Diana Stelin is an award-winning Boston-based landscape artist, who creates conversations between reality and abstraction. Her palette knife paintings have been on display at corporate spaces like Google and Novartis. She has been a part of numerous art fairs around US, and her colorful impressionistic abstract landscape art is in dozens of private collections worldwide. Stelin's work is notable for its "melting'' elements on canvas.
Diana Stelin's story
Her life took her on many journeys. She left Kishinev together with her family at the age of thirteen, a very hard transition. Finding art as solace truly changed her outlook on the world around her. Painting got her accepted into an Ivy League institution, Cornell University. The world of art stayed with her when she took a detour to manage an art gallery chain, DTR Modern Galleries.
After her second child, she started another business, a teaching art studio, The Plein-Air Art Academy. Soon after she had her third child, it received a Best of Boston award for art classes for kids, and is going strong even in today's online environment. Artmaking keeps Diana balanced in life, and is her primary focus. During the quarantine, Ms. Stelin's creativity led her to launch another leg of her practive, a luxury fashion line, Gallerista, that transforms her paintings into unique prints on high quality organic fabrics and further, into exquisite limited edition pieces for a creative woman.
Diana Stelin's Unique Painting Technique
Stelin paints multilayered palette knife landscapes in oil and cold wax, which she partially melts with a heating lamp to dissolve different objects on canvas into one another. The drips are her signature element: the dark ones are emotional strokes that create grids within a painting. The lighter ones are semitransparent, and partially show the layers of paint beneath them.
Stelin's technique is a dance between realistic and abstract landscapes, between watercolor and oil techniques. She begins with a watercolor in plein-air. Stelin subsequently translates the drawing to canvas in the same expressive manner adopted for the initial watercolor painting, employing an impasto technique of oils mixed with cold wax.
The last and most rewarding part of the process is the melting of wax. It comes as a 4th or 5th layer of the painting. It requires patience, has an element of surprise, yet can be controlled, and it connects various sections of the unique oil on canvas. Because it's a textured layer on top of other layers, it breaks down lines between subjects, 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. At the same time Stelin adds in authentic gold leaf to the now abstract landscape, as well as 3-D sculptural elements.
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