Biography Dianna, a mixed media artist of color pencil, pastel, and oils, currently lives in Saline, Michigan. She grew up in Kane, Pennsylvania where her love for art began at an early age. Her father provided the spirit to help her believe in herself and her mother provided her with art lessons from a dear friend. She attended Edinboro State University and received her Bachelor of Science degree in art education. After leading a high school art program at Rocky Grove High School in Franklin, Pennsylvania for many years, she moved to Saline, Michigan with her husband where they began raising their family. She took a hiatus from her oil painting to raise their three children for approximately ten years after which her passion to draw ignited once again. Christmas of 1999, Dianna’s husband gifted her with a complete set of Prismacolor color pencils and it didn’t take long for her to realize that she could get the same vibrancy of oil paints with her Prismacolors using the burnishing method. She was hooked! Over the last couple of years she has begun introducing oil pastels into her color pencil work and recently returned to her true love of oil paints.
SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2018 Turner Resource Senior Center Gallery, Ann Arbor, Michigan 2014 My Favorite Cafe Saline, Michigan 2010 Eagle Crest Conference Center January - April 20, 2010 2008 Featured Artist 212 Art Center Saline, Michigan 2006 Pfizer Gallery Ann Arbor, Michigan 2005 Serendipity Studio Saline, Michigan . GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2019 International Guild of Realism 14th Annual Exhibition; Principle Gallery, Alexandria, Virginia; September 17 - October 15, 2019 2018 International Guild of Realism 13th Annual Exhibition; Sugarman-Peterson Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico 2017 International Guild of Realism 12th Annual Exhibition; Winfield Gallery, Carmel, California 2012 Colored Pencil Society of America 20th Annual International Exhibition; The Carnegie, Visual and Performing Arts Center, Covington, Kentucky; July 13 - August 30, 2012; Opening Reception from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m., Saturday, August 4, 2012. 2011 Colored Pencil Society of America 19th Annual International Exhibition; Charles W. Eisemann Center, Richardson, Texas; July 2011. 2010 Colored Pencil Society of America 18th Annual International Exhibition; The Art Museum of Los Gatos, Los Gatos, Ca.; July 22- August 20, 2010 2010 Michigan Fine Arts Competition, Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, Birmingham, Michigan, April 2 - May 7, 2010 2009 “Line by Line – Three Women working in Colored Pencil”, Hudson Gallery, Sylvania, Ohio 2007 “Getting Real”, Mallett Creek Library Ann Arbor, Michigan 2007 Keller Williams Real Estate Ann Arbor, Michigan REPRESENTATION Sugarman-Peterson Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Artist Statement Returning to my art practice after raising my children, I find painting to have many similarities to parenting; giving life to an idea, tending to it, bonding with it. Just as parents grow with their children, I find revelations in each painting. Water is a metaphor for my journey through life. It changes every moment, from turbulent and unexpected to calm and inviting. I am a witness of the underlying spiritual element of life – the ongoing cycles of milestones, sacrifices, and miracles along the way. My paintings are directly influenced by my beliefs. As water is a symbol of renewal, my work is often an act of prayer. Every time I paint or draw water I am renewing my faith. I find that surrendering to the intuitive process creates space to manifest my meditations. I am drawn to water that displays contrasting shadows, strong light and textures. Starting with my photography as a point of departure, I use Photoshop to develop the composition, contrast and color. To translate these sketches to the page, I combine color pencils and oil based pastels on a paper or canvas. The layers of color are worked with a solvent to subtly abstract the realistic details. In refining my observations through photographic, digital and painting processes, I explore themes of beauty, innocence and simplicity.
copyright by Dianna Wallace Soisson 2023