- Diane Widler Wenzel
- The idea for COLOR BRIDGES came from many sources. Portland State College 1962,Professor Frederick Heidel's first painting assignment was to make a grid and explore mixing colors to arrange on the grid to see how they would look. Moving these painted pieces of paper on different backgrounds bring back 4 years of studying painting with Heidel. Each arrangement I have made are like his assignments. They have a goal of basics while allowing the emotions freedom. Another source was Professor Mary MacIntire at Western Washington University who was a member of Fiber Design and I had the honor of photographing for a statement about her process. She used to move around pieces of colored paper to design her fiber works.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
"Healthy Trees, South Santiam" is acrylic on cradled board 7"x 5" x 1/2". Including the cradled board box and sketches for sale for $90 plus shipping cost. Sometimes it is stretching to try a new approach. Usually I begin a painting on the river trying for the most direct emotional response. On this one I planned in detail how I would paint it in the studio. At home I first mixed the colors ahead of time and then painted using memory in my muscles. I covered my eyes with a scarf so I saw minimal placement but not color. When I peeked at it I should have stopped. I reverted to my old way of tailoring the colors and shapes in a journey without a map.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Saturday my husband and I fished between Foster Dam and Sweet Home. We were in our drift boat going down river. My husband lost a steelhead before the island. Near the take out on river left just before the park I could see two dead trees strangled by ivy. The painting, "Ivy Strangles Trees" is acrylic on a cradled board 12" x 9" x 1 3/4". This one is for sale for $99.
Tomorrow I will post painted abstractions from my memory of healthy trees on the South Santiam River.
Friday, April 25, 2008
"Abstraction of Sea Anemone Tide Pool " is acrylic on museum wrapped canvas 3 feet by 2 feet by 1 1/2 inches deep. For sale $400
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
April 20th I made the final resolution for both concept and painting. I have made changes all over to drape the wild flowers like a veil over the rocks.
" A Gown of Spring Flowers" is acrylic on canvas 16" x 20" , for sale $350
"A Gown of Spring Flowers" is a painting that kept defying resolution. I think I would have it and there was a voice asking why did you do this. It doesn't have the whimsy of the two other 16" x 20" painted on our trip to Arizona. I took it to the Albany Group to share yesterday. Shirley Hilts thought it just needed a little transition. Well I worked this morning to give the rocks more dimensionality and I tried to make the flowers flow over the landscape like a silk veil. The eroded Colorado river bank had a face and then it came to me. Mother Earth cracked and pebble pocked was dressed in a royal veil. This fantasy was what I was doing all along and hadn't admitted it. Now it has a whimsical concept like the other two paintings - "Jagged Mountain Combing a Head of Cloud Hair" and "Reed Dragon - The Protector" To see all three paintings look at my blog gallery http://widlerwenzelarizona.blogspot.com/
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
"Dawn's Rays Splash Cattail Cove State Park, Arizona"2008,
water media on cotton rag Arches watercolor paper, 14" x 22"
For sale $200
For something like the thirteenth time, I tackled this painting begun March 13 on the pet walking area at Cattail Cove State Park, Arizona. Every session I tried to approach the under painting as a spring board to abstracting from my memory of the early morning sunshine on palo verti. It started out as water soluble crayon and then it was watercolor and now it is acrylic on paper. Today as in the past sessions I was painting my own excitement in returning to Arizona.
Then later in the day I received a news letter from the Portland State University Art Alumni and Friends Committee. In addition to promoting community among the alumni and asking for support in the form of scholarship donations for art students, President Pro Tem James Minden said he will be asking alumni for profiles and he will be particularly interested in how our art education at PSU has effected our lives.
