Monday, April 07, 2008

Diane Widler Wenzel - Art on the road

"Reed Dragon, the Protector"
© Diane Widler Wenzel

Diane writes a bit about this painting
"Reed Dragon, the Protector" is an acrylic painting on museum wrapped canvas, 16" x 20", started on location at Mittery Lake, Arizona, March, 2008. Then at home seeing a fish-like figure in the reeds I pulled out the image and accented the fish dragon.
As some of you may know I have another blog called Travels with a Muse that started with our first trip from Oregon to the East Coast in our Musemobile a 30 foot Winebago Sightseer. Well it just so happens another RV person who has a Sightseer found that blog and wrote me.

It was then I noticed she was an artist who uses her Sightseer as a traveling Art Studio. That artist is Diane Widler Wenzel. We corresponded a bit and I visited her links and to make a long story short I asked her to allow me to feature her on this blog. I've added her links below so you can visit her sites and enjoy her work and creativity.

She was kind enough to send the image above and more, here is her Artist's Statement:

My outdoor paintings are colored by my captivation with the dragons collected by my paternal family who lived for generations as foreign native merchants in Shanghai. (mid-nineteenth century to 1946)

The outdoors has been a part of my art journey since 1956. I was 13 and we were camping under the redwood trees in Big Sur California when mother gave me her hand made brushes, easel, and wood box of oil paints. Ever since then I have been practicing painting outdoors. Outdoor painting has brought me to a closer relationship with nature on camping, hiking, back packing, boating, and white water rafting trips. Living outdoors gives me time to visualize my place in nature’s mystery. So rather than reproducing the scenery I am more interested in painting my feelings and connections to whimsy.

Then when I am back home and review my outdoor paintings, I often find the reoccurrence of dragons in the “S” curves that I favor. This whimsy I attribute to my exposure to Asian arts as a child. I lived with my father’s few humble household pieces with dragon motifs. One piece in particular has influenced me. It is an early 20th century Milles Fleures Vase now on loan to the Jordan Schniter Museum of Art at the University of Oregon.

My latest adventure is in our Winnebago Sightseer Coach March, 2008. On this first long trip my husband and I explored his interest in fishing holes in warm weather around Yuma, Arizona. One of our stops at Mittery Lake we parked our motor coach between reeds so thick that I could not physically penetrate them. I could hear the young birds in their nest and see the fish jumping in their shadow. I was facing the reeds out on a man made fishing access where time had slowed down as I relaxed. Then the roar came from behind - the Air Force helicopter was getting closer and loader. I felt targeted. Then it just hovered over me. I thought it would leave but I counted the seconds on and on. I had to put my brush down and put my hands over my ears. Still the horrible roar, so I turned around and looked up and waved. The helicopter left then only to return an hour later to make a circle - checking out how my painting was coming. The aviators needed to see. Ours is a changing world and it is an important need to get in touch with the earth’s primal dance.

Diane is a cool person and a wonderful artist who paints from heart and cares about the world we live in today and the world that awaits us in the future.


©Paul Viel