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Artist Diane Alec Smith gives some pointers to Sister Christy of Cutchogue during an art studio class this week. (Barbaraellen Koch Photo)

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO Artist Diane Alec Smith gives some pointers to Sister Christy of Cutchogue during an art studio class this week.

Art is everywhere and learning to appreciate it just makes life more beautiful. That’s what Diane Smith, owner of Diane Alec Smith art studio, truly believes. 

Smith says that art is for everyone, whether you are a skilled artist or just picking up a paintbrush for the first time, and her studio provides art classes for both these kinds of people.

“I teach people of all kinds of skill levels and all kinds of ages,” she said. “I offer beginning classes as well as master classes, and all are equally enjoyable.”

Smith found her love for art as a child and she remembers her second grade report card showing that she had done best in art class. Since then, she has always appreciated art and, as a result, life.

“Art teaches you to appreciate the beauty of the world around you,” she said. “To become more aware of your surroundings and to notice things you wouldn’t have noticed before.”

Smith’s studio, which sits on a beautiful pond along Main Street in Cutchogue, offers amazing views for her painting classes. None of her classes involve drawing and they all start immediately with a paint brush and acrylic paint.

Students in her classes can paint their pictures with acrylic paint and take them home right after, without having to wait for them to dry. And if they don’t like the way the painting came out, they can always start over with acrylic.

Smith says she has been a painting guide and teacher for around 35 years. In her classes, she critiques her students’ work and teaches them how to paint, but she also recognizes that art should be fun and she allows her students the freedom to paint what they want.

“I may give them some guidelines of what to paint,” she said. “But I don’t ever tell them they have to paint something they don’t want to.”

Smith usually starts her beginner students off with painting landscapes and then progresses from there.

“Beginners can be easier to teach because they don’t have any bad painting habits,” she laughed. “But there is more freedom in what we paint when the students are experienced.”

Some of Smith’s students have been going to her classes for more than 10 years.

“My classes become a very fun and social experience, often people will look at the time and be shocked that two hours have gone by so quickly,” she said.

Smith explains painting like getting dressed in the morning. If you can pick out your outfit and match your colors and look presentable, you can paint.

“It’s something you practice and learn, just like anything else,” she said. “And I love teaching people that.”

Find out more about Ms. Smith and her classes at