Local Artist Diane Larson


Diane Larson has been sailing and painting for most of her life, in the Pacific, the Atlantic and Caribbean. From San Francisco to Mexico, from Maine to the Caribbean and everywhere in between. She works from her studio on the Space Coast in Cocoa, Florida  

Diane grew up near the beach in Southern California and like many artists, became interested in art at an early age. If she wasn’t at the beach, she could be found with her Mother’s art books and painting supplies. School was challenging for her.  Undiagnosed dyslexia (until she was 23) kept her from excelling in academics. Art classes were a safe place for her to express herself and she sure did! So much so that she was given the opportunity to hold her first solo show! 

 Like many women of her generation, marriage and motherhood became her main occupation for many years. They were fantastic years spent sailing from their home in the Ventura Keys, up and down the West Coast and Mexico. One weekend, while in Catalina, she walked into an art gallery in Avalon and saw the breathtaking work of Denise Burns, founding member of Plein Air Painters of America. Those luscious oil paints just spoke to her and she knew immediately what she wanted to do. As a psychotherapist, her husband recognized her excitement and was thrilled for her. He suggested she find a place to study art again. She began by taking workshops in the nearby artist community of Ojai and enrolled in the California Art Institute. Even there she found drawing classes challenging due to her dyslexia. Her mentor, Dottie Knight, encouraged her to just keep painting and so she has! 

She explains her process. “I don’t think many people understand dyslexia. It’s perplexing even to me. My style of painting is intuitive.  I have as much trouble trying to copy a shape in the landscape, a still life or a figure as I did with letters while learning to write in grade school.  My style comes from a series of marks, at first they are very gestural. Then I keep refining them and start feeling my way through the painting until I can see the whole thing come together. I surprise myself sometimes!  In addition to my intense study under Dottie, I took some faux finishing classes at UC Santa Barbara. That’s where I learned all about layering paint to create special effects. It stirred something in me, it was so exciting! I still use this method in my work, layering paint with transparent glazes or scumbling opaque paint over another color to create a vibration. I love it!”

Diane is currently a member of Brevard Cultural Alliance and is displaying her work in many locations including, Lexus of Melbourne, Melbourne Orlando International Airport, SAVANT Wealth Management, and Dixie Crossroads Restaurant.  Recently sold artwork that was on display at Urban Prime Restaurant and Marketplace.