|September 8, 2011|
|RACC Professional Development Grant|
Diane is honored to have received her first Professional Development Grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council. This grant made it possible to attend a two-week portrait painting workshop at New York’s School of Visual Arts, taught by master portrait artist Marvin Mattelson , in August 2011. The class, titled “Classical Realism: Portrait Painting in Oil”, also included a trip to the Metropolitan Museum, where Mattelson critiqued over two dozen paintings, explaining how the artists achieved their life-like portraits. Above is Diane’s partially finished class portrait, done from life, over a period of four days. She has since finished several new paintings which incorporate the new color palette and information she learned during the workshop. Click the following links to view Diane's newest works:
|March 8, 2011|
|Doug MacLeod "Brand New Eyes" CD Cover Art|
Diane is honored to have been commissioned to create this drawing of acoustic blues artist Doug MacLeod for his new CD, "Brand New Eyes" released in March 2011. From Frank-John Hadley's liner notes: "The songs of Brand New
Eyes are heavily streaked with altruism, a belief in the bracing
power of music to heal. It’s the thread running through the cloth of
all the material." “I see so many people walking around and they
don’t see anything good in the world,” MacLeod says of the title
track. “But maybe it’s not the world, maybe it’s you. To see some
good in the world, put on some brand new eyes.”
Go to Doug MacLeod's website for more information and to listen to his music. To see the original drawing, visit Diane's drawings page.
|October 12, 2010|
Matisyahu "Shake Off the Dust...Arise" CD Cover Art|
Diane is honored to have her pencil drawing of Matisyahu featured on his new CD, "Shake Off the Dust...Arise" released in October 2010. A little history of this CD from Matisyahu's website: "With little noise or fanfare, Matisyahu released his independent debut record, “Shake Off the Dust…Arise” in October 2004. Six years later, the album has been remastered. This hard to find fan-favorite that started it all contains the original arrangements of "King Without A Crown", and many others featured on Matisyahu's first two gold-selling albums." Go to Matisyahu's website to find out more about Matisyahu and to listen to some of his incredible music. To see Diane's original pencil drawing, visit her drawings page.
|March 31, 2009|
|Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown Headstone|
Diane is honored to have had her painting of Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown chosen to be featured on the new headstone that was commissioned for him by his family. Installed at his gravesite in Orange, Texas, the headstone is made of black granite, and stands over five feet tall with a cut out shape of Gate's signature Firebird Guitar in the center. The 8x10 ceramic inlay of Diane's painting is just to the right, along with a quote by The Man himself: “I won’t limit myself to one type of music. There’s a lot of Universe out there, and what is the Universe? --- Music!” Diagnosed with lung cancer in 2004, Gatemouth fled his home in Slidel during the devastating hurricane Katrina, and died days later. A spokesperson for his estate said of Gatemouth, “He has waited far too long to be honored in his death as he was in life; he was, and still is, bigger than any storm that Mother Nature has to offer.” Diane's original painting of Gatemouth Brown was sold in 2005, but there are still prints available. Click here for more information. To find out more about Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, visit his MySpace page.
|November 1, 2007|
|Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise Poster |
Diane was aboard as the commemorative poster artist for the 2007 Mexican Riviera cruise in October. Sailing out of San Diego on Holland America's Ms Oosterdam, the cruise was a nonstop concert on the high seas. Among the performers were Taj Mahal, Curtis Salgado, Elvin Bishop, Bobby Rush, Marcia Ball, Tommy Castro, Earl Thomas, Sista Monica Parker, Eric Bibb, John Lee Hooker Jr., Eden Brent, Junior Brantly, and that’s just a partial list! The first stop was Cabo San Lucas, where the place to be was Cabo Wabo for more music and great fish tacos. Puerto Vallarta was the next stop, followed by Manzanillo and a tour inland to visit Colima City, the Pyramids of La Compana, and the city of Comala. In addition to the scheduled music on the ship, there were pro jams lasting till the sun came up, culinary demos, theme nights, and the Legendary Mardi Gras parade. Thanks to Roger Naber and the Legendary staff for making this an unforgettable experience that Diane feels very fortunate to have been a part of. Back in San Diego, the trip was completed with a stop to photograph Diane’s painting of Taj Mahal on the side of the Legendary RV. For information on the Legendary Blues Cruise, visit their website. To purchase a limited edition print of the commemorative painting, click here.
|December 6, 2006|
|Museum After Hours|
featuring Charmaine Neville & Reggie Houston’s
Crescent City Connection
Diane’s original portrait paintings were on display in the lobby of the third floor ballroom during this memorable concert at the Portland Art Museum. The exhibit featured Diane’s recent painting of Reggie Houston, which was inspired by a photograph she took of him at Portland’s Blues for Katrina benefit concert in 2005. Reggie, who recently moved to Portland from New Orleans, was accompanying Tom D’Antoni’s reading of his essay titled “Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans”. When Reggie, overcome by emotion halfway through the reading, began to cry, Diane caught that moment on film and later translated it to canvas. For the painting, Diane placed Reggie on Frenchmen Street just outside Snug Harbor where he used to play a weekly gig with Charmaine. A closer look at the painting will also reveal Tom’s hat on Reggie’s collar. To view Diane's painting of Reggie click here. To read Reggie's comments about Diane's painting, click here. For more information about Reggie Houston, visit www.reggiehouston.com.
|August 10, 2006|
Blueswax Interview - Thanks to photographer Bob Gersztyn for writing a great article and interview in the August 10th edition of Blueswax, a weekly email blues newsletter published by Blues Review Magazine. To read Bob’s interview with Diane, click here. To see more of Bob’s work, visit his website at www.cpibybobg.com/index.html.
|May 5, 2005|
|26th Annual W.C. Handy Blues Awards Poster|
The Blues Foundation in Memphis presents this annual awards ceremony (now renamed the Blues Music Awards). For the 2005 awards show, the Foundation honored Pinetop Perkins with it’s Lifetime Achievement Award and chose Diane’s painting of Pinetop to be featured on their poster and program. Jay Sieleman, executive director of the Blues Foundation, had this to say about how the poster came together: “We were familiar with and loved the work of Portland artist Diane Russell, who always sent us postcards featuring her latest blues paintings. I inquired whether she would be interested in creating a piece featuring Pinetop for incorporation into the poster. Talk about serendipity: She had recently finished a painting of Pinetop that no one had seen!” After the painting was approved by the board, Diane painted the Handy award separately, then had the two images morphed together in Photoshop to create the final poster. Diane attended the Awards Ceremony and had a three day showing of her portraits at the adjacent Marriott Hotel. Click here to find out more about the Blues Foundation. To read more about Pinetop Perkins, visit his website at www.pinetopperkins.com.