oil, acrylic, charcoal & pastel artist
About the Artist
Diane Trevett is a Salem artist who uses painting and drawing media to explore botanical and nature subjects. She is fascinated by their unique form and hidden details, and uses the final composition to enhance these qualities. Painting or drawing a subject is like re-inventing it and making it her own. She engages in a playful interaction of manipulating brush and paint, or charcoal and pastel.
Diane was born in Chicago and raised in Evanston, Illinois. During her early teens she visited a retrospective exhibit of Georgia O’Keeffe at the Art Institute of Chicago whose work made a remarkable impression on her. O’Keeffe became her inspiration and artistic idol that continues to this day. In the summer of 2013, she fulfilled a long-time dream of touring O’Keeffe’s home in Abiquiu, New Mexico. That impressive experience fed her art soul deeply.
Diane’s formal study of painting began in high school when she spent a summer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Later in life she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Painting & Drawing from Southern Oregon University in 1991. During this time she worked as assistant registrar and preparator at the Schneider Museum of Art on campus where she gained knowledge of presentation and professionalism.
Diane maintains a 400 sq. ft. studio adjacent to her home. She exhibits her work through a variety of venues that include juried art competitions, one-woman and group shows, fine art fairs, open studios, Lunaria Gallery in Silverton, Elsinore Framing and Fine Art Gallery in Salem, and her website DianeTrevett.com. She is currently employed at Willamette University as administrative assistant for the music department and the Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series. Diane is also a founding member of the non-profit Artists in Action, now in its 15th year, and serves on the board.
Diane has been a member of the Lunaria Gallery since the Spring of 2014.
Subject matter that inspires me are flowers and plants, fruit, sea shells, rocks and land forms.
Creating art is a spiritual experience for me. My soul is in a constant search of something to create, something to transform and express as my own. My approach to drawing and painting reveals my emotional and spiritual response to my subject.
I began my formal training in studio art practices, art history, theory, and making art while in high school. I was fortunate that my school provided a large art department teaching a variety of media. However, I began my own personal study before then at the age of 14 when I searched out books on oil painting and drawing, frequented an art supply store and did my painting in a little area of our basement that my parents set up for me with an easel.
Through studying art history, I noticed how artists viewed their subject matter differently and in a way that had meaning to them. I was drawn to surrealism because of creating something out of one’s imagination and with content that was very personal.
My interest in flowers and plants and objects of nature began with my visit to a Georgia O’Keeffe retrospective. Her way of seeing forms of nature, flowers, landscapes and even buildings, her choice of color, rendering, and composition all paralleled what was forming in my artistic development.
While in college I took a class in scientific illustration that included botanical, which guided me to detailed, representational work. My personal artwork then combined this detail of illustration with my own translation of my subject into a more painterly, stylized and contemporary rendering.
My technique of rending with brush and paint, or charcoal, pencil and eraser, is important to me in that it connects me in a physical way to my subject, as if I am forming it in a three dimensional space. My distinctive strokes define otherwise unseen details and contribute to my unique style of rendering.
I am influenced by the work of these artists for their introspective approach to portraying forms of nature, combined with an imagination that transforms their subject into more than what initially meets the eye: Pat Steir, Jim Dine, Dorothea Tanning and other artists of surrealism, and botanical illustrators such as Margaret Mee.
From time-to-time at the gallery you may see work influenced by a recent time in my life where I spent four summers in the grand and sublime Canyonlands area of Moab, Utah. I was transcended and enraptured by the other-worldly landscape, the warmth of the sun, the deep earth reds, burnt oranges, and ochres set against a saturated blue sky. In these paintings I combine the abstract surface pattern of the sandstone formations with native wildflowers.