Diane Fechenbach Biography

www.lightnshadowstudio.com

Painting isn’t heart surgery. It is supposed to be fun. I delight in finding interesting subjects and then trying to capture these three-dimensional subjects on a two-dimensional surface. That is only half of the picture (if you will). What really gets my juices going is capturing light; more specifically, light and shadow.  Better yet really- dramatic light and shadow, or complicated light and shadow. The challenge is in identifying all the light sources, analyzing them, and rendering them in paint. Some light sources are obvious; sunshine, lamps, fire light. The intriguing light sources are not so obvious; light reflected from other objects or multiple light sources. Sometimes shadow areas have multiple light sources but are still a shadow. To make it more entertaining, each light source has a different color, so the objects it hits appear to be different colors. Rendering these complex lighting puzzles in paintings is the most fun of all. 

I have always looked at the world this way. When I was a little girl, I saw the world as a series of paintings. Everywhere I looked there were wonderful compositions and delicious colors. It was a shock when I learned that other people did not “see” this way. My observation is that every small child starts with a keen eye and fearless passion for art. Preschoolers draw and paint with glorious abandon. Somehow that joy gets lost along the way and adults grow up thinking they cannot master art. Now, as an instructor, I delight in helping others rediscover this joy. 

Plein Air (outdoors) painting is one of my favorite things. Sitting in the sun (occasionally in the rain), enjoying the breeze and the birds twittering (but not the bugs) opens the senses.  I make sketches in oil, pastel, or watercolor and ink.  While soaking up the local color, it is a great way to meet people.  When I travel, these sketches are mementos of the places visited.  Back in the studio sketches provide subjects for larger paintings, where the fun begins again. 

Painting isn’t heart surgery. It is supposed to be fun. I delight in finding interesting subjects and then trying to capture these three-dimensional subjects on a two-dimensional surface. That is only half of the picture (if you will). What really gets my juices going is capturing light; more specifically, light and shadow.  Better yet really- dramatic light and shadow, or complicated light and shadow. The challenge is in identifying all the light sources, analyzing them, and rendering them in paint. Some light sources are obvious; sunshine, lamps, fire light. The intriguing light sources are not so obvious; light reflected from other objects or multiple light sources. Sometimes shadow areas have multiple light sources but are still a shadow. To make it more entertaining, each light source has a different color, so the objects it hits appear to be different colors. Rendering these complex lighting puzzles in paintings is the most fun of all. 

I have always looked at the world this way. When I was a little girl, I saw the world as a series of paintings. Everywhere I looked there were wonderful compositions and delicious colors. It was a shock when I learned that other people did not “see” this way. My observation is that every small child starts with a keen eye and fearless passion for art. Preschoolers draw and paint with glorious abandon. Somehow that joy gets lost along the way and adults grow up thinking they cannot master art. Now, as an instructor, I delight in helping others rediscover this joy. 

Plein Air (outdoors) painting is one of my favorite things. Sitting in the sun (occasionally in the rain), enjoying the breeze and the birds twittering (but not the bugs) opens the senses.  I make sketches in oil, pastel, or watercolor and ink.  While soaking up the local color, it is a great way to meet people.  When I travel, these sketches are mementos of the places visited.  Back in the studio sketches provide subjects for larger paintings, where the fun begins again.