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The artist, Dianne Lay

Dianne Lay

The artist, Dianne Lay

I think that beauty, in whatever form, is vital to life. Fortunately, we are not without beauty, which comes in many forms. We most often think of it in formalized ways: theater, dance, 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional art. But there is subtle beauty everywhere: in objects, in sentiments, in emotions, in the words we speak. I choose to bring this beauty into a physical, formalized form via watercolor painting. My goal is to enable others to bring beauty, which touches them in some way, into their living environment. People have commented that they purchase my work because “I just have to have it,”, “I love puffins”,  “My business is on the coast and the title of the painting is the name of my business”,  “Oh, that reminds me of my childhood.” All of these reasons are the result of their response to a manifestation of beauty they see in the painting. I want to bring out the happy, fulfilling emotions of someone when they look at my work.


These are my favorite watercolor paintings techniques:

WET-IN-WET- This is a lot like life: I have some control, but there are many outside influences. I may choose which pigment to put down, but the paper, dampness of the paper and humidity all influence what happens to that pigment. The more experience I have, the more control I have. However, the result of the influences that are beyond my control is very exciting! The pigment, when placed on the wet paper, can just explode and travel across the paper in ways that cannot be forced! It also produces soft edges that counterbalance the hard edges produced later in the process when the paper and brush are drier and more control is achieved. Most of the painting is completed in one sitting, with final touches added after the paper has dried. Examples of this method can be found in Grateful for the Sun, McKenzie Thunder and Intimations of Winter.


GLAZING- This involves multiple, very thin layers, drying between each layer. It takes patience and time,  but results in a painting that has great depth; each layer adding subtle nuance of color. This method offers a lot of control. Examples of this  technique can be seen in my Glacier National Park series: Each Its Own and Evening Thoughts .

SPONTANEOUS- This process is fun and very creative! I wet my paper, then fling paint onto the very wet surface while moving the paper in different directions and picking it up and "rocking" it back and forth. I rarely have a subject in mind when starting this way. When I like the results I step away and look at it, finding something in the marks. The image may come quickly to me and I can continue with painting - or it may take several days to "see" the image that the painting wants to be. I can then continue the painting to bring out that image. Examples of this process are found in Emerging Moments and Wild Abandon.

My art training has been achieved through classes, workshops, reading, practice and a never-ending desire. I have had training from national artists and local artists, each providing me with bits of their own insights into creativity. 

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