Artist Statement of Intent
I currently identify myself as a mixed media abstract painter specializing in acrylic collage.
My creative process starts well before gessoing a canvas or craded panel. I insist on creating all of my own materials selected for the collage. I love playing with the gelli press: selecting my favorite colors, experimenting with random mark making tools such as homemade stencils and linocut blocks. I will often use petals or leaves as a resist and return and repeat the process with another color. In the end I have an exciting collection of one-of-a-kind papers to apply in the creation of my collage.
The next stage is the sorting of these materials according to value, hue and texture. This makes the final selection simpler as I can quickly rely on colour principles and not become overwhelmed by my collection.
Once I have chosen my materials, they are cut to specific shapes and layered intuitively. I use gel medium as my adhesive and then paint around or over with acrylic paint. I may bring in some inks, graphite or washes to bring out contrast or subtlety bury the obvious.
My ultimate goal is to keep my images fresh; relying on a few tricks to achieve this like saturation contrast.
The rolling agriculture fields in this part of southern Ontario fascinate me. They remind me of an old fashion quilt – squares laid out in a repeating rhythm. Again and again I paint the fields to highlight their openness against a broad uninterrupted sky.
Another way to recognise my style is in the finished pieces. They are richly laden with lumps and ridges exposing quiet history or conversations of what lies beneath.
Since its reopening in April 2022, I have been an active member of Arts on Main Gallery, 223 Main Street Picton and participated in their last nine art shows. Arts on Main Gallery is an artist run co-operative featuring all local arts. 223 Main Street Picton.
Arts on Main Gallery https://artsonmaingallery.ca/diane-cole
Personal background and reoccurring themes
I grew up and raised my own family in Toronto. After a fulfilling career in Human Resource Management and experiencing the thrills of life at Toronto City Hall, I retired in 2011. Moving to Prince Edward County was a lifeline delivering quiet creative refuge and a renewed appreciation for nature and the arts. I love rural life, tapping my own maple trees, growing tomatoes, broad starry skies and the billowy sounds of a flock of geese flying high over head. It is in this beautiful rural community that I rediscovered my creative spirit. My 1853 home is surrounded by acres of natural beauty where even a simple short drive into town involves driving pass four dairy farms, and miles of unfenced rolling farmland. This landscape is alive with light, colour, texture and bird song, all of which stimulate and inspire me.
Education and Curriculum Vitae
I have been painting my whole life. Formally I studied art in high school. I graduated from University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
A life long learner, I have attended countless classes, demonstrations and open studios including a week long retreat into Killarney Ontario with the late Franklin (Archie) Arbuckle: and a painting retreat with Kate Wake in in Trava, Portugal and several summer vacations studying at the Haliburton School of Art and Design.
Memberships, Associations and volunteer roles
I have held membership in various arts groups, first being the Willowdale Group of Artist. While a member I served on their Board. They held annual juried shows and as a result my work has hung in Etobicoke and North York Civic Centres, Edward Gardens and the North York YMCA. One of my proudest accomplishments was being awarded “Honorable Mention” by the late and distinguished artist/juror Doris McCarthy made possible through this group.
I have also been a member of Art Scarborough and my paintings have hung at the Scarborough Civic Centre and Cedar Ridge Community Centre.
Since 2019 I have been a member of the Prince Edward County Arts Council (PECAC) and juried into their last five annual Art in the County shows. (PECAC) https://countyarts.ca/our-members/diane-m-cole/
In the winter of 2022/2023 I led a weekly Open Artist Studio in the Baxter Arts Centre, Bloomfield Ontario
In 2021 I was accepted as a guest artist with Arts on Main Gallery, Picton. This evolved in being accepted as a full member of this co-operative in April 2022. I currently serve on their Board in the position of Treasurer. My paintings have been accepted in their last nine shows.
My work is in private collections throughout Canada and northern United States.