Diana Corvelle

Gouache Portraits & Telling #MeToo Stories, with Diana Corvelle


What does the process of creating gouache portraits look like? Where did the idea come from to create these portraits alongside the #MeToo stories of women who have survived sexual harassment and assault? I can’t wait for you to get to know the talented artist, Diana Corvelle! In our conversation, Diana and I discuss what inspired her to start this series on #MeToo stories, how she grew up encouraged to pursue a career in art, why she loves working with gouache, how politics can shape art, why we need more diverse voices in the art community, and much more!

Why gouache?

Have you ever worked with gouache before? What was your experience? Did you love it or find it challenging? For artist Diana Corvelle gouache was something that she fell in love with in art school. While everyone else around her pushed through their gouache work begrudgingly, Diana took to it like a fish to water. Looking back on that moment in her early career, Diana is so happy that she got to experiment and explore the medium that she would end up utilizing in some of her most experimental projects. Take a look at what Diana has been able to do with the gouache medium by checking out images of her work located at the bottom of this post.

The power of telling your story.

Have you ever felt marginalized or silenced? Have you ever felt like your perspective was worthless? If so, you can stand in solidarity with countless women who have risen up all over this country to speak the truth of their encounter of sexual assault or harassment through the #MeToo movement. Many of these women have hidden their stories deep inside for years and some, even longer, decades. Diana Corvelle is taking the bold step to highlight this movement through her artwork. She paints these amazing gouache portraits of women who have been subjected to sexual harassment and abuse alongside text describing their experiences. While it is a somber subject, Diana is grateful for the role she gets to play in empowering these courageous women.

The intersection of art and politics.

Art has a powerful way of conveying and often times critiquing political topics and messages. Since the 2016 election, many artists are searching for a way to push back against the current administration through creative and artistic means. While many artists opt for a more visceral message of attacking the head of this administration, there are those who look for a more subversive approach. Diana Corvelle counts herself among the more discreet but opinionated subsection of those artists. She is not afraid of a sending a political message but she wants to convey it on her terms. Understanding this aspect of Diana’s perspective, you can see a whole new layer of meaning and depth behind her current series.

Why the art community needs more diverse voices.

Like any segment of our society, the art world would only benefit from more diverse and unique voices getting a seat at the table. Have you seen any trends toward embracing more minority voices in your corner of the art community? How can you be part of the change? Artist Diana Corvelle is convinced that our culture will only be enriched when more voices of women and people of color are elevated and appreciated. At the end of the day, it’s all about visibility for Diana, she wants to see a wide array of minority groups and marginalized voices come together under the kaleidoscope of art. What is your take on this topic? How can we create a more inclusive atmosphere?

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:55] I introduce my guest, Diana Corvelle.
  • [3:00] Growing up surrounded by art.
  • [6:00] Diana describes her artwork.
  • [11:20] How does Diana use her oil pastels?
  • [14:15] What led Diana to work with gouache?
  • [17:30] Diana talks about what inspires her work.
  • [27:00] Reactions that Diana has received about her recent work.
  • [30:30] What is Diana most proud of in her work?
  • [34:30] How politics can shape art.
  • [37:20] How would Diana like her series viewed?
  • [43:30] Why we need more diverse voices in the art world.
  • [48:30] The role of privilege in art and society.
  • [50:30] How Diana approaches her time in the studio.
  • [56:00] Questions that Diana often gets from her students.
  • [58:00] Why it’s helpful to have a healthy suspicion of the “Right way.”
  • [1:06:00] Bumps and hiccups along the way are normal!

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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