DIANNA WALLACE SOISSON
MEMOIRS OF A YOUNG ARTIST Dianna, a mixed media artist of color pencil, pastel, and oils, currently lives in Saline, Michigan. She was born in 1960 and raised in Kane, Pennsylvania. Her parents instilled into a family of four children, strong work ethics, morals, values, and endless faith in God. They became the root of Dianna’s life’s journey and the root of her art’s journey. Her love for drawing began at an early age with the anticipation of receiving a brand new unscathed coloring book along with perfectly, sharp and in color arranged crayons in her stocking. Coloring was her favorite activity during the Christmas vacation. Staying inside those bold black outlines was her goal and shading the objects without visible crayon strokes was by far her ultimate challenge. All that hardwork paid off (insert giggle) when she won a coloring contest in second grade coloring the American flag. Her prize was an American flag rhinestone pin. To this day she keeps it in her jewelry box and wears it with pride reminding her of her persistence as a young girl and hopeful artist. Her parents created a spot in their basement for her to work on her drawings and paintings when she was in middle school and high school. Her dad made her a wooden sign for her area, “Dianna’s Art Corner”. As a tribute and memory to him she decided to use this as her domain name for her website. He also built her an easel and art supply box which she cherishes today. Dianna’s father provided the spirit to help her believe in herself and her mother provided her with art lessons from a dear artist friend of hers. She graduated from Edinboro State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education. After leading the high school art program at Rocky Grove High School in Franklin, Pennsylvania for many years, she moved to Saline, Michigan with her husband to raise their three children for approximately ten years after which her passion to draw ignited once again. Christmas 1999 her husband gifted her with a complete set of Prismacolor color pencils and it didn’t take long for her to realize that with layers of pencil she could get the same vibrancy of oil paints with her pencils. She was hooked. In 2004 Dianna collapsed from a pulmonary embolism only to repeat that near fatal collapse again in 2014 with a saddle embolism. She was grateful for the doctors but even more grateful for a merciful God. She felt that she needed to share what she was brought here to give…her art. SURRENDERING CREATES SPACE TO MANIFEST In her studio can be found a small but intimate collection of inspirational books, her Bible, and a few leather bound journals where she writes down inspirational quotes and scripture verses that touch her deeply at an emotional period of her life. Very often these quotes and verses are interwined with the drawing in progress and the title becomes the name of her story. These are but a few of the thoughts from her readings: --Know that not one good thing that God has planned for you will fail. --What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? --Worrying is considered “stewing without doing”. It’s an attempt to control the future and instead it paralyzes us. --Faith is the audacity to believe in the not yet seen. --Reality has peeled away layers but my strength and authentic spirit remain. --I will experience the calm times and the storms. From both I’ll discover my purpose. Dianna’s water scenes have become a journey through her life; her journey as a witness of God, her challenges, and most importantly, expressions of her soul. Every artist dips her own brush into her own soul. She believes that art must be an expression of the artist’s life or it is nothing. Representations, rather than concepts, make impressions more lasting and forceful. Water is a sign of renewal. Every time Dianna paints or draws water, she is renewing her faith and she shares that with her viewers. Just like one’s life, nature changes every moment; from the turbulent and unexpected to the calm and inviting. Life isn’t about the destination; it’s about the journey, the milestones, the sacrifices, and the miracles along the way. She embraces each painting as her life unfolds with every pencil stroke or brush stroke. As she creates these works of art, she bonds with them. They are her children with whom every stroke of the pencil she gives another breath of life. Through her art she develops a relationship that is so strong, it completely envelops her, enriching her with its innocence and beauty. As with children, she cares for her art and tends to its every need. When children are young, parents nurture and protect them. As she begins, she forms a shield over her art, not allowing herself to make a single stroke until she has mentally prepared herself for the journey that lies ahead. A painting changes Dianna’s life just as a child changes a person’s life. Raising children reveals so many things about ourselves we didn’t know and her painting does the same for her. Parents grow with their children, and she grows with her paintings. Every painting provides her with a new found understanding of life. With the completion of each work Dianna feels that she is one step closer to fulfilling her dream. As with any dream, once you reach it, there is another waiting to be born. Her paintings have filled her with joy, pleasure, and satisfaction. The cycle of creating art however is not a feeling that words can easily describe. It must be felt with the soul. Dianna wants to share her children, her art, her passion with the world. She wants these creations to draw you into their story, their energy and their passion. Only then has her real dream come true. Over the last few 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 55+ Gallery Turner Center 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 2024 18th Annual International Guild of Realism Exhibit; T.H. Brennen Fine Art Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona 2023 17th Annual International Guild of Realism Exhibit; Sugarman-Peterson Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico 2020 15th Annual International Guild of Realism Exhibit; Principle Gallery, Charleston, South Carolina 2019 14th Annual International Guild of Realism Exhibit; Principle Gallery, Alexandria, Va. 2018 13th Annual International Guild of Realism Exhibit; Sugarman-Peterson Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico 2017 International Guild of Realism Exhibit; Winfield Gallery, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California 2012 Colored Pencil Society of America 20th Annual International Exhibition; The Carnegie, Visual and Performing Arts Center, Covington, Kentucky 2011 Colored Pencil Society of America 19th Annual International Exhibition; Charles W. Eisemann Center, Richardson, Texas 2010 Colored Pencil Society of America 18th Annual International Exhibition; The Art Museum of Los Gatos, Los Gatos, California 2010 Michigan Fine Arts Competition, Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, Birmingham, Michigan 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 130 West Palace Avenue Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
copyright by Dianna Wallace Soisson 2024