Saturday, February 7, 2009



Acrylic, 122 x 88 cm

This painting was originally posted under the name “flight”. I have been working on this canvas on and off for the last few months, I have even hung it at a recent exhibition and then worked on it again after the show. Do you ever do this?

I have turned the canvas horizontally, it looks better this way. My eagle represents strength and determination. She has the ability to move freely from one dimension to another, to soar above mundane daily life with absolute freedom.

I love to turn my paintings around and hang them up for a while in this new view of the work, it is like having four different paintings! Contemplating my paintings in progress plays an enormous part of my painting process, I spend ages looking at them in order for the paintings to direct me and tell me where to go next. I usually work on three or four at a time and so my studio can become very cramped with canvasses standing about. I dream of having a studio the size of a church hall!

In order to hang them all up without banging a million nails into the wall, we put up picture rails in my small studio and have hung chains from which I can hang the paintings. I screw a nail into the middle of each stretcher bar and then tie a loop of string so I can hook up the painting in whichever way I fancy. I can move these chains according to the size of the paintings and can hang two or more on the same chain.

What do you do with your paintings while working on them?


Carol Schiff Studio said...

Love your painting. I would not know where to begin to do such an abstract piece although I often have the desire to try. It always leads to frustration and failure for me! Your paintings and your posts (ie A Chance Encounter with a Stranger) are equally intriguing

Dianne said...

Dear Carol,
Thanks! My paintings take weeks or even months to evolve! I play around until an image appears and then go with that theme, so although this looks abstract, to me it is an eagle mid-flight, showing all the movement of the flapping wings. I love to portray movement in some way. I have painted in the head of the eagle, showing an orange beak, not sure if this is in any way obvious?

Cathy Gatland said...

I love this painting too - love the abstraction but suggestion of flight and light - could be angel or bat or eagle (I didn't notice the head till I read your last comment - I see another head under the eagle one too - sort of kangarooish!?). I so enjoy your writing, your art and your interview.

gianlucio said...

Hello Dianne, very special this design, I like very much the nuances.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dianne, I absolutely agree with the other comments here. Personally, I see beautiful abstract ethereal colours before the image of the bird appears. The colours used are so delicate and light. You have a good sense of tonal values. I like the fact that it is not too representational because it has so much movement and seems to want to soar above the canvas at any moment. You have a very light touch with the paint, something I am working on as it doesn't come naturally to me, I'm a bit heavy-handed with paint. Probably why I find watercolours so difficult. This painting is wonderful!

I usually prop my paintings up on a shelf in the studio and I have a couple of vertical wood supports on the wall for hanging larger works in progress. Otherwise they come inside the house so I can live with them for a while until I feel I can work on them again. The trouble is I never know if its finished or not!

Anonymous said...

Dear Di,
Your eagle has a ghostly, ethereal quality which is breathtaking and intriguing all at once. I remember this painting at the stage it was when you exhibited it as 'Flight'. I admired it very much and enjoyed the sense of aerial movement you captured. Now, as if by magic, this exquisite eagle has emerged and so now I can view this painting as a living, evolving vision. Wonderful - food for the soul!
Love Wyn.

fiona long said...

Hi Dianne,

I found your blog through lovely Kim's. I so enjoyed reading your interview and your blog is great too. It's very interesting to hear about your process. I love that nail and string idea! The problem I have with deciding which way up a painting should go is that I always seem to prefer the first way I see it. Some sort of primacy effect perhaps? Any idea ho I might get past this? Great idea on the rail around your studio. I wish I were organised enough to do this. I seem to work in a big chaotic pile! I argue that maybe it's an element of my creativity ;-)
Thanks again for sharing your wonderful work!

Dianne said...

Dear Cathy,
Thanks for your input, I love to hear what others can see in my paintings! Thanks also for reading the interview,it was a bit of a mammoth conversation!

Dianne said...

Hi Gianlucio, thanks for visiting my blog, glad you liked this painting!

Dianne said...

Dear Carolann,
Wow, what a lovely comment! You have given such a lovely indepth crit of this painting, this is what blogging is all about! We are sharing an amazing virtual studio and all growing in our art as a result of this sharing.
Since your studio is in the garden, you are right to bring your paintings into the house so you can see them while you move around your home.

Dianne said...

Dear Wyn,
So glad you like how this painting has evolved. I really value your opinion, Wyn!
It is so typical of how my work seems to meander, I realize I have to be patient and trust something will emerge.
I am really happy with how this one has turned out.

Dianne said...

Dear Fiona,
Welcome! So glad you found me through lovely Kim. I tried to click on your name but couldn't find your blog, do you write a blog? What type of painting do you do? You sound like a very creative person! Send me a web address or some photo's of your work.

fiona long said...

