Painting Seasons of Change: New Works

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I found freedom through these paintings.

The changing of the seasons has always felt like a beckoning to embrace whatever is to come, and the unpredictability of Mother Nature made itself known during these past months. The days that felt more like Winter than Spring had me aching for blooms, but what will be cannot be rushed.

While we weathered the whirl of sudden blizzards to days that heated up by noon, I noticed the subtle changes happening all around. Slowly, the green stems of the daffodils lining our backyard emerged, at first only to the height of the neighboring grass, but now they bloom yellow and cream. Daylight stretched into the evening, and I was no longer lulled to sleep by the darkness of the midafternoon. I painted these moments, simply responding to the expected and unexpected revealings of Spring. And whenever Winter demanded to be felt during its last few sporadic days, I noticed just how gradual the transition was.

Between what we experience as Winter and Spring is an unfolding of constant change, some obvious and others below the surface. This changing of the seasons shed light on my art practice. I let go of the desire to rush into the work that I so desperately wanted to have already created, and instead embraced the natural evolution of my work that was taking place every day. I began to trust the new direction that my work was taking me as a continual progression that would lead me to where I need to be. Working loose and gestural gave the colors and forms of my preceding works the freedom to take center stage in this new series, which emerged from my desire to explore fleeting moments and the material feel of paint. The significance of my early studies in Chinese calligraphy and ink-wash painting became apparent as I moved to distill nature onto paper, and I began to see new connections between my experiences and my work crystallize. 

As Spring takes shape, so do these new works; but what seems anew is just a moment among infinite seasons of change.

See the entire series of work here.

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Diana ZengComment