Thursday, July 14, 2011
SPOTLIGHT ON; Diana Trout
Faculty Name: Diana Trout
Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA
Current Residence: Glenside, PA
How long have you been doing art? All of my life! We didn’t have art in school so it didn’t really occur to me until I was in my 20’s that I could be an artist. I loved the big packs of crayons when I was young and spent a lot of time with them. All of my allowance was spent at a tiny local store called The Hobby Shop.
At what age did you begin creating and why? Looking back, I’ve been creative all of my life. Cutting up my mom’s magazines and making paper dolls and clothes for them. But again, artmaking was not big in my family so I had no examples or role models to draw from.
What is your favorite part of teaching? I love to teach. Sharing what I’ve learned over my years as a practicing artist, encouraging my students. Feeding them. There is a wonder, for me, in sensing where a student is and where he/she wants to go and then to respond to that student in just that way is immensely satisfying to me. I think, since I had so little encouragement, both creatively and in terms of craft, that this is something that I give to my students and satisfies my soul.
What do you find most challenging about teaching? The preparation and packing! Once I get to the class, it is heaven.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Ah yes, the busman’s holiday. I journal, stitch, draw, blog. It’s pretty much all art all the time.
What is your favorite type of art medium? Paper, fabric, line, stitch, watercolors, paints, Portfolios, gesso, pencils, pens. I love my Derwent Watercolor pencils.
Who is your favorite artist? I look at so much art that this changes from week to wee. At the moment, I am looking at Hundertwasser. His use of pattern, shape, line and color is a feast.
What is one interesting (trivial) fact that everyone should know about you?
I have a geek gene. My sibs and kids are all math and science people. I could never handle the math but am fascinated by physics, natural sciences and geometry. Sacred geometry blows my socks off.
Attach your favorite image and detail why it is your favorite.
This work, Pavilions and Bungalows, by Hundertwasser is spellbinding. There is a textile, quilty-ness to his work that sucks me in and I love that he interpreted his subject in this way. You could also look at Hundertwasshaus on this blog here. Technically speaking: the brightness of the colors and pattern pops out at you because of the darkness of the background. He’s using my favorite shape here too, the rounded rectangle and funky shaped grids. Those brown boulder-type shapes seem to ground the painting even though they are towards the top. To me, he has captured the life of the humans who