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Artistic License

The Wallace Tradition: A Legacy of Fine Art

- By Angie Young

Artist Diane Wallace’s wide range of style and subject matter has garnered attention from fine art circles within the San Francisco Bay Area.  Robert Flynn Johnson, curator of the Achenbach Collection at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, gave top ratings to an exhibit of her paintings at the Bonnfante Gallery in the same city. Multiple majors and degrees in Painting, Art History, Ceramics, Music and Humanities helped Wallace fine-tune her natural talent. She worked 16-hour days for years to master both oils and watercolors, and develop creative control of composition and design principles.  After studying under the auspices of M.D. Stewart and art historian Dr. Richard Tansey, there were postgraduate seminars with nationally famous artists Don Andrews, Marbury Hill Brown, Arne Westerman, Mario Cooper, Charlie Movalli, Tom Hill, and Ted Goerschner.

Wallace created a body of watercolor and oil paintings of exceptional quality, winning awards in major juried shows. One notable show that included her work was the American Watercolor Society Exhibition at the National Gallery in New York City. Her single entry made it past thousands of submissions from around the country. What made this even more remarkable was the judges’ disdain for floral paintings -- Wallace’s watercolor (shown at left) was one of only two entries accepted with a botanical theme. The show averaged only five paintings per state.

Her propensity for education and teaching comes from a strong heritage of educators extending back to the Mayflower Pilgrims, having descended from John Cooke who was appointed first School Master for Plymouth Colony in 1649. When back problems hindered her painting career, Wallace taught painting and art history at Shasta, Gavilan, and De Anza junior colleges.  Ultimately, home studio classes proved more efficient for her.  Several of her graduates have numbered among the top students at the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena including Karl Frey, whose quote from a British art magazine is included in the My Towne article (please note that the email address in the article is incorrect - email should be addressed to wallaceonuvas@gmail.com).

The Student Art Gallery reflects Diane’s focus on composition, color, emotional content, and the teaching of a broad range of techniques. Frequent demonstrations are supported by historic examples from related art history. Students choose their own subject matter, paint in their favorite colors, find their own personal style, and enjoy the process.

Currently, her fine art prints and originals are available only through this website.