About the Artist
Diana Carey’s paintings are painted with a gestural technique. She throws, splatters and drips numerous layers of acrylic house paint onto prone canvas using brushes and sticks. The painting’s subject matter varies from landscape to nests and tangles. The technique is abstract; the style, impressionism.
Many of her works are over eight feet. By virtue of size and technique the viewer is led into the tangled threads and splatters of paint to discover the substance and feel of the subject matter. The essence of the painted is formed amidst the perceived chaos of drips and splashes. A performance art visualized with impasto effect, one whose outcome is immediately recognized as being rendered with intent, without intention rendering technique. There is an element of unpredictability due to the technique, which allows for the perceived chaos to coalesce into the essence of an image.
Carey also teaches workshops and expressive arts. Since 2011 she has received grants and donations to teach art to foster and former foster youth and young adults in San Diego County. She also spent six years as fine arts curator of an Oceanside gallery and is a published poet.
Carey has exhibited her work extensively in group and solo exhibitions. She is represented by galleries on both coasts and abroad in Luxembourg. Her work is held in private, public, museum and corporate collections.
“In this body of work, referencing art history, one is astonished to consider the possibility that Carey has wrest the technique of Pollock back to visual purpose of Seurat, using splattered brushwork as Seurat made use of the dot to quest after capturing fully life and nature in a kind of abstract impressionist painting.” ~Robert Mahoney
Adelman Fine Art represents Diana Carey in San Diego, California.
Q & A Interview
AFA: Do you ever create hidden meanings or messages in your work? Explain.
DIANA: “Meanings that are hidden in the work would relate to how emotionally connected I was to the location, the time of day, the weather and my feelings at the time of viewing the location and perhaps the same criteria, when I was painting (throwing) the image. I try to paint a feeling, or rhythm of a location, an impression of, rather than the location itself.
I do have one exception, I painted a vase with yellow roses, when my mother was diagnosed with metastatic cancer, yellow roses are our family flower, and I ‘threw’ one of the flowers outside the vase.”
AFA: What is playing in your CD player/Ipod right now?
DIANA: “Pandora, Leonard Cohen. I always have music playing when I paint. I have to be careful because at times I have found myself ‘painting the music’, rather than the painting. I had a musician living with me when I started throwing paint and her songs, writing and rhythm dictated a lot of what I was initially putting into my paintings, which were abstract at the time. I carry that desire, to give rhythm and movement to the impressionist work I do now.”
AFA: What was the biggest opposing force that you encountered on your creative journey?
DIANA: “Money. It is very hard and can be daunting to try to make a living in art. It’s an expensive habit. However, art is something I am compelled to do, so I do it. Sometimes without (do without).”
AFA: If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?
DIANA: “Ray Bradbury, author: He gave to me a sense of poetry, a delight in the story, and faith in the impossible.
Max Loughan, 13 yr. old quantum physicist, inventor, entrepreneur: I have so may questions about God, the universe and reality. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkuH0gqxKaY
Vincent Van Gogh, painter: I’d like to discuss color theory, emotional entanglement with paintings, reasoning behind his brush strokes, the sublime.
Eleanor Roosevelt, activist, politician, spokesperson, dignitary: What a humbling experience this would be, to dine with a woman who made her life’s work helping those with less opportunity, less voice, and less fortune than herself.
(boy wouldn’t that be quite a meal!!!)”
AFA: Where is your happy place and why?
DIANA: “The studio. It’s where I understand the world, the place that makes sense to me, when nothing else makes sense to me.”
AFA: What is a noticeable emotion you frequently feel when painting?
DIANA: “I feel all the emotions while painting. Besides being emotive, it is physically exhausting work, so my work literally has had sweat, blood (I work up blisters), and tears in it. A lot of love is also present. Generally though, painting grounds me. It’s a place I can suspend my emotions as best I can and get into a meditative state, where I prefer to work, so that my studio emotions don’t direct the painting as much as the location and the emotions attached to the location.”
AFA: You’ve mentioned that you began your splatter style with a Jackson Pollock intrigue, even though you didn’t much care for his work. What was it about his technique that made you want to try it for yourself?
DIANA: “I have a degree in art history. It wasn’t that I didn’t like Pollock’s work, as much as I didn’t understand it. When I set out I thought I would gain understanding, but I can’t say that I did. Not Pollock’s anyway. But I found mine, sort of, and I was hooked. I spent a week working on these 8ft. doors. I would paint, realize it was all wrong (though I couldn’t tell you why), wash it off and start again until the painting made sense. It was not about making conscious sense, but something in the subconscious, an impression, that the work was right or wrong. I still can’t tell you exactly what it is (probably why I need Max Loughan. It may have to do with quantum theory), except that it’s the throwing of minute particles of paint to make up the larger picture. The chaos, by virtue of technique, of throwing and splattering of paint that coalesce on canvas to make a cognizant whole.”
AFA: What was the last movie you went to? What did you think?
DIANA: “The Last Jedi. I went with my kids, so it was great. We have seen all the Star Wars movies together, some good, some not so good and many in-between, but just being with my kids, makes them all magical…the movies and the kids.”
AFA: Where do you see your style transforming to next?
DIANA: “I haven’t even started with this style. There is so much more to go on in the evolution of this technique, such as lighting… but I think I need to devolve a bit. I have gotten good enough that I can throw a somewhat representational painting, but what’s the point of using this technique, if I do that? I may as well paint or photograph. Using this technique lends itself to abstraction or impressionisms. I am always fighting with an internal critic about where a line or dot should go. I need to let the feeling direct more and the idea to direct less. Of course age will help with that. As I physically deteriorate, my throwing ability will become naturally more impressionistic.”
AFA: What is the best gift you have received?
DIANA: “I was a stay at home mom. We had a tight friendly neighborhood on a cul de sac with 14 kids and families. Four of us mom’s used to make the time to get together at Christmas for our own special dinner out. At this dinner, we’d bring a gift, brightly wrapped, for ourselves. With lots of ‘oooohs’ and ‘ahhhs’ during opening, and a present we always wanted, it was a wonderful event for harried young moms.
I moved north for a couple years when the kids were teens. One of the moms was diagnosed with cancer while I was away. We tried to get together every month. The group either took the train north or I went south to have lunch or dinner. This only happened when Lori was feeling good, which was rare, as her treatments were very brutal. The Christmas she was in remission, she surprised us all with gifts. Everyone’s gift was well thought out and personal. When it came to mine, she gave me paints and a paint brush. I had only painted one picture that she had ever seen. She told me then that she didn’t believe in much sin, except for the sin of having a gift and not using it. And she thought I should be using my gifts. And the rest as they say…”