interview with Diane Andreoni
“Hi :)) I am a perpetual student of the arts. When I was young I wanted to have a career as a graphic artist so I got my Commercial Graphic Design degree and a job as an art apprentice for a Chicago Marketing firm. Thirty years later, while working as a Creative Director in marketing and advertising, I went to night school and received my Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in painting from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I am currently studying color theory under the tutelage of Nina Weiss, a local landscape artist, whose work I greatly admire. Along with painting I am also studying yoga. Having practiced it for over ten years, I recently became interested in learning how to teach, and last October earned my 200 hour TT certificate. This month I also became certified to teach yoga to cancer survivors.”
1 – What themes do you play with?

“I am passionate about painting themes that represent personal experiences I’ve had within nature. As a breast cancer survivor, while going through my medical treatments, I became interested in human cells and how they functioned. I spent a lot of time researching what cells look like when they are macro-magnetized and interpreted my findings visually within my artwork. Lately I’ve been exploring how color is used to visually give my paintings depth and contrast. My new technique is featured in my “Chicago Flower Planter” series, and a few of these paintings are on display at Zen.”

2 – Where do you draw inspiration from?

“I draw inspiration from my life! To do this I take long walks with my dog, Paulo, in the city, on the beach and in the mountains and then I paint what I see using my own photos as my inspiration and for reference. When I was young my mom was our fourth grade class “Art Lady”. One day each week she was our guest speaker and presented famous artists’ bios to my fellow students and me. My favorite artists were (and still are) Toulouse Lautrec, for his quality of line work, and Edgar Degas, for his application of color. During my childhood I drew inspiration from my mom and dad—creative individuals who loved traveling, cooking, and photography.”

3 – Why is art making important to you and/or society?

“For me painting is important because it allows me to get stuff out of my head and onto the canvas. It’s a good stress reducer. I also enjoy the social aspect of painting with other artists because I can get and give feedback to help shape my work. I’ve tried to paint solo but felt too isolated.”  

4 – What is your favorite art piece and why?

“My favorite painting is of my dog, Paulo. Seeing him in that sleepy pose on that big blue chair brings a smile to my face. I developed his organic form using lively painting strokes and a colorful coat of hair; and I chose to leave the background flat and graphic using solid colors and simple patterns so Paulo would be the focal point.”