Creatively yours: Dianne Kelly

Paintings are bright, rich and abstract

  • Nov. 6, 2019 8:30 a.m.

Story by Maggie Jackson Photography by Don Denton

Art has always been a part of Dianne Kelly’s life. “Art is something I do and have always done. I come from a creative family. The round oak table in our dining room was often filled with chaos as my siblings and I glued, painted and sparkled away.”

Even as a teacher, art was at the forefront. “I had a fulfilling career as an elementary school teacher. I would tell my class they might have to miss a subject once in a while, but they will never miss an art lesson! I have changed, evolved, had varied life experiences and gone through different phases in my life. I have created art through it all.”

Dianne loves the process of creation. “My favourite things about creating art is the exploring, the problem-solving and the watching of the work unfold and reveal itself. It’s almost like opening a gift. As the British author, Neil Gaiman said, ‘The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.’”

Dianne has been drawn to many artists at different times in her life. Georgia O’Keefe influenced her large florals, Chagall her 2018 whimsical series; however, she has been most inspired by Picasso. “He has so many diverse styles, it’s like seeing many different artists in one. He is fearless and bold. If he were to walk into my studio today, I would say, ‘Thank you. You have encouraged me to become a better artist, to explore, to take chances.’”

Today, Dianne’s paintings are bright, rich and abstract. It wasn’t that long ago that she painted with a more subdued colour palette. “As I change and grow, my style changes. My art is expressed in the voice that speaks to me at that time. I like some of my pieces more than others, but I don’t have a favourite. Sometimes it’s the subject I like or the contrasting colours playing against each other that I find appealing.”

Dianne creates in more than one medium. “I love challenges and trying new things. I have experimented with watercolour, sculpture, collage, papier mâché and paverpol. I also enjoy writing, and have written and illustrated a children’s book, which is in the Public Library’s Emerging Authors’ collection.”

Dianne’s philosophy and the advice she would like to share with up-and-coming artists is: “Do not compare yourself to others or judge yourself too harshly. Take the “me” out of the piece and let the creation begin. Be brave.”

You can see Dianne Kelly’s art at diannejkelly.com and at the Coast Collective on Wale Road. While you’re there, say hello to their new Executive Director, Jillan Valpy.

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