Saturday, December 14, 2013


"An artist makes a spiritual evaluation of the essence within a thing and then he[she] gets it out; that is the outer appearance of the inner essence and, it is the point. Sophisticated materials and complex systems are not necessarily good media for art because art is a simple thing and, the more simple the medium, the less you have to get over to get to the fact of the piece." -- John Chamberlain

Graphite drawing from a 2013 sketchbook, 3x3 inches

I have always loved the simplicity of my materials.  I have not wavered from my use of traditional oil paints on canvas for over 20 years. I always use Schmincke Mussini oil paints on primed canvas -- no fillers, waxes, driers, complex mediums or varnishes, just oil paint and mineral spirits. Graphite on paper is also another favorite choice of media -- and you can't get much simpler than a pencil and a piece of paper.  

I think Chamberlain is correct in stating that there is sometimes a disconnect between the method and materials and the essence of a piece of art, especially in today's art world, where beauty and refinement are often marginalized, and gimmicks and poor craftsmanship seem to get all the attention.  I am honestly perplexed by and frustrated with much of the art that is being produced and treated seriously in today's art market.  Alas, I continue to plod along on the path toward beauty and essence, and I refuse to give up on the spiritual nature of my task.

Saturday, November 16, 2013



New ideas are germinating in the studio.  I have been doing lots of small graphite drawings in preparation for new paintings that I have planned.  These drawings show my interest in the dissolution of boundaries:  I want all the forms to be in a process of becoming, or transitioning, or fading away.  No lines, no edges, everything melting onto/into the surface, dissolving all points of view onto the surface, and bringing landscape influences toward a non-objective context.  I am seeking to represent a vibration of form, light, and shadow -- a vibration that I sense in nature and the landscape, but without specific references.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Recent Installations

Here are a few installation photographs from two exhibitions I participated in this summer.

Magnetic Drift, oil on 48 4x4 inch panels, installation at Axle Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM.

Side view, Magnetic Drift.

Installation view of my work in the exhibition, Lines and Grids, at Space Gallery, Denver, CO

Installation view, Lines and Grids.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Magnetic Drift

These are 4 panels from a 48-piece installation, entitled "Magnetic Drift." Each oil on panel artwork measures 4x4 inches. The 48 pieces will be arranged in a grid.  I will be showing them with the Lady Minimalists Tea Society at Axle Contemporary in Santa Fe. Axle is a roving art gallery in a renovated step van. This unique venue travels around Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and surrounding communities.  In this installation, we have attached steel panels to the inside of the van, and all of our small artworks will have magnets attached to the back.  Each artist will install her panels as she desires, and then the public is invited to rearrange the panels in new combinations.  The viewers/participants are encouraged to freely express their creative ideas in mixing up the panels, incorporating new and original compositions into this site-specific installation.  This should be a very fun show, and I hope you'll be able to attend the opening reception on Friday, September 6th, from 5 - 7pm at the Railyard.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Works on Paper

 Silent Night 1, graphite on paper, 6 x 6 inches, © 2013 Diane McGregor

I have been creating small graphite drawings in preparation for an exhibition in August a Space Gallery in Denver.  I have always enjoyed drawing, and these graphite works on paper are just as meditative as my oil paintings. The process really is the same: slowly fill in each grid element, one at a time, from upper left to lower right.  Using just the pencil on the paper, the silence of the moment and the concentration that goes into each element of the grid, I approach the process as one would a spiritual practice.  Music is also an inspiration for this work -- as I draw, I listen to minimalist compositions by Robert Rich and William Basinski.

Trance 3, graphite on paper, 6 x 6 inches, © 2013 Diane McGregor

Monday, April 8, 2013

Systematic Devotion

I will be showing four paintings in Philadelphia at Crane Arts, opening April 11th, in an exhibition entitled "Systematic Devotion."  Independent curators John Edwin Margraff II and Candace Karch selected six artists whose work communicates method, placement, and discipline in the world.  Four of the six artists exhibiting in "Systematic Devotion" are from Santa Fe: myself, Madelin Coit, Jennifer Joseph and Chris Collins.  We all used to show with John when he lived in Santa Fe and operated Salon Margraff, a unique venue showing art and featuring exquisite meals (John is also a chef).  Two mixed-media artists from Philadelphia, Joseph Leroux and Ken Derengowski, are also included in this exhibition. There will be an opening reception on April 11th from 6 to 9:30pm.  The show will be up through April 27th.  Please visit Crane Arts for more information and directions.

Shimmering Air, oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches, © 2011 Diane McGregor

PS - I was born in Philadelphia, so this is an extra special exhibition for me!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Las Cruces Museum Installation

Below are shots of the installation of my work in Elemental New Mexico: The Desert in Form and Essence,  which will be showing at the Las Cruces Museum of Art until April 6th.  The sculpture in the foreground is by Brian Kluge.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Elemental New Mexico

Next Friday evening, February 1st, "Elemental New Mexico: The Desert in Form and Essence," opens at the Las Cruces Museum of Art, in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I am honored to be joined by such esteemed artists.  The show was curated by Joy Miller, Exhibitions Curator at the museum.  Photography, paintings, and sculptures will be displayed.  I will be giving an informal talk regarding my work on Saturday, February 2nd at 1pm.  I hope you can join us for the opening reception on Friday, or for my talk on Saturday.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Natural Order

Experience shows that individual mandalas are symbols of order and that they occur in patients principally during times of psychic disorientation or re-orientation.  As magic circles they bind and subdue the lawless powers belonging to the world of darkness, and depict or create an order that transforms chaos into a cosmos.  ~ Jung

Cosmos, oil on canvas, 32 x 32 inches, © 2012 Diane McGregor

When I Am Among the Trees
by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay while."
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."