U.K. artist Diane Griffiths
I am a very visual person; nothing gives me more satisfaction than colour, shape, texture and light. A leaf isn’t green; it is an abundance of colours reacting differently to their surroundings. I am constantly amazed by the power of colour, how different it can look depending light and adjacent colours. This isn’t about representation, it’s about much more.
My name is Diane Griffiths and I am essentially a landscape artist. The landscapes I paint are based on places I have been; I use experience and memories as my starting point, I use photographs as composition guides and any detail I am unsure of. However it is light and colour that really inspire me. I am fascinated by pushing the contours of a beautiful landscape into the whimsical, into the truly magical.
It’s important to draw out the main focus points of the image first, particularly if there is to be a complicated section of the piece, however I don’t include much detail, the drawing stage is for composition. From there I layer; the unpredictability of using a mix of colours on one brush is both challenging and fulfilling, that first layer creates a dynamic for the painting. The next layers will start to fill in detail, working from the background to the foreground but the final layer is never done the same day, even if I have finished the painting quickly. Those final touches have to be completed after rest, contemplation and in new light.
Once I have signed the painting, I know I am not allowed to touch it with a paintbrush again. The perfectionist inside me would quite simply never want to stop.
For me the best part of the painting is the midway stage, that stage where the ground work is done, I am getting a feel for the image but there is still a huge amount of potential. A buzz is generated from this creation stage of the painting; the uncertainty of the outcome can be spine-tingling.
My emotional state of mind varies greatly from painting to painting, dependant, fortunately or not, on my day.
To me painting is escapism; it allows real thinking time away from the grindstone. I will finish some paintings faster than others when my thoughts are racing, my brush keeping pace. Alternatively it can be a time to let my brain slow down, my focus can turn fully to the painting and I will shut everything else out. I couldn’t say if one state of mind achieves better than the other, it’s all emotion and it’s all part of life.