Gathering of Artists and Demos 
Third Tuesday of the month 
October - May 
7:00 p.m.
 May 17
Gathering of Artists & Demo with Diane Prater
Tuesday, October 18, 2022
7:00 pm

ArtServe, 1350 East Sunrise Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Mermaid Combs.jpg

Diane Prater, the Palm Beach Watercolorist, will demo her signature painting technique for creating large scale representational images of worldwide specimen seashells against brilliant abstract backgrounds. 



Diane has exhibited in the de Lesseps gallery at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL. Her 2015 one-woman show entitled “Divine Designs, Inspired Treasures from the Sea” spanned two months and drew many positive reviews. Her more recent solo exhibit at the De Lessups Gallery at the University, which ran mid-January through mid-April 2022, featured new work which also focused on variations in shell imagery against brilliant abstract backgrounds. Her original paintings and fine art reproductions are included in a number of private collections.

Diane actively taught the 2021, 2022 spring watercolor class for Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Fine Arts Department, and will teach again during the upcoming 2023 semester. She is also scheduled to show at the Palm Beach Gardens City Hall. Her solo exhibit will run April 3rd through June 1st 2023. A reception will take place on Thursday, April 13th from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. to which the public is invited.

Read more about Diane Prater


Artists Statement

Like the pairing of complimentary flavors, my paintings showcase an endless variety of saltwater seashells realistically rendered against backdrops of brilliant abstraction in a large scale format. Gathered from worldwide shell markets, subject specimens may hail from far distant shores to as near as coastal South Florida. My paintings begin with curated groupings of shells staged and photographed from various perspectives.


Abstract backgrounds with patterns reminiscent of ocean currents, tidal pools, surfaces reflecting day or night skies, clouds and other atmospheric effects are common themes. I start painting this area first, layer by layer, using transparent color that allows the underlying paper to reflect through. Translucence remains a constant goal, even when I’m creating darker backgrounds with more intense color themes.


Each wash is thoroughly dried before the next is applied, ensuring a visual blending of color themes rather than an actual mixture of wet paint. Backgrounds composed of 5 to 7 layers delicately compliment or dramatically contrast with their respective subjects. When the background wash is completely dry, work on the foreground begins. I begin painting the shells conscious of creating volume on a two dimensional plane while retaining a crispness indicative of watercolor.


Before completing the foreground, I frequently work back into any background areas that appear incongruent, intentionally striving to marry these two elements. Resultant works have been described as restorative and relaxing as well as upbeat and energizing. In stark contrast to the many negative images with which my audience is bombarded daily, I strive to create a visual reminder of that which is beautiful and enduring.