Meet Diane Collet our Creative Mondays Feature this week and one of our #CreativeMondays community members. She is Expressive, Quirky, all Creative and you will certainly love her work. Do leave any comments for her and remember to like this video and follow her work.
Bonjour! Hello everyone! My name is Diane Collet and I’m a visual artist from Vaudreuil-Dorion, which is a suburb of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
I’m a narrative artist who selectively mirrors what I see happening around me. I paint, draw and use mixed media. This is where I work.
It’s messy and cramped right now because I’ve been very busy lately. What follows is a bit about my life and art in no particular order.
I’ve grouped elements in ways that best explain my creative process. I became an avid fan of MAD magazine at a very young age which greatly influenced my love of irony and satire.
I learned very early on that nothing is sacred.
At 17 I left my home town of Shawinigan for Montreal in order to go to art school for a year.
After art school, I went to work for the phone company. The work was repetitive and I needed a bit of stimulation so I started a Bachelor of Fine Arts in the evenings part time.
It took me 7 years to get the degree. I left the phone company to raise my two sons and taught art part time in cultural centres and community colleges.
25 years later, I returned to university and obtained a Masters degree in Art Education.
My Masters thesis is about the origins of humour in my art. I discovered that the process to arrive at a humorous conclusion is akin to creativity.
Sometimes words bring a funny image to mind and at other times the opposite is true.
I play with concepts and materials to get ideas.
I let things incubate while I do something else. Like making soup, I put all the ingredients in a pot and let them simmer on the back burner.
Out of nowhere, I seem to make connections…
…and I run with them.
Here’s an example of what happens. The person lying on the diving board in the picture on the left reminds me of levitation. In the drawing on the right, I draw a floating character.
I also transform the toucan on the towel into a living creature that lands on the figure. My feelings continue to evolve, and morph into a painting called
JUST HANGING. Multiple interpretations come to mind when viewing this image.
Associative thinking allows me to come up with analogies and metaphors.
Mundane things inspire me such as laundry.
I drew this self-portrait after I picked up a clothespin off the floor. I attached it to my shirt temporarily and forgot about it. I left the drawing unfinished, it was how I felt that day.
The washing machine was located right beside my studio. While my older son napped, I would put laundry into the washing machine, paint, then put the wet load in the dryer and paint some more. The ritual went on and on. The giant comic strip that I eventually painted ended up being 35 feet long and 7 feet high. The theme of laundry has come back to haunt me over the years.
This recent digital self-portrait was created by superimposing a pile of laundry on my face. I’ve moved 3 times but the washing machine is still beside my studio.
I love to draw and doodle, mostly people.
I seek out individuals with character.
Exaggeration helps me find character. Subjects take on a life of their own and depict what is essentially eccentric about their existence.
I learned from Picasso that big feet are ok.
Some drawings take longer than others. The important thing for me is to infuse them with life!
When my grandfather first saw my grandmother, she was sitting barefoot on a fence and singing to a bunch of pigs. I decided to paint her moment of joy because the rest of her life was filled with hardship. I began with pig sketches,
and ended up with THE AUDIENCE on the left. I enjoyed painting pigs so much that I later did another work called RURAL CYCLING for a special community project.
I also love to write. I keep idea journals. Ideas have a way of disappearing if you don’t write them down.
For a recent invitational group show THROUGH THE ARTIST’S EYE, I had to choose an object that would appear in at least 3 paintings.
I was learning new iPad software at the time.
I began with this digital sketch. The blanket had an egg shape.
I painted an egg which led to a painting called CONTEMPLATING BREAKFAST. A hungry bald eagle comes across a traditional North American breakfast on a beach. One senses the eagle’s unease. Where does this egg come from?
The egg theme stuck with me. I took a selfie in the car and replaced my eyes with eggs.
A painting called THE FACIAL was born. I photographed my breakfast and made an egg out of self-drying clay. The chosen object had to be included in the show and it was a bit awkward to exhibit a real fried egg.
The more I painted eggs, the more they reminded me of other things, clouds for instance. I created this wacky image of a bandit who is riddled with eggs.
For another recent group show SO SAYS, selected artists were invited to create a work based on a literary quote. The curator provided a list and I chose one by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. I found it interesting that Atwood mentioned the print dress before the rubber girdle.
I started with a digital drawing of a rocking chair which was done on a photograph of an old newspaper dated mid forties that was found in my attic.
I also did some sketches.
The Rubber Girdle is the final painting. I describe the many associations that I had as I created this work in detail on my blog.
I’m preparing a new body of work for a future solo show. I love working digitally with my old newspapers,
and I want to do a series on bistros and entertainment venues.
I’m also experimenting with acrylic gels and pastes and achieving interesting textures.
I invite you to read my thesis Laughing My Arts Off: The Origins of Humour in my Art to learn more about my creative process.
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Youtube.
Thanks so much for watching. Au revoir!
Diane Collet has exhibited in Canada and abroad since 1981. Her creative inspiration stems from incongruous associations, visual analogies, and metaphors. She perceives the world as funny, weird, nuts, and fascinating.
Her expressive acrylic paintings, digital prints, multimedia works and drawings are often ironic, offbeat, and perplexing. She distorts her subjects, giving them both a playful yet often vaguely unsettling cast. Her characters come to life and entrust her with all the quirks of their existence.
As an educator, she has taught Visual Language, Illustration, Drawing, Painting, and Creativity Techniques.
MASTER’S THESIS (2002-2003) online: Laughing My Arts Off : The origins of humour in my art
THE RUBBER GIRDLE: