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Hot off the palate -- artist Diane Leifheit displays her "plein air" depiction of the John Brown farm near Lake Placid. Photo: Todd Moe
Hot off the palate -- artist Diane Leifheit displays her "plein air" depiction of the John Brown farm near Lake Placid. Photo: Todd Moe

Watching artists up close: Diane Leifheit

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Gabriels artist Diane Leifheit is one of dozens of northern Adirondack artists opening their art spaces to the public during the Artist at Work Studio Tour this weekend. The annual event, which features more than 70 artists this year, gives art admirers some insight into "how they do that".

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Inside Diane Leifheit's art studio in Gabriels. Photo: Todd Moe

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Todd Moe
Morning Host and Producer

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This summary only contains a portion of what’s in the audio interview. For the full interview, click “listen with NCPR player”.

The Artist at Work Studio Tour kicks off Friday and runs through the weekend with more than 75 artists in 45 locations across the Northern Adirondacks, including Jay, Lake Placid, Paul Smiths, Vermontville and Saranac Lake.

Artists in the Adirondacks are abundant but scattered, and the tour allows for the public to get a behind-the-scenes look at their lives. And it gives people a chance to get first-hand sense of their processes, too, like how a painter gets the right shade of blue or a potter raises up a vessel from a lump on a wheel.

This year some artists will be opening up their home studios, but there is also a collection of artists together in one spot, at the Paul Smiths Visitor Interpretive Center. Those artists include Anne Diggory, a plein air painter; Julia Holmes, a glass fusion artist;  photographer Jim Bullard; Jeanne Danforth, watercolor and pastel painter; and Karla Brieant, a photographer.

Leifheit says visitors to her studio will see pastels all over the place, “probably thousands of colors”.  And she says she doesn’t mind visitors; she has been making plein air paintings for many years so she is used to people (sometimes preceded by their dogs) walking by and talking to her.

Leifheit says people visiting “gives me an opportunity to talk about the things that I do, either plein air or otherwise. And the fact that I work in pastel is pretty unique to a lot of plein air artists, because most them are water color and oil.” She says she also occasionally sells a painting during the Studio Tour, which she doesn’t mind, either.

Artists' schedules may vary—for more specific information, please visit the Studio Tour's web site here.

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