Diana Gourlay

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Oil Painting

I grew up in New Jersey.  Rain, lush green, tall trees – it truly is the Garden State.  Arriving in New Mexico in 1996 was a bit of a culture shock.  Different land, different people, different moisture.   However, it has gotten into my bones and I cannot imagine living anywhere else.

I have always done some form of art.  I took oil painting lessons as a child and teenager, but then moved to collage with found objects.  Several years ago while working at the University of New Mexico, I found myself working in the College of Fine Arts.  I took every single painting class they offered and never looked back.  The sensation of layering colors and forming shapes with them fills my soul.

When I paint, I feel like it is more of an uncovering and discovery process rather than creating.  What do I see in the mix of brush strokes?  One of my favorite things to do in New Mexico is to hike.  The terrain can be so different – pinon, tall pines, sand……. interesting wild life like lizards, roadrunners and cranes.   Each has a unique character and smell and I find images from these hikes show up in unexpected ways in my paintings.  I try to portray feelings and sensations rather than actual depictions but there is usually a horizon line and a colorful sky.   Birds also frequently show up.  I look forward to more discovery and ways to share what I see.