Hi Dianne,

Thanks. It's a shame my blog address didn't come through but thanks very much for taking an interest! It's I do all sorts of painting but particularly like painting brick walls right now and also do alot of sculpture. I'm focusing on a type of future archaeology at the moment:
Thanks again for sharing your wonderful work!

Cynthia said...

Clever you, Dianne. What an effective way to view your work in progress. The eagle painting from the angle you present it is finished feeling to me. It seems to capture a moment of flight just beginning...lovely work. <3

Btw I left a long response to your comment over at Oasis. Thank you for sharing with me.

Dianne said...

Dear Fiona,
Thanks for getting back with your site address. I had a great time looking at your paintings and reading some of your postings, I will return to read more soon. Your art seems to be taking you on all sorts of interesting journeys.

Dianne said...

Dear Cynthia,
Yes, I think this work is now finished! Thanks for the reminder to have a look at your reply - I cant see an option on your message box to tick for an email reply? Can you set up one in your settings? Most blogs have this option to receive replies - it is a shame to miss part of the conversation.

Kim said...

Dianne, I really do love this painting a think it is the softness merging with the movement which I find so appealing. I am noticing I am enjoying the juxtaposition of bits which cause a bit of visual tension. I wonder why that is right now?

This is a wonderful way to hang your paintings and view them. I don't think I would have enough room to do this in my tiny wall is just large enough for one painting...and they are full with supplies! LOL Your system is fabulous, though! Now I like your idea of a studio as large as a church in the middle and hang the paintings on the wall...have a sofa on one end with a small desk where the computer can sit. Add some music and a tea kettle and how much better can life get, right? We can all dream....

Thanks Dianne!

Dianne said...

Dear Kim,
Thanks for your comment regarding the painting, I so value your opinion!

You paint a wonderful picture in my mind of that lovely big studio - I love the idea of a sofa at one end, so that I might sit in comfort while thinking about my paintings. A desk for the computer right there so that I can catch up with blogging while the paint or glaze dries, a kettle for tea and music all around, mmmmmmm, bliss!

sukipoet said...

Hi Dianne, I am way behind on comments as I took a few days "off." I immediately thought bird as I saw the right side of the painitng first, which looks so wing-like. I really like the sense of flying with this bird that I get when I see the painting.

I love your neat and tidy idea of how to view your works in progress and hang them without marring the wallboard. I just prop my wet paintings up somewhere and the dry ones go turned face to the wall in a pile on the floor. But then I have moved my studio about 5 times in 4 years or something so it is a moveable feast and nothing permanent is set up.

~Babs said...

Amazing eagle!
And a very unique storange idea.

Dianne said...

Dear Suki,
Thanks for the comments on my painting!
Of course, you are in a temporary situation at the moment and so cannot set up a permanent studio. I hope you find your dream house soon.

Dianne said...

Hi Babs,
Thanks! The storage idea comes out of desperation of working in a small area with a few large canvasses.

Cynthia said...

Hi Dianne, I hope you can visit over at Oasis to accept a bit of heartfelt appreciation from me. <3

btw, I wonder why do I get some replies by email? I have to figure out what's different on my blog.

Michelle said...

Have come from Cynthias blog....beautiful painting....I will be back!

I hang them everywhichway too...and must live with them for a while :)

linda said...

this is a beautiful painting and I wanted to turn my laptop in different directions to see it differently ;)

yes, I do exactly the same thing, I even sleep with them next to my bed so I wake up and see them with fresh eyes first thing in the morning! but they are on paper for the most part, so a tad easier to accomplish although your system looks great!

love your blog and found it from cynthia's blog. ;)

Dianne said...

Dear Michele,
Thanks for visiting my blog! I had a quick peak at your blog and thoroughly enjoyed seeing your beautiful paintings.

Dianne said...

Dear Linda, thanks for coming by via Cynthia. So glad you enjoyed visiting!

Lynette said...

OOOh Dianne, 'Freedom' is just light as a feather and powerful as an eagle in flight, I really love this painting! I have my painting all over the house (except the living room). Lots in the painting room, lots in the bedroom where I sleep and a few in the kitchen too.

Cestandrea said...

Diane, I'm so late commenting here:) I just love this painting, it gives us wings, too. So subtle and yet so dense, it is wonderful. And thanks about sharing your hanging techniques for work and work in process, this can be very useful! Have a great week, (and travel!:)

Dianne said...

Dear Andrea,
Thanks, I'm glad you like this painting! I so value your feedback.
Yes, I am really looking forward to going to the UK.