First, I must say I am so grateful for my time with PSU Art Professors. Their examples give me confidence for my intuitive journey. When I am painting and when I participate in community, I have them at my side and I hear their words like they spoke them yesterday. In 1965 Frederick Heidel said "I hope you have a rich development." "Don't make exercises:Make a complete expressive work from every painting. Keep your work for a long time to see your development." Florence Saltzman said, "Painting is a part of my everyday doings. Painting is a language, a way of living." Richard Muller gave his students confidence saying, "You have an aesthetic sense and it is valid." He mentored me in the beginning of the student run White Gallery and instilled the idea that an artist is a citizen making bridges to other disciplines and the community. Professor Ray Grimm gave me an appreciation of ceramic craft as being a true art form where artists can have a very rich development. Dr. Kimbrell taught that through history there were two kinds of painters - one based their forms on drawing and the other type made form by a painterly use of color. I aspire to be painterly. Thank you Dr. Kimbrell I can weather criticism that doesn't understand or accept painterly work. Professor Glasier of Basic Design made me think of the many possible ways to be expressive artfully. We talked about how we moved from point to point in our daily tasks and at play. We could understand living movements as an art form. I am greatful to Colescott for his social consciousness and search for his roots which I appreciated very much when I found my own roots. Colescott's energy in setting assignments for figure painting was my guide in facilitating a figure drawing group in Bellingham meeting over a 17 year period - the group continues two decades after my leaving. Prasch was caring and made me feel my work was important. Frederic Littman was like a monk in that he lived with the bare essentials. More and more I do away with material frills in my life to keep on painting. He said, "When we have started a piece with a model and the model is nolonger before us then the truely creative part of making art may begin." Whether I start with a model or paint outdoors I am aware of these two chapters in my creative process.
In Muller's class we wrote a paper about our involvement in an art object. I found this project so rewarding to my understanding that I have self-published for my family another involvement in another family art object. I have made many observations connecting our vase to world history sharing art ideas and how we as a family have and are making a small step towards healing and peace.
When I was at Portland State the art faculty had taken to heart the words of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. "If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision where ever it takes him." At Portland State JFK's words meant learning to make goals for our work and not the undisciplined "Laissez Faire" typical of some other schools of that period. When JFK was assassinated Muller was a little late to class. He passed out our papers on our involvement in an art form and expressed in a few words how shaken he was over Kennedy's being shot. He worried about what this event would mean to higher education. And of course art would become a lower priority.
I was lucky to receive instruction at Portland State College when the future for art and its importance was strong. Portland State College, not yet a University at that time, just started its first graduate school - the School of Social Work. The Dean of Social Work, Dr. Gordon Hearn, was also a watercolorist and he understood the wholeness of our being needed art to be complete. His art major daughter gave me an almost unused sketch book of Gordon's which I use.
When I was a caregiver for my mother, art was the bridge that connected us in our daily practice of making a painting. Art can play a significant roll in the aging process and really a miracle that goes unnoticed too much of the time. I am designing art for the last stages of life.
Posting art on the Internet is a bridge for meeting and making friends all over the world. It is a bridge to making connections in my own personal seeing and thinking. Thank you Portland State University Art Department.
Monday, April 14, 2008
"McDonald Forest April Flowers"
Acrylic on museum wraped canvas
36" x 12" x 1 1/2"
Photograph is by Don Wenzel. I am very proud of my husband who just received an award for his many years and hours of volunteer work. He is now the Association of Northwest Steelheaders 2007 Hall of Fame honored member.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
"Rain" has linked to my new blog and has written about her many years of living with my paintings in her blog http://rainydaythought.blogspot.com/
Thursday, April 10, 2008
"Pebbles Bathed in Moon Light" is watercolor on 120 pound Arches 20" x 16". Both paintings are for sale $100 each plus postage.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
I worked not from photographs but from memories of Tucson sunsets I painted in 1965 and of recent Arizona memories. First I covered the canvas with bright sunset colors and left it for several hours. Then I came back working in considerably more reds, magenta, white and yellows. Last I did the reed-like strokes recalling the reeds I watched from our motor coach. I remembered enjoying the reeds in front of the last glow of the sunset in a dark motor coach because we were conserving our power not having an electrical hook up. There were sounds from the nesting birds but not frogs. Later when we camped in a different location on the lake we heard frogs around sunset time.
I noticed as I was painting that I was unintentionally but pleasantly influenced by an installation in my studio. An earlier post is about the little installation of rocks I did in response to Martha Marshall's challenge to manipulate one of her abstracts.
Monday, April 07, 2008
Saturday, April 05, 2008
"Primal Pebble" is acrylic on canvas 48" x 24" for sale $500.
To connect with a tour of spiritual painting click here.http://umbrellapaintingjournal.blogspot.com/2008/01/modular-frame-3.html#links
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Although I took two canvases like this one 48" x 24", I did not complete either one. I was saving them for the last leg of our journey which was covered so quickly we didn't stop to paint. But as we started back the weather was predicted to be snow in the high passes on Friday. So we hurried past some beautiful landscape. On Thursday, March 27, we drove for 12 hours solid with a short stop for dinner. "Fleeing Homeward Past Walker Lake" was my first painting done at home.