Diana Stelin has been a professional artist since 2002. A lover of the outdoors, she explores the outside world and the process of becoming one with the universe through her art.
Using a mixture of oil pigments and melted wax, Stelin creates multilayered semi-abstracted landscapes. She is one of the artists participating in the upcoming Brookline Open Studios event on April 29-30, 2017.
Ahead of the annual event, Stelin took some time to answer questions for the TAB about her art, her inspiration and her signature mark.
How did you get into art?
I went to Cornell University and received a BFA in painting. My favorite class while studying abroad in Rome was media exploration. This is when I got into encaustics (hot wax and oil pigments mixture) and have been in love with this combo ever since.
What does creating this art do for you? Why do it?
The painting process is a process of empowerment to me. It allows me to honor myself, balance out priorities and have an honest conversation with my inner self. If I do not paint on a weekly basis, I start getting overwhelmed with running a business and keeping my family of five happy. It is my way of staying afloat. It’s also a constant quest for answers to life’s important questions. At the end of each one of my painting sessions, I inevitably come out with an “aha” moment!
Describe your process.
My technique is a dance between watercolor and oil techniques. I begin with a watercolor done en plein-air (outdoors). I subsequently translate the drawing to canvas in the same expressive manner adopted for the initial watercolor. Employing an impasto technique of oils mixed with cold wax, I am able to better catch the expressive nature of the original sketch. They are typically at least four layers of colors carefully applied with a palette knife within the composition. The last and most rewarding part of the process is the melting of wax. It requires patience, has an element of surprise, yet can be controlled, and it connects various sections of the canvas. Because it is a textured layer on top of other layers, it breaks down lines between objects, and literally melts one state into another. It also creates mini compositions within a painting, so that your eye always wanders around the canvas and catches new nuances hidden within the layers.
Yes. I have two favorite elements. I love being outdoors and catching a mood of a certain day with watercolor. My other favorite part is the process of melting wax.
Do you have a favorite piece?
No. I typically am in love with the latest painting I create… up until I finish a subsequent piece and think it came out way better.
What should people know about your art? Is there anything they should look for?
The main idea behind my art is the desire to melt into our surroundings, to become one with the universe. I would like the viewers to have an opportunity to dissolve into the various sections of the canvas. My signature mark is the drips that lead a viewer’s eye around the canvas, breaking down barriers between different objects and turning a landscape into a semi-abstraction.
Brookline Open Studios is an annual event dedicated to supporting local artists by allowing them to host open studio sessions around town. During thet event you can find Stelin at Shan Hair Salon at 169 Amory Street on Saturday, April 29, 2017, and at Pure Cold Press at 326 Harvard Street on Sunday, April 30, 2017.