Friday, August 27, 2010


Rajin, oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches, © 2010 Diane McGregor

"The simple aesthetic requirement by which art should picture the inexpressible developed into a highly complex and comprehensive repertory of artistic principles and technical rules. One of the most significant sources for Southern Song poetry criticism, Yan Yu (1180-1235), defined the poetic as follows:
poetry excels by its transparent luminosity.... It is like echo in the air, color in form, the moon reflected in water, or an image in a mirror; words have limits, but the meaning is inexhaustible.
A painting that matches this goal does not simply illustrate poems by means of narrative motifs easy to recognize; rather, by its subject matter, composition, and ink technique, it carries an expressive charge beyond its forms so that one can recognize moods and an emotional atmosphere that are of a sympathetic nature as in a poem."

Above quote taken from Dreaming the Southern Song Landscape by Valerie Malenfer Ortiz, page 65 (Brill, 1999).

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Bodhana, oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches, © 2010 Diane McGregor

All landscapes have a history, much the same as people exist within cultures, even tribes. There are distinct voices, languages that belong to particular areas. There are voices inside rocks, shallow washes, shifting skies; they are not silent. And there is movement, not always the violent motion of earthquakes associated with the earth's motion or the steady unseen swirl through the heavens, but other motion, subtle, unseen, like breathing. A motion, a sound, that if you allow your own inner workings to stop long enough, moves into the place inside you that mirrors a similar landscape; you too can see it, feel it, hear it, know it.

-- Joy Harjo, from Secrets from the Center of the World

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Meditative Surface

"A painting with a meditative surface turns in on itself..."
-- Carter Ratcliff

Bandhu, oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches, © 2010 Diane McGregor

Through the language of repetition and the grid, my work explores the physical presence of oil paint from a minimalist perspective. Formlessness rises within the grid -- there are no lines, no edges, no allusions. Gesture and brushstroke arise as agents of introspection and quiet contemplation. Artifacts of composition are carefully considered, and are either retained or released in service to the harmony of the whole. Within a matrix of layered brushstrokes, the weights of color and texture, light and dark, are delicately balanced and intuitively measured. The lush, deliberate surfaces of these paintings convey both a meditative stillness and an energy force of controlled chaos.