Diane Larson

Diane grew up near the beach in Southern California and like many artists, became interested in art at an early age. If she wasn’t at the beach, she could be found with her Mother’s art books and painting supplies. School was challenging for her.  Undiagnosed dyslexia (until she was 23) kept her from excelling in academics. However, she won numerous awards for her art in school and was given the opportunity to hold her first one woman show in the administration building during her senior year in high school. That felt great! The best reward was winning a scholarship during her senior year for her art.
Like many women of her generation, marriage and motherhood became her main occupation for many years. They were fantastic years spent sailing from their home in the Ventura Keys, up and down the West Coast and Mexico. One weekend, while in Catalina, she walked into an art gallery in Avalon and saw the breathtaking work of Denise Burns, founding member of Plein Air Painters of America. Those luscious oil paints just spoke to her and she knew immediately what she wanted to do. As a psychotherapist, her husband recognized her excitement and was thrilled for her. He suggested she find a place to study art again. She began by taking workshops in the nearby artist community of Ojai and enrolled in the California Art Institute. 
She later opened a studio/gallery in the historic Old Livery building in downtown Ventura, CA. During these same years she started a very successful faux finish business, Just Faux Fun. Residential or commercial jobs working for interior designers was extremely fun. Today she believes it’s why she is not inclined to alla prima painting but rather layering, using glazes and scumbling to create depth. Either way it’s “pushing the paint around” that she loves.

She and her husband have sailed together for 40+ years, in the Pacific, Atlantic and Caribbean.  It’s these experiences she wants to share in her work. There are the perfect beach days, of course or the perfect days out sailing but there are also long days and nights at sea, in storms or becalmed, staring for hours on end and painting the ocean in her imagination.  That’s what inspires her seascape work. “Our  longest passage was in 1987 on our 57’ sailboat from Florida to the Virgin Islands. Out of the 11 days, 9 of them were in a storm.”

Although she paints many subjects with the same passion, it’s the ocean or areas near the ocean that she loves the most.
“I have such great love and respect for the ocean, it’s a very powerful force in my life. I am constantly trying to capture those feelings with paint.  When you view my work I hope you can feel that.  It’s why I will always be....Sailing in Paint!”

Martin House Gallery

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