Sunday, May 26, 2013

An interview with Dianne B. Carey takes the place of Silent Sunday

Today, instead of Silent Sunday, I am focusing on an interview with my dear blogging friend Dianne Carey from Art Beneath the Cottonwoods

Please be aware all images belong to Dianne and may NOT be copied OR pinned without her explicit permission.  Please do not pin these images from my blog.

Thank you for agreeing to this interview. I would like to begin with your drawings.

Do you have a degree in art or drawing? I have a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from The Ohio State University, majoring in Drawing/Painting/Graphics. College was one of my most valuable experiences, but I don't think an artist necessarily has to have a degree to create effective art. I do think that artists should continually learn and try new things in order to grow and improve their work.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your art journey. My parents encouraged me to develop my skills as an artist, even though many would say it wasn't “practical.” Both of my grandmothers taught me to sew, crochet, embroider, garden, and craft, and I think those learning moments made me really value arts and crafts of all kinds. College was a wonderful time of discovery and challenge. I loved learning about art and art history.
 After marriage and children, I didn't find much time for painting or drawing, but did find creative outlet in embroidery and quilting. I returned to art when my children got older. 
Mixed media has been something I've rediscovered through the internet. I took the plunge to become a blogger--even though I feel I am technology challenged--and have found it motivates me to create on a regular basis. Through the years, I've always had 'non-art' jobs. But art is always there for me as a creative outlet, and gives me a lot of satisfaction.
Do you draw from memory, from what you see, or from a book or other inspiration? I draw free-hand from what I see, whether it's an image in a book or a 3 dimensional object. Although I do draw idealized faces from 'memory,' I think it is essential that an artist who wants to improve their drawing skills learn to translate a 3 dimensional object into a 2 dimensional drawing. 
Lately I have been trying to spend a little more time doing some drawing from real life.

How do you go about creating your collages? That is a difficult question. Sometimes there is a theme I am trying to convey. 
Often I am just responding to the materials that are in front of me. I usually try to consider color, shape, space, and pattern in the overall composition. 
I want the viewer's eyes to follow a path across the art work's surface, seeing the entire piece as a whole, not just one or two areas that stand out.

That's the “art speak” answer, I guess you'd say! In “practical speak”, I don't necessarily have a plan! I might paint a background with acrylics or watercolor, but not always. Maybe I want to use a certain piece of card stock that I've drawn on, or painted. I look for which colors or patterns will “go with it” in a pleasing way. 
I also use fabric, lace, vintage notions, whatever is available. I lay down several pieces of paper in colors or patterns...move them around without gluing them down right away...I work intuitively. If it doesn't look “right” to me, I change it. I keep in mind a balance of colors and patterns. When I'm satisfied, I glue the pieces down. 
It can get complicated when you try to recreate the layers during the gluing process, and sometimes I mark some of the pieces in pencil so I know where they should be placed, but usually not. If it ends up a bit differently than I originally had it laid out, that's usually ok with me. If I end up not liking it at all, I can always cut it up to use as collage “fodder!”

You often have a quote or a saying that accompanies a drawing. Which usually comes first, the art or the words? 
I think it's usually the art, and then the quote. I don't set out to “illustrate” a quote.

Speaking of words, do you have a favorite quote? “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined.” --Thoreau. There are lots more that I love, but that's the first one that came to mind...

From being in a RR with you, I know you have a real love for color, yet you also make use of whites and beiges, too. What dictates your color choices? If the art piece is just to make me happy, I go for color. If I want something to look old or vintage, beiges and browns come into my choices. If the piece is for someone else, I try to take into account what they would like or what they've requested. 
In the Color RR we were in together, Elizabeth, the most challenging pieces for me were “white” ones. I find it hard to resist putting some color in. (At least may I put in a little pink?) I was surprised to find that some of those 'white' pieces (which included cream and tan) had been 'pinned' on Pinterest, so apparently it is a popular color choice!

From reading your blog, I know you love to journal. How many journals do you have going at the same time? Right now I am working in 4 or 5 art journals. Some I have made myself, and some are purchased. I like having several different sizes of journals and some with assorted papers in them. Then I just take turns working in each of them. 
I just finished doing the Fake Journal 2013 project (from IFJM blog by Roz Stendahl) and really enjoyed constructing my own journal, and pretending to be someone I'm not! That was just for the month of April 2013, so it's a smaller journal with just a few pages. And that is a nice option...we don't have to use large journals with lots of pages.

Do you ever keep a journal that is strictly for ideas or practice? When I was in school, they called that a “sketchbook.” I am not sure who first initiated the Art Journal as a place for finished art work. I remember that Lynne Perrella wrote a terrific book about art journaling, which I of course had to have, and since then I've been filling journals regularly. I do indeed sketch plans, make notes and try stuff out in my art journals, I just don't always show them on my blog. 
I did post some Wedding Sketches on my blog, and was glad that I did them. I made a copy of the 'head table sketch' and someone else was able to lay out the decorations using the sketch as a guide, so I didn't have to. And I still have some of those college sketchbooks.

What would you say is your overall art style? I am stumped...would it be a 'cop-out' to say Eclectic? Someone else could probably better evaluate and give it a name...

Has your traditional quilting been a benefit or a hindrance to your art style? I have not thought of it as a hindrance, except when I need the hours to finish a quilt, and art journaling might get put on the 'back burner.' In fact, all those fabric scraps come in very handy for collages! I adore Amish quilts because of their vibrant color and dramatic design impact. Very nearly like an abstract painting. 
So I think quilting is a good influence on my art by giving me experience with color, design and balance. And hand-quilting is very meditative for me.

I have often said I think you should turn some of your sketches into rubber stamps. Do you have any plans to do something like that in the future? No immediate plans for that, but I haven't ruled it out. There are always the monetary and time investments to be considered. And wondering how to market it when there is already so much out there to choose from. I have joked that perhaps 
I could create some “build your own face” stamps...a variety of eyes, noses, and mouths. 

The stamper could combine them to make a custom face...what do you think?

Tell us about any other art interests you have. Crafts that I love are 
counted cross-stitch, calligraphy, quilting, American folk art samplers (both painted or cross-stitch)--the list is pretty long! I think that's most of my favorites. 
I am very interested in ancient and ethnic arts, such as Egyptian, Mayan, and Native American. 
Also, I have often thought I would like to try illustrating children's books, but really have no idea where to begin...any advice from your readers?

What are you working on at the moment? There is a queen-sized scrap quilt that I've hand-pieced that is waiting for the backing to be pieced, the layers basted, and the hand-quilting begun. My daughter is wondering when she'll actually receive this wedding gift!

Is there anything I haven’t covered that you would like to add? Keep learning and growing all of your life!

Thank you again for agreeing to this interview.  It was fun to learn more about you, your art, and your interests.

You can find Dianne's fabulous art here:

and her health inducing blog here:

9 thoughtful remarks:

Anonymous said...

Fantastic interview and the range of Dianne's work is amazing. Thanks for sharing this with us Elizabeth.....xox

Halle said...

I love Dianne's work!! Thanks for this great interview!

Lisa Graham said...

Wonderful interview and Dianne truly does it all!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Thanks for the excellent interview! I really enjoyed meeting Dianne and happily found that we have several interests in common!

Dianne said...

Elizabeth~ Thanks so much for the's an honor to be featured on your blog!

see you there! said...

Enjoyed the interview. I'll go visit Dianne's blogs. I'm sure I will enjoy seeing more of her work.


Dandelion and Daisy said...

Great interview, E! You asked good questions and it was nice to get to know Dianne better. She draws so beautifully, I would call her work "sensitive and colorful".

~*~Patty S said...

Great interview and seeing Dianne's artwork here is an extra treat along with reading and learning more about her!

Patsy Paterno said...

Hi Elizabeth! I am going to visit Dianne! Thanks for featuring her, she certainly is prolific! I like her collages and her outlook!
You won my weekly ATC giveaway, I'm happy to say! If you'll email me your snail mail address, I'll send it off to you. Patsy from