school or anything like that, but people have definitely influenced me.

Emily Longbrake
Is there anything else you’d like to share with folks that might be stopping by the Museum?

Diane Paoletti
I also I offer classes in my studio: I do a Wednesday class, and then I do private lessons too if anyone’s interested.

Emily Longbrake
Are your classes for a particular experience level or age range?

Diane Paoletti
No, the experience level doesn’t matter. For the age range, nobody too too young. But, I’m in the process of teaching my 8 and 7 year old granddaughters one day a week, and then I have two four year olds I’m teaching too. So I’d probably say over age 10 or 12 would be nice.

Emily Longbrake
Sounds great, we’ll enjoy seeing their work as those small artists grow as well! Thank you so much for sharing, and we’ll look forward to seeing your work and what you have going on in the future.

Diane Paoletti
Thank you.