Diane Tesler a modern American Master Painter


I studied art in college (Antioch) but my life as a painter really began

several years later when I lived in Hawaii. It was during the early ’70s,

and I lived on the island of Oahu near two fields of abandoned cars and

trucks. It was somewhat strange to see the familiar battered faces in an

exotic landscape and my head turned each time I passed by.

Overcoming an initial reticence, I went out into one of the junkyards

with a sketchbook. What I found there has remained a constant in my

work ever since: the power of light to reveal form and the beauty of

the discarded.

Moving to Virginia in 1973,1 joined the Torpedo Factory Art Center in

Alexandria, where I am an instructor in painting at the Art League

School. Connecting with a community of artists and the museum

resources of Washington, DC proved enormously enriching. I expanded

the scale of my work and the range of subjects to include still life, inte-

riors and figures. Through doing the work, I continued to learn what

was important to me. One was that oil paint was flexible and infinitely

responsive and would be my favored medium for the long haul.

Another, that I learned particularly through composing still life, was that

the search for balance, albeit precarious and temporary, was embedded

in every mark I made on a canvas.

Perhaps motivated by this search for balance, I longed to reconnect

with the outdoor world as I had in Hawaii. An opportunity to do that

opened up in 1986, when I accompanied a friend on a painting trip to

Northern Indiana. Here I found an austere land of open skies and aban-

doned farmhouses and quite literally fell in love with the place. In 1991

I purchased an old house in the town of Kewanna, Indiana, that I could

use as a summer studio. This enabled me to work on larger projects on

location as well as develop relationships with the people in the area

(some of whom ended up in my paintings). My life is now split between

Alexandria and Kewanna and the road in between. I think having a foot

in both worlds helps me see each world more clearly.

The pattern of my life as a painter has been to look inward, to stay

with those subjects and techniques that strike a deep chord and bypass

whatever may be currently fashionable. My role models are the

American painters Charles Burchfield, Edward Hopper, John F. Peto and

Wayne Thiebaud.


Diane Tesler in one of the downstairs rooms of her Artist’s studio




Born: Fort Wayne, Indiana 1944



2009 Capital Gallery, Frankfort, KY

2006 Fire House Gallery, Louisville, GA

2004 Capital Gallery

  1. Sarratt Gallery, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

2000 Midwest Museum of American Art, Elkhart, IN

1999 B. Deemer Gallery, Louisville, KY

  1. Capital Gallery

1997 B. Deemer Gallery

1996 Cudahy’s, Richmond, VA

Capital Gallery

1995 Evansville Museum of Arts and Sciences, Evansville, IN

1993 Capital Gallery

1991 Capital Gallery

1988 Capital Gallery

1987 Jane Haslem Gallery, Washington, DC

1986 Capital Gallery

1984 Jane Haslem Gallery

1983 Emerson Gallery, McLean, VA

1981 Charles Co. Community College Gallery, MD

1977 Art League Gallery, Alexandria, VA


2006 The New Regionalists, Midwest Museum of American Art, Elkhart, IN

Kentucky Connections, Janice Mason Art Museum, Cadiz, KY

2000 Alumni Art Show, Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio

1999 21st Elkhart Juried Regional, Midwest Museum of American Art, Elkhart, IN

1998 62nd Annual Midyear Show, Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio

1996 The Order of Things: Contemporary American & European Still Life, Evansville Museum of

Arts and Sciences, Evansville, IN

A Painting Show, The Atheneum, Alexandria, VA (Equal Award)

1995 The Creative Process, Clinical Center Galleries, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

1994 Realism ’94, Parkersburg Art Center, Parkersburg, WV

1993 Realism Today, Evansville Museum of Arts and Sciences

Paintings in the Still Life Tradition, Cudahy’s, Richmond, VA

Teacher/Student, Clinical Center Galleries, NIH

1991 Old Friends, New Works, Northern VA Fine Arts Association, Alexandria, VA

Back to Basics, Gallery K, Washington, DC

1990 Objects Observed, Gallery Henoch, New York, NY

L’Artiste et Son Atelier, Galerie 21, Paris

Moving Still Life, Steven Scott Gallery, Baltimore, MD

Fifteen Years of Achievement, Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, VA

1988 Consonance, Jane Haslem Gallery

Kentucky Art Exhibition, J.B. Speed Museum, Louisville, KY

Still Life Painting: Several Views, Georgetown University Gallery, Washington, DC

1985 American Artist National Art Competition, Grand Central Galleries, New York, NY

Butler Institute of American Art, National Midyear Show, Youngstown, OH

The Washington Art Community: Self Portraits, Jane Haslem Gallery

1984 Butler Institute Midyear Show

1983 Area Juried Exhibition, Arlington Arts Center, Arlington, VA

1982 Pastels: Still Life, Landscape and Figures, Jane Haslem Gallery

26th Irene Leach Biennial, Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA