Life is a Process, Life is Art: Broad Ripple Artist Diane Andrews
Writer / Jen Mitchell
Living on the fringe of Broad Ripple Village in an artisan bungalow that she rehabbed herself, Diane Andrews welcomes creativity into every aspect of her life. As a freelance writer, life coach and most recently an artist, Andrews views the world with a deep sense of imagination and possibility.
For many, it takes silence and solitude to invite fresh perspectives. In January 2014, Andrews was recovering from surgery. A significant snowstorm offered complete stillness that inspired her to explore new ways of creative expression.
“My first three paintings are in the living room,” she says. “I had two pictures in frames but never liked the images. I painted black gesso over the canvas, turned on some great music and painted my first two abstracts. The third painting was even more liberating. It is called ‘Bursting into Bloom.’ I experienced exhilaration and a new sense of freedom.
“The fourth painting called ‘Wild Child’ was recently featured in the play ‘Art’ performed by the Carmel Theatre Company. I loved creating that painting. It never occurred to me then that my art would be on display or that I could have people purchasing my work.
“Standing in front of a blank canvas requires trust and letting go of preconceived ideas about what the painting should be,” observes Andrews. “I allow it to emerge naturally. Each layer seems to reveal something new and unexpected. The joy of painting increases with a sense of acceptance and play.”
Being open to the unexpected is the starting point for creating process art. Painting becomes an adventure. The canvas begins to reveal images and a variety of colors and textures. “Diane has a unique, vibrant and very expressive painting style,” says Becky Wentworth, Indianapolis Mixed Media Artist. “Her use of intense color combinations, texture and movement create lively images that allow the viewer’s interpretation. Diane’s paintings are emotive and a feast for the eyes.”
In the span of three months, Andrews painted over 40 paintings in her kitchen which she now calls Bistro Studio. She transformed the top of her stove into a makeshift easel. Thanks to this sudden burst of creativity, her work has gotten exposure in local restaurants, galleries and boutiques.
“Diane’s work has been an essential component to Cheveux’s Gallery,” says Audra Eads, former art coordinator at Cheveux. “Her paintings are honest and inspiring, always serving to lift our spirits or evoke our imagination.”
Process Art is like life. Once a person realizes life is about the journey and not the destination, life becomes fuller, sweeter, more everything. According to “Trust the Process: An Artist’s Guide to Letting Go” by Shaun McNiff, “Vision is a ‘sense’ of what can be, and the visionary has a confidence that it will happen together with a willingness to commit everything to the idea. Visions are a sense of possibility and never rigid scripts.”
The process view of artistic creation has room for all of our successes and failures. Each one adds distinctive properties to the overall purpose.
Andrews recommends the book “Brave Intuitive Painting” by Flora Bowley. This internationally celebrated process artist explains, “I believe that there are no mistakes in the creative process. Everything that happens along the way – every dab of paint, every emotion that arises, every brave new choice – is an important ingredient of the final offering. Working from this perspective leaves no room for fear to slip in. There is no wrong way. There are no mistakes. There is only a wide-open playground beckoning your artist’s muse to come out and play.”
Andrews maintains the belief that everyone is creative. The wellspring of imagination is readily available. Paint the world the color of your dreams.
Diane Andrews’ paintings are on display at the Parthenon Restaurant in Greenbriar, Cheveux Salon and Gallery in Zionsville, and SoHo Cafe and Gallery of Carmel. For more information, contact email@example.com.