“Simple Joys”, 14×11, Oil on Canvas was the winner of ‘Best Still Life” at the 2018 1st Spring Best of America SMALL PAINTING Exhibition held at the Richland Gallery, Nashville, TN.
“Simple Joys” by Diane Reeves is anything but simple. Painting flowers, with all their complexity and fragility, is a daunting task. The colors must remain fresh, yet the shadows must be convincing. The brushwork must be confident, yet the petals must appear delicate and translucent. The abstract shape of the light and shadow on the flower, in all its various positions, is difficult to capture before it moves…it is a living thing after all. But looking at Diane’s work, the viewer can feel the soft ethereal petals, and let the eyes dance through the subtle variations of light and shadow.
“For the Asking”, 10×8, Oil on Canvas, available through the artist.
Diane Reeves began drawing at a young age, and her passion for art was ignited as a teenager visiting various European art museums, including the Louvre. Masters of the past, such as Sargent, Arkhipov, Latour, Thayer, Zorn and Sorolla, among others, fueled her desire to paint, and in 2007 she began attending workshops. Learning from many of today’s most prominent artists, including Rose Frantzen, Daniel Gerhartz, Johanna Harmon, Casey Childs, Daniel Keys, Kathy Anderson, Mike Malm and Michelle Dunaway, she has been able to supplement her self-directed study. Her fresh, yet defined style has been molded not only by these instructors, but also by many hours devoted to the easel.
Detail of “Choosing Joy”, 18×36, Oil on Canvas. See Artist’s website for full view. Available through the Artist.
Diane’s focus in the last few years has been floral still life, however she also has an affinity for portraits and plein air. Her day in the studio begins early, as she sets up her still life, looking for a subject that creates excitement. She places the objects with a keen sense of composition, light and shadow, and begins with a thin layer of paint to place her objects on the canvas. Then, working in the alla prima style from life, she works to capture the beauty that presents itself. She looks for the lightest and darkest elements in her composition, where to place bright color and dull color, and where to lose an edge. Working en plein air is the same sort of process, with the added challenge of chasing the light.
“Joy in the Morning”, 12×24, Oil on Canvas, currently on exhibit, available through the Artist.
Reeves’ materials include Rosemary Brushes, oil primed linen canvas and panels, and a variety of oil paint brands. She most commonly works with transparent oxide brown, ultramarine blue deep, cobalt blue light, viridian, yellow ochre pale, terra rosa, transparent oxide red, cadmium red deep, cadmium red medium, cadmium red light, cadmium orange, permanent alizarin crimson, quinacridone violet, cadmium yellow deep, cadmium yellow pale or Winsor yellow, cadmium lemon, Naples yellow light, titanium white, and the Gambin line of radiant colors.
“The Look”, 12×16, Oil on Canvas, Collection of the Artist.
Through hard work and study, Diane has been able to achieve enough technical skill to now confidently experiment, to “take risks…not to play it safe, which in turn provides a boldness and sense of freedom.” She also enjoys teaching others; helping other artists as she was so generously helped.
“Reflections”, 16×20, Oil on Canvas, available through the artist.
With an intense passion for her new career, Diane reminds us of the need for balance: “It is easy for me to become obsessed with working on a painting, so I have to remind myself the painting will always be there. It’s important to be with family and friends, to relax…enjoy a full life”.
Diane Reeves is a Signature Member of the National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society, and is a member of numerous other national art organizations. She has won awards at the national level, and has been featured in American Art Collector and Southwest Art. To view more of Diane’s work, and to sign up for her newsletter or learn about her workshops, visit her website at www.dianereevesfineart.com.
To view the entire SMALL PAINTING Exhibit, visit http://www.noaps.org/events.
Written by Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS Blog Director