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5 Minutes with Diane Williams

Diane Williams is an American artist whose paintings have been widely exhibited in the United States. Having shifted her artistic focus towards tranquility, her compositions emphasize the potential of nature and the human spirit. Williams’ paintings reflect a meditative calm with “an assurance of resiliency and resolve to heal the soul.” Her multi-layered pieces are imbued with intuitive color and bold brushwork as a vehicle for the voice of the strong feminine, weaving nature’s story across time.

Flight Pattern (2018), Diane Williams

When did you know you wanted to be an artist? 

I have been making art since my kindergarten teacher praised my painting of a duck.

In 1976, I began a serious art journey when I started my university studies. I started with oil paints, often incorporating tar into my work.

In 2000, I made the switch to acrylics when the oil paint fumes and flammability became a risk to my family. Although acrylic is my primary medium I often incorporate rust, Sumi ink, pencil, fabric, and Chinese rice paper into my work.

Can you talk about your artistic influences and other artists you are most inspired by?

My first influences were the American Abstract Expressionist painters, Franz Klein, Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Willem De Kooning, and Elaine De Kooning, and Robert Motherwell.

Additionally, I loved the color field paintings of Mark Rothko and the bold stain paintings of Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Lewis. Being a native Californian I was influenced by the California Figurative artists Joan Brown, David Park, Richard Diebenkorn, Nathan Oliveria, and Manuel Neri.

Oliver Jackson and Joan Moment were my mentors at university and both had lasting influences on my work. After traveling to China, my work took a profound new direction into more open and quiet spaces, and delicate line work.

Do you prefer to work alone or collaborate with others? 

Although I work alone, I share a large studio with my husband, Chuck Potter. Chuck and I critique each other’s work. His opinion has helped to shape my work.

The Sun Passed Through (2020), Diane Williams

Can you tell us about a project you’re currently working on?

Lately, I am working on shaped panels embellished with fetish objects I make from found materials.

I am working on a sense of place, so each object is influenced by places that are dear to me, and that others can relate to.

What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t an artist?

If I wasn’t an artist, I would likely be a music producer, or art curator.

I love putting things together, be it sounds or paintings. Everything has its rightful place, and I love arranging that space.

Have you found any other artists on Singulart whose work you admire?

Singulart has more talented artists than I can name. My husband Chuck Potter’s work is my favorite.

Mother’s Picnic Basket (2020), Diane Williams

What advice would you give to young artists starting out?

Art is a practice, and practice makes perfect.
Put your body and soul into your work.
Learn to use your eyes to see your work and the work of others.
Find a community of artists that can accompany you

For more artworks by Diane Williams, visit her Singulart page here