Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Refuge in the Night

Intimacy is a principal benefit of reclaiming the twilight hours of each day: intimacy with nature, intimacy with others, intimacy with ourselves. Darkness is good therapy. It unwinds the springs that daylight tightens and opens doorways onto eternity that are made invisible by light.   —Clark Strand

Diane McGregor, Listening in the Dark 1, 2015, oil on canvas, 24x24 inches

"BLACK" opens next week at Space Gallery in Denver. The curator, Jo Marks Aardsma, writes, "The work for BLACK was selected because each artist uses black, not as negative space, but as an opening from which to reveal what lies at the edge of vision."

Diane McGregor, Listening in the Dark 2, 2015, oil on canvas, 24x24 inches

Black is darkness, the shadow self, the unknown, the unknowable. For me, the darkness is mystery, and since one can’t see in the darkness, one must listen. Stillness and silence are necessary for this kind of listening – an awareness of feelings and thoughts and mythic truths brings the unconscious self into the light. Paradoxically, working on these paintings for “BLACK” has sparked my interest in color again – in this case, a glorious manganese blue. The blue and the black shimmer together, giving the black a mysterious power, and turning the blue into the light that seeps through the cracks in consciousness.  “Everyone carries a shadow,” Jung wrote, “and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.” Jung believed that “in spite of its function as a reservoir for human darkness – or perhaps because of this – the shadow is the seat of creativity.”

Diane McGregor, Listening in the Dark 3, 2015, oil on canvas, 24x24 inches

Nature is also referenced here.  “Listening in the Dark” could be an invitation to pay attention to the sounds of the night: crickets, frogs, the wind, the rustle of leaves.  These sounds are a comfort in the blackness, while opening the senses to what mysteries the darkness reveals. 

"BLACK" opens with a reception for the artists on Thursday, October 22nd, from 5:00 to 9:00 pm. The exhibition continues through November 28th at Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Finding Balance

Diane McGregor, Meditation 4, oil on canvas, 22 x 24 inches © 2015

Everyone knows what a hassle it is to move.  I moved to the other side of Santa Fe last month, and my life has been understandably chaotic for several weeks.  But my painting practice has helped me through it. Every day, the deliberate act of focusing on painting one tiny rectangle at a time helps me find my center. Calming energies emerge from the process of creating a grid painting, healing me from anxiety and stress. The repetitive and meditative engagement with the canvas is so beneficial to me -- I wonder if the same peaceful effect is transferred to the viewer?

Meditation 4, detail

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Finding Your Absolute

"Certainly for artists of all stripes, the unknown, the idea or the form or the tale that has not yet arrived, is what must be found. It is the job of artists to open doors and invite in prophesies, the unknown, the unfamiliar; it's where their work comes from, although its arrival signals the beginning of the long disciplined process of making it their own."  ~ Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Diane McGregor, Nitha, 2015, oil on canvas, 24x24 inches

Thursday, February 19, 2015

New Work Showing at Peters Projects in Santa Fe

Santa Fe's wonderful Axle Contemporary is moving indoors for a while, hosted by Peters Projects.  In celebration of Axle's fifth year of bringing New Mexico artists to the local scene via it's mobile gallery, "Axle Indoors" gathers together over 150 artists that have participated in Axle's exhibitions over the years.

Two of my most recent paintings are included in the show.  I am very excited about this new direction in my work -- a more expansive exploration of the grid. I have enlarged each unit of the grid composition, and emphasized a horizontal format which references the desert landscape.  I have also pared down my palette to essentially black and white (with some neutral shades of brown, green, and gold).  Although inherently minimal in composition and color, there is an opportunity to work with light, texture, and spatial effects that I am really enjoying.

If you are in the Santa Fe area, I hope you'll stop by Peters Projects and take a look at the exhibition and my new paintings.  There will also be a poetry reading and performance on Saturday, March 14th, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

Avatar, 2015, oil on linen, 16 x 15 inches

Yamala, 2015, oil on linen, 16 x 15 inches

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

3 Women: 3 Dimensions

Curated by photographer Fernando Delgado, 3 DIMENSIONS  promises to be a lively exhibition featuring the work of three New Mexico women artists: Heidi Pollard, Gail Gering, and myself. There will be a reception for the artists on January 13th, from 3:30 to 5:30pm.  If you are unable to join us for the opening, please note that the exhibition continues through May 2nd.  Hours are 9am-4:30pm, Monday through Thursday, and 9am-4pm on Fridays.  The OASIS Institute is closed on the weekends.