I am an artist. I have been an artist for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting at the kitchen table, drawing people and animals and making up stories about them. I was “that kid” in school who was praised for my skill and creativity. When I attended the University of Saskatchewan in the BFA program my confidence was shaken – my concept of art was challenged. I had to rethink everything I thought I knew. I learned to look carefully, feel relationships, see in light and shadow, colour, line, and texture. My world was forever changed, my eyes were opened, and I loved what I saw around me; landscapes, architecture, Renaissance Old Masters’ drawings, animals, flowers, even cemetery angels.
I have learned to paint what I find beautiful. Although my work is often realistic, capturing a likeness or rendering an image is not important to me. Capturing and recreating the feeling I have about an image and making that image compelling is what drives me to paint. My most successful paintings start in the lens of my camera, and flow easily from there to composing the sketch, through to the finished painting. It’s a rare thing, but when it happens it feels as if I am not making the decisions. It’s more like I’m following a path. I paint in oils because of how they feel under my brush. I love the lush, luminous quality of the paint. Even the ritual nature of setting up an oil paint palette feels right to me.
For many years I was fascinated by the beauty of Old Masters’ drawings from the Italian Renaissance. Although I had never seen them in person, I focused on them almost exclusively. I searched out books and gallery catalogues. Over the past few years I have been listening to my heart and turning to subject matter much closer to home. I was always a little intimidated to work with natural subjects but decided I couldn’t ignore the call anymore. It’s perhaps odd to describe a prairie landscape or image of an overgrown garden of hardy perennials as new, but to me painting them was a new and exciting experience.
My current work is strongly tied to Saskatchewan. I live in a small town near Saskatoon, and I spend a big part of my summer calling upon my friends and neighbors to drive me around their farms, or let me invade their yards and gardens looking for that shot, the one that will flow from the camera lens into my next painting.
Diane Larouche ● Box 482 Biggar SK S0K 0M0 ● 306-948-7967 ● firstname.lastname@example.org www.dianelarouche.com