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range from age five to well past retirement. As their creative choices accumulate, her students gradually invent a style all their own. She says her devotion to education and teaching comes from a long lineage of educators extending beyond the Mayflower Pilgrims. “My ancestor John Cooke served as first School Master for Plymouth Colony in 1649, and Sir Isaac Newton was a second cousin,” Wallace writes in her online biography. She began creating detailed studies in conté-crayon and oils while studying with Dr. Maynard D. Stewart at San Jose State University where she graduated in 1968 with multiple degrees in painting, art history and ceramics, and minors in humanities and music. Through Stewart, she learned to master French academic neo-classical painting methods, but ultimately developed a less formal style with natural subject matter. Wallace says her work has gradually “evolved into a loose form of American impressionism with a modern twist.” She worked sixteen-hour days for many years to master both oils and watercolor techniques and discovered how to use composition and design principles for the greatest impact. She has won top awards for her watercolors and oil paintings in local and regional juried shows. Her work has been included in the American Watercolor Society annual exhibit at the National Gallery in New York. In 1977, when back problems hindered her painting career, Wallace taught painting and art history at Shasta, Gavilan, and De Anza colleges. Ultimately, decades of caring for her disabled mother made home studio classes the only option, so she took a hiatus from her own painting during GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN that time. Caring for her mother until she passed away in 2013, Wallace has since resumed teaching in her rural Morgan Hill studio and is once again producing water- colors and plein-air oil paintings. Wallace says she’s “smack in the middle of some big style changes” as she experiments with “larger abstract relationships between shapes, values and colors.” Seeing where she’s been, it’s with great anticipation that we await the next bend in her creative path. Her original paintings and fine art giclée prints can be viewed in her studio and online through her website. Works are also on display at the Gilroy Center for the Arts. For more information on classes or a tour of her gallery, visit her website at dianewallaceart.com or phone her at 408-778-6640. Dan Craig is a local artist and freelance writer who lives and works in his downtown loft in Morgan Hill. JUNE/JULY 2018 gmhtoday.com 77