diane_smThe great joy of painting for me is that it provides an opportunity to sit with and really see the world. I work both in plein air, and in the studio from sketches, color notes and photos that I have gathered as reference on site.

All of my work is essentially about light, the way it falls on the landscape. I love the light in the warm summer months, especially in the morning and the evening, when the sun is low in the sky. Shadows deepen, and colors seem especially vivid in the slanting light. In the winter, the light is cooler, and the colors more muted. However, it is often clearer, and there is a beautiful stillness and clarity in the landscape. I am particularly intrigued with water, how it reflects the sky, but also is transparent, with the objects below and above the surface combining in an ever-changing mosaic.


Diane is an Associate Member of Pastel Society of America (PSA), a Signature Member of the Pastel Painter’s Society of Cape Cod, a Gallery Artist at South Shore Art Center (SSAC), and a member of Connecticut Pastel Society, North River Arts Society, and the Milton Art Center.  She is past Chair and member of the Gallery Committee at the Milton Art Center’s Gallery 334, where she has been Co-Chair of the Annual Juried Show from its inception in 2016.

Diane received a BFA from the Boston Museum School and Tufts University in 1979, and has completed additional coursework at MassArt, Museum School, and Bennington College. She has studied with numerous artists including Liz Haywood Sullivan, Jeanne Rosier Smith, Susan Ogilvie, Stan Sperlak, Marla Baggetta, Ed Chesnovich, Michele Poirier-Mozzone, Tony Alain, Alain Picard, Jacob Aguiar, Margaret McWethy, and Jon Redmond, among others.

In addition to being an artist she is principal of Sawyer Design Associates, LLC, a graphic design studio in Milton, MA specializing in publication design for education, health care, and social-service oriented non-profits. For more information about Sawyer Design, see http://www.sawyerdesign.net


South Shore Art Center Festival, Second Prize in Drawing and Pastel, 2017
South Shore Art Center,  Entryways, Third Place, January 2017
Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod, Member Show, Second Place, October 2016
Connecticut Pastel Society, Purely Pastel, Bronze Award for Excellence, June–July 2016
Gallery 334, Milton Art Center, Celebrate Summer, People’s Choice Best in Show, 2016
UArt 2015 National Online Juried Competition, Best in Show, August 2015
Connecticut Pastel Society, Renaissance in Pastels, Judith Walo Memorial Award, October 2015 (one of top 5 awards)
Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod, Member Show, October 2015, Honorable Mention
Forbes House Museum 2004, River Art, First prize in digital photography


True Grit Gallery, Middleborough, MA
Francesca Anderson Fine Arts, Lexington, MA
South Shore Art Center, Cohasset, MA, Gallery Artist


Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod, For Pastels Only, June 2012— 2017
Milton Art Center, 3rd Annual Juried Show, April 27—June 1, 2018
Sprinkler Factory, Worcester, Making Our Mark, Six person show, April 2018
South Shore Art Center, Shapes and Shadows, Juried Show, March 2018
Connecticut Pastel Society, Renaissance in Pastels, October 2017
Francesca Anderson Fien Arts: Almost Miniatures, November 2017 — January, 2018
True Grit Gallery, Middleborough, MA, Nocturnes, Juried Show November 2017
South Shore Art Center, Pigments, (invitational) September 2017
South Shore Art Center, Arts Festival, June 2017
International Society of Pastel Societies (IAPS) 30th Juried Exhibition, Albuquerque NM,    June 2017
Sprinkler Factory, Worcester: Four Artists Four Visions, April 8 – May 7, 2017
South Shore Art Center, Juried Show: Entryways, January 2017
Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod, Signature Member Show, Cape Cod Art Museum, Dennis MA, March – April 2017
North River Arts, Members Shows, October 2015, 2016, 2017
Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod, Member Show, October 2012—2018
Dolphin Gallery, Hingham Library, Hingham MA, Solo show: Dive In! July – Sept. 2016
Curated by North River Arts
True Grit Gallery, Middleborough, MA, Gallery Artist, April 2016 to present
UArt 2016 Online Juried Competition, July 2016
Connecticut Pastel Society, Purely Pastel, June – July 2016
Piano Craft Gallery, Boston, Contemporary Realism, Four person show, March 2016
Francesca Anderson Fine Art, Lexington MA, Warm and Sunny Show, Feb.–April 2016
Gallery 334, Milton Center for the Arts, Milton MA, Group and Juried shows, 2012–present
Connecticut Pastel Society Renaissance in Pastels, October 2015
UArt 2015 Online Juried Competition, August 2015
IAPS 26th Exhibition, Albuquerque NM, 2015
Kirkwood Gallery, Wilmington MA, Four person show, May 2015
Wotiz Gallery, Milton Library, Milton MA, Solo shows, May 2015, and June 2011
Concord Art Association, Concord MA, Pastel Painters in Provence, September 2014
Dot 2 Dot Café, Boston MA, Solo shows, pastels and photography, 2016, 2015, 2014
North River Festival of the Arts, Marshfield MA, May–June 2013
Mad Hatter Gallery, Marlborough MA, Four person show, March, 2012
The Framers Edge Gallery, Braintree MA, Six person show, Oct–March 2011


Juror of Awards: Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE):
Circle of Excellence Awards in Illustration
Juror of Awards: Connecticut Pastel Society, Renaissance in Pastels, 2016
Juror of Selection: Framingham State College, Student shows


  1. mehrlich125 says:

    Lovely work! I also live on Cape Cod. I dabble in watercolors. I loved your explanation of the Sandy Neck pastel piece, how you approached the layering and the light, very interesting. It seems a lot of my life is now about “chasing the light”. Marian

  2. Joan Baldwin says:

    I love the image if the boy entering the water in the pastel which I bought at the Pastel Society show. I gave it to my grown son for his house since it reminded me of him at the Cape when he was about 11 or 12. I’m an artist also and I appreciate your skill with using pastels.

    Joan Baldwin

    • Joan, thank you for your comment! It’s so nice to know where the piece ended up. I love that you gave it to your son. I just sold the larger piece that was used on the card for my show in Hingham.

      It’s so nice to know as an artist that others connect with what you’re doing. Is your site joanbaldwin.com? If so, love your work! If not, I’d love to see what you’re doing.

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