Bio and Exhibitions

My inspiration is the color of light and translating this visual music with paint.  While capturing a moment both intimate and universal, memory and imagination play a large part in my work.

I paint contemporary realistic landscape, still life, and figurative, or all three at once.  My preferred medium is oil but I also paint with watercolor and pastel.

Born in New York, I have lived in Florida for over twenty years.  I studied at Pratt Institute and State University of New York with graduate studies.

As an illustrator, I have published over sixty children's books.  I continue to keep illustration and fine art separate... Diane Paterson as author/illustrator, and Diane Mannion as painter.

A solo show of my watercolors at the Mark Gruber Gallery in New York sold out.  I had the honor of a solo show at the Bay Preserve at Osprey for the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast.

Consistently juried into Randy Higbee's Six Inch Squared Show in California.  Boldbrush FAV 15% Winner several times.  Award winner at the Punta Gorda National Show.  Winning enough ribbons to make a curtain, and two times winner of the Bowles Portrait Award, the FINE ART CONNOISSEUR MAGAZINE AWARD OF EXCELLENCE is the honor I'm most proud of.

Instructor at Ringling College of Art and Design.  Judge for area art exhibitions.  Often paint with area plein air groups.

I've maintained a blog since 2008, writing about art techniques and as an archive of over a thousand of my paintings.


Oil Painters of America
National Oil and Acrylic Painters
Portrait Society of America
American Impressionist Society
American Society of Marine Artists
Women Painters of the Southeast, Signature Member
My blog has become an important part of my work.  I post and write about painting techniques almost daily.  Please visit:

TEACHING: On-going sessions... Venice Arts Center, Ringling Englewood, Punta Gorda Visual Arts Center.  (Taking time off for 2015-16 season to prepare work for galleries.)

Education:             Pratt Institute and SUNY, BA, New York and Graduate Studies, Instructor

Exhibits:   2008                 Paintout, Mary Erickson’s Retreat, NC
                                               Julia’s Arts, Demo, Matlacha, FL
   St Armands Art Festival, Sarasota, FL
   Ringling’s Englewood Art Center, Sea and Shore Exhibit,FL
   Venice Art Center, Fall Group Show, FL        
                                             Art In the Palms, Palm Island, FL
                                            Art Sensations, Paintout Punta Gorda, Marina, FL
       2009                             Venice Art Festival, FL
                                    Julia’s Arts Demo, Matlacha, FL
                                    Dearborn Street Paintout, Englewood, FL           
                                    Plein Air Painters Group Show, Visual Arts Center, Punta Gorda, FL
                                    Venice Art Center Spring Exhibit, FL, MERIT AWARD
                                    Firecracker Show, Punta Gorda, FL, VAC, FIRST PRIZE
                                    Asian Art Influence Exhibit, Venice Art Center
                                    Summer Sizzler Exhibit, Punta Gorda VAC, 1st Place
                                    Paint the Parks, Juried into Parks Mini 2nd50 Competition
                                    Moderator, VAC Plein Air Painters Heatstrokes
                                    Harvest of Art, Juried, Punta Gorda, MERIT AWARD
                                    FACES AND FIGURES, Venice Art Center, MERIT AWARD
                                    ART IN THE PALMS, Palm Island.  Moderator for Heatstrokes plein air group.
       2010                    Several awards at all the art centers group shows.   Have large ribbon collection!                   
                                 National Show, Punta Gorda
                                 Harvest of Art, Punta Gorda... 2nd Place
                                 Taught workshops and classes for pastel, Bootcamp, Small paintings, and youth art camp, Punta Gorda, FL.
       2011                  Punta Gorda Plein Air Competition, 1st place AND People's choice!    
                                 Teaching workshops and classes for pastel, Bootcamp, Small paintings, Punta Gorda, FL,
                                  Ringling's Englewood Art Center, and Venice Art Center.
                                  Won lots of awards and ribbons in 2011 that I was too busy to post here but the main win of the year
                                  was a huge honor!  THE BOWLES PORTRAIT AWARD for my MOHAGANY WOMAN.
                                 Had three paintings accepted into Randy Higbee's 6x6 inch show in California!
 2012                        March 16th... showing at the Celery Barn, Towles Court, Sarasota, FL with the Light Chasers Plein Air Group.
                                  March... NAUTILUS in the Salon des Refuses, VAC Punta Gorda, FL.
                                 April... two paintings in the Woman Painters of the Southeast show CORSE GALLERY, Jacksonville, FL.
MAHOGANY WOMAN won top prize, Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine Award of Excellence!
                                 Grosse Pointe, MI... Group Show, Realisim/Surrealisim June-July
2013                       Women Painters of the SE, second year exhibit.
                                 Harvest of Art Group Show, Punta Gorda, FL
                                 JUDGE! Hermitage Paintout, Manasota Key, FL,
                                 Randy Higbee 6" Square Show, 3rd year
                                 Judge, Desoto Arts and Humanities Members Show
                                 Boldbrush Competition...FAV 15% 10/2013
                                 GREATEST HITS, Punta Gorda Visual Arts Center, Boyles Award for Outstanding Portraiture (second time won!)          AND       People's Choice Award
                                 BOLDBRUSH FAV 15% WINNER, October 2013
                                 Women Painters of the Southeast, juried into 2014 show
                                 Punta Gorda National Show, 2014... 2 paintings juried in!
                                 Light Chasers Hub Show, Sarasota
                                 SOS, Save Our Seabirds, plein air weekend with Light Chasers
                                 Ringling Englewood...2 Artists
                                 Solo Show!  IN FULL COLOR, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast,
                                 Bay Preserve at Osprey March-May 2014
                                Art Alliance of Lemon Bay, Plein air show, Englewood, FL
                                Punta Gorda Visual Arts Center Plein Air Painters show
                                Ringling Instructors Show, Englewood, FL
                                Bradenton Paint the Town, 3rd prize in QuickDraw and Honorable Mention
                                BOLDBRUSH FAV 15% WINNER, October and November 2014

Judge: Arcadia Paint the Town, Ringling College Plein Air at the Hermitage, Punta Gorda Visual Arts Center, and Venice Art Center

Plein Air Painters, VAC, Punta Gorda, 2015 Honorable Mention
Light Chasers... selected as EMERGING MASTER
Light Chasers Master Artist Show
Light Chasers Gala Exhibition, Phillipi Estate, Sarasota
Women Painters of the SE, juried into 2015 show
Winner's Circle Exhibition, VAC Punta Gorda
BOLDBRUSH FAV 15% WINNER,  January 2015

American Society of Marine Artists, 17th National Exhibition,
My painting, WATER PEOPLE will travel to these museums:
Muscarelle Museum, Williamsburg, VA
Academy Art Museum, Easton MD
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St Michaels, MD
Quinlan Visual Arts Center, Gainesville GA
Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Winona MN
Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic CT