|During my sabbatical leave in the spring semester of 2014, I was invited
to be an artist-in-residence at the Penland School of Crafts in North
Carolina. For two exquisite winter months I printed in Penland’s Paul
Hayden Duensing Printmaking Studio, a well-lit, professionally-equipped
and welcoming space.
One day, another artist who was working in the studio asked me to look
at and discuss a series of her prints still in progress. Her work was subtle
and unassuming. It allowed the viewer to enter quietly and meander
from one beautiful passage to another. After I’d had a chance to absorb
the pieces, I pointed to a particularly stunning formal relationship in
one of the prints and, lowering her voice she whispered, “Oh, I live for that.”
I knew immediately and exactly what she meant. And after a little
thought I understood why she used a whisper when sharing this
particular sentiment. I didn’t talk with her about that choice so I should
say, instead, that I know why her whisper made sense to me.
I live for that. That moves me. That evokes the poetry of pleasure, indulgence, and longing. This sensual delight is a fundamental source of self. Paradoxically, this non-verbal bounty is both mysterious and as common as air. What does my mind and heart see that invites me to revel in the visual? What objects, colors, patterns, rhythms and symbols do I select to create images that encapsulate that oh-so-private experience that I can then share with the viewer? Plain and simple, for the purposes of this exhibition, I have the daunting luxury of using a stage whisper in the service of an ageless conversation.
It is an honor and a joy to work within a collaborative relationship, now in its thirtieth year, with Mario Laplante. Close to half of the images in this exhibition were made in concert with Mario during two separate sojourns at a rocky and remote seaside in Maine. A fluency in each other’s aesthetic language, felt, whispered, or expressed at an ordinary volume, combined with the ability to be flexible in the production of each new series of images, keeps our work together fresh and the process adventurous.
Red and Other Colors is a gathering of close to seventy new works made in the last two years. As always, I intend to keep my ear to the ground and let the context of the gallery further inform my understanding of the images that I individually and in collaboration drew, painted, collaged and printed.
Diane Fine, 2015
Diane Fine and Mario Laplante, High Tide,
mixed media, 16 x 11 inches, 2013
Diane Fine and Mario Laplante, Tempest,
mixed media, 6 x 7 inches, 2014
Diane Fine, Red Number Twenty-one,
relief monoprint, 16 x 16 inches, 2015