Curtis, Dianne

Artist’s Statement I love mysteries. Even though I work in a very practical world, I look for the subtle mysteries surrounding my environment that will make it a little more interesting. The way I’m guided, spiritually as well as realistically, in all my work is through the vision of “what might be.” I’m heavily influenced by the ancient Chinese paintings, especially their use of negative space which allows the viewer to ‘read’ fog or water into the painting. Some of my paintings are deliberately blurry as an attempt to capture the weather or deep perspective. I’ve taught art history for over ten years and I’m fascinated by the cultural intention many have put into these great, ancient temples. I don’t copy actual structure; instead, I repeat the elements and make my own temples surrounded by nature. My worries also effect what I create. Over-population, poverty, pollution and other urban problems concerning our future take over my mind when I draw. Since I was raised in Houston almost my entire life, I’ve watched this city change and develop into an entirely new creature, alive with fast freeways, crime fads, and horrible air. Traffic drives me so crazy that my art searches for a more peaceful solution. Sometimes I re-design a famous setting into what I would like to see. I even try to create strange or fantastic utopias where animals and humans exist together. Anthromorphism, the act of adding human characteristics to inanimate objects or other non-human life forms, is a great way for an artist to make the unreal seem real. In many of my landscapes, there are only a few recognizable life forms mainly because I want the buildings and other structures to take on a life of their own. The windows mimic human eyes and the doors mimic a human mouth. Some are distorted and “not quite right” yet they all function together to make the scene work.  My background- I have studied and worked as an artist my entire working life, so I have a diverse background. I was a commercial artist for 15 years and then I went on to study fine arts. I’ve taught to every age group, including adults. I’ve won several awards both nationally and internationally.

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