About the artist (Diane Larouche Ellard)

I have been an artist for as long as I can remember. I was “that kid” in school who was praised for my skill and creativity. When I attended the University of Saskatchewan in the BFA program my confidence was shaken – my concept of art was challenged. I had to rethink everything I thought I knew. I learned to look more carefully, feel relationships, see in light and shadow, colour, line, and texture.  My world was forever changed, my eyes were opened, and I loved what I saw around me.

I paint in oils and incorporate charcoal, oil sticks and oil paint markers. I am working towards testing the line between painting and drawing, leaning towards a mixed media sensibility. My preferred substrates are stretched canvas, terraskin paper and cradled panel. Panel and terraskin paper make resilient, rigid surfaces for line, allowing me to draw into the surface without damaging it.

I’ve recently turned my focus closer to my heart and my home – to those visually exciting, endlessly fascinating subjects all around me. It’s perhaps odd to describe a prairie landscape or image of an overgrown garden of hardy perennials as new, but to me painting them is new and exciting. Capturing a likeness or rendering an image is not as important to me as leaving the viewer with a sense of place, and a moment, the quality of light, the energy of line and the overall rightness of that image.

My most successful paintings start in the lens of my camera, and flow easily from there to composing the sketch, through to the finished painting. My current work is strongly tied to Saskatchewan.  I live in a small town near Saskatoon. A big part of each summer is spent calling upon my friends and neighbors to drive me around their farms  and back roads showing me their favorite places; Perhaps letting me invade their yards and gardens while I look for that shot, the one that will flow from the camera lens into my next painting

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