Inside the Studio

Diane Green

Favorite materials to work with?
Oil paint has a life that I can’t find anywhere else. It is strong yet forgiving. It can respond to my hand in a way that I had never imagined. It is always an enlightening experience working with it, and the things that I can do with it are endless!

How many years as an artist?
Painting has been with me since I was a young girl. It always provided a place for release and a place I could go to that was both familiar and new.

What themes do you pursue?
My paintings are always referential and metaphorical to what is going on in my life. In order to finish them, they have to survive all the sides of my personality.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
That is an interesting question for me. Music definitely has an influence on me. It can change the quality and energy of my brushwork, so at times when I am ready to let go of certain passages in my painting, I will put on music that is fearless and strong. Sometimes I don’t want to be bothered by the influence of sound and I prefer to listen to the painting in quietude.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?  
Be who you are.

Art school or self-taught?
I went to graduate school in painting at Yale. It was very inspiring in terms of who I met and what I learned, but it took a lot of years to integrate all of it so I could paint intuitively without all their voices in my head.

If you couldn’t be an artist, what would you do?
I hope I don’t ever have to face that; however, I feel artistry follows me in everything I do.

Day job?
I run my own school/studio where I teach painting.

What do you collect?
Besides collecting friend’s work, I have collected the work of outsider artists. They are a reminder to me to follow my own voice and to go back to my source. Pieces by Jon Serl and Anna Zemankova have hung on my walls for years.

Who are your favorite writers?
A book that I am reading now that has changed the way I look at things is New Self, New World by Philip Shepherd… there is never enough time to read all that I am interested in!

Is painting dead?
…only if we are dead.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
I have always been drawn to Bellini’s painting St. Francis in the Desert, which hangs at the Frick. I go there for inspiration.

Favorite brush?
Every brush has a purpose, even the one with three hairs.

Palette knifes?
I spent two years just working with palette knifes so I could understand what they do. Now they are integrated into my practice and are just there to add another quality to the space.