ARTIST Diana Solie

Several years ago, my 99-year-old aunt, whose paintings I admired my whole life, challenged me to finish the oil painting she was no longer able to complete. She had no patience with my argument, “But I don’t know how to paint!”. Not long after, I took my first oil painting class, discovered that I loved it, and I’ve been painting ever since.

My career was as an Alaskan field geologist, having received my doctorate from Virginia Tech. My scientific pursuits were balanced by my life-long avocation as a cellist. I played in orchestras wherever I’ve lived, including the Boulder Philharmonic, the Roanoke Symphony and the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra. In recent years oil painting has replaced music as my creative expression. I love being able to paint, whether I am home in Fairbanks, Alaska or at our winter home in Oriental, North Carolina, or on our sailboat traveling along the east coast. Most of my paintings reflect the beauty of the natural world that has inspired me throughout my life.

My subjects are inspired by places I’ve been and experiences I’ve had, generally focusing on the Alaskan landscape and scenes from North Carolina and the Intra-Coastal Waterway. I am honored to have my work in private collections in Alaska and North Carolina, and am preparing for a show in Fairbanks later in 2022.

“Facing the New Year” is inspired by a photograph I took of Oriental’s Running of the Dragon
in 2019. In this painting, the stylized dragon head symbolizes the naïve, brave face we all like to put on the New Year. Meanwhile the past is burning behind us and the people are standing by uncertainly, their futures still unwritten. And little did we know, back in 2019, what was in store for us all!