IT BEGAN with a pottery collection, lovingly gathered near and far over many years. There are porcelain bowls, lacquer boxes, elegant vases and delicate teapots. For Diane White, each vessel came to represent a fond memory or inspiring story.
When White took up oil painting at the Denver Art Students League and Loveland Art Academy, she chose still life as her subject. Painting allowed her to study her collected pieces in a new way. Whether she's capturing the delicate play of shadows across a glazed vase from an ancient Chinese dynasty or the bright glare on a smooth glass cup that flowers spring from, White dazzles the eye with impeccable details. She takes a painterly approach to her work, using traditional still life techniques to carefully balance color and value relationships so that the vessels appear fully formed on the canvas. It's as though we could reach out and turn them over in our hands.
White crossed a mysterious threshold, bringing the physical world into rhythm with the realm of memory and legend. She hides extraordinary happenings and narratives within her serene works, encouraging viewers to slip into other realities.
In her studies, White came across the work of Gabriel García Márquez and other writers from a 20th century literary genre called magical realism. Márquez crafted labyrinthine plots that began in the real world but, with a few deft twists and turns, plunged his protagonists into otherworldly situations.
"I work to seamlessly integrate the magical elements into my paintings, I feel that my work connects traditional still life painting with evocative glimpses into the spirit of the objects," the artist says.
White enjoys making a connection with her viewers. "I believe paintings are, in a large part about the viewer," she explains. "The viewer, in seeing a painting, brings their own perception and for a moment they join the painter's world."