Archived Paintings

These paintings have found homes...

These original Alison Dibble paintings have found homes from Maine to Hawai’i, Montreal to British Columbia, and in Mainland China.  Thank you for looking. Images and all content Copyright 2020 Alison C. Dibble.


I like to paint rapidly in the open air, confronting my subject directly in the footsteps of the French Impressionists. I must make decisions quickly. The light is changing, the shadows are moving, while I try to capture an energy and spontaneity that are not so easily conveyed in a studio painting.

It’s not always possible to be outside, but I go to great lengths to paint outdoors, even in winter. Sometimes I am painting with a friend, or I’m by myself in the wilderness. I try to focus not so much on the outcome as on the process of painting. I ask, what can I learn here, and how can I surprise myself? I paint in many other places too but many of the paintings shown here are Maine scenes.

When I'm painting indoors from my sketches and reference photos, then I can call to mind some of my many open air experiences. I can imagine that the breeze freshens, a cloud passes over, a bird flies through the scene. If I paint quickly I can regain some energy and perhaps a little of the magic that caught my attention in the first place. In the suite of paintings shown here, can you tell which were open air paintings, and which were created in the studio?


I try to find a unique aspect to each individual within its species and to tell a little story about the struggles that the animal might face. I think about its persistence in the face of hunger and adversity. A few of these are from my own photos (e.g., bees, moose), others are from my study of illustrations and photos by other artists. If I must work with reference materials from other artists, then after a while I put those aside and design my own image from my imagination.


The subject of the painting might not be identifiable. It could be about a feeling, or a question I have, or some motion I want to capture. My excitement comes in watching the painting take form in front of me. (Will I like it? Will I want to look at it ever again? Will I want ever to look away from it, once it's up on the wall?) This is the fascination for me. Let the painting tell its own story to the viewer, in a communication that might be deeper than what I originally conceived. Of all my subjects that I like to paint, abstract subjects intrigue me the most.


Painting a still life can be like a meditation. There’s a risk that the finished painting might be more of a dispassionate description than a journey to the heart. To be avoided: a stiff scene that does not invite the viewer in. I see my task as identifying an emotion and conveying that emotion in the scene. There is a story in the inanimate objects I paint, so how can I get that story to resonate with the viewer? That is the challenge, and if I get it right, the reward.


Interior landscapes have a potential to transport me into a separate world of imagination and story. I am capturing a little slice of life, but it is not necessarily real, there is a separation from the day-to-day that I want to exploit. The painting might suggest a completely different story to the viewer, and that’s fine. Each person’s story is unique, anyway. But some central themes might emerge in the paintings of interiors, like curiosity, pursuit of knowledge, service to a greater good. I might be able to suggest secrets, such as hints of something going on just out of the frame, that could increase the pleasure of dwelling for a time in front of that painting.