Artist of the Month, Dianne Hicks
Dianne Hicks – Artist Statement
I have always been influenced by color. Since my early childhood, I have been attracted to vibrant colors, whether it is paint chips from the local drugstore, a bowl of cat’s eye marbles, or a box of crayons. It is this influence that shows up in my work in watercolors. Being aware of the way light hits an object or person, can bring a painting to life. What I try to show, through color, light, and an interesting subject, is that if you look closer to everyday items, you can make these things interesting and beautiful in their own way. I look for the way sunlight hits a person’s face, and if this will make the portrait lively and realistic.
My watercolors are primarily realistic and my subject matter varies from portraits of humans, dogs and cats, florals, objects such as balloons, pasta, or coffee cups, and landscapes which may include boats or buildings. I find that, by using watercolors, I can create a transparency that helps illuminate the subject matter. For many years I steered away from portraits until I began taking classes and workshops to try my hand at it. I found out that I enjoyed seeing a person’s face develop on paper; into a three-dimensional painting that can actually resemble the model’s face. Changing up the subject matter for my paintings keeps it interesting. I am always on the lookout for good subject matter and when I do, I like to take a photograph of it for later reference. Some of my subject matter is about daily routines we see around us every day. I would call these EDLs (every day life) and they are the most fun to bring to a painting; like folks drinking coffee on a sidewalk café, children drawing with chalk on the sidewalk, a couple picking out a Christmas tree, folks in their everyday settings that tells us to embrace those moments.
I am influenced by everything around me and see beauty where it might be overlooked. While in high school, I studied art history and some of the masters and innovators in art. I really admired Impressionists such as Degas, Monet, Manet, and Van Gogh. The way they applied paint on the canvas, bringing life and light into the subject matter, intrigued me. I also found that the late sixties hippy poster creations brought color, creativity, and imagination that I thought was exciting. Starting with crayons in my early years, finger painting and tempera paint in grammar school, oil and acrylics in high school, printmaking and airbrush in college, and finally watercolors in my later years. The end result is the enjoyment I get with creating, no matter what the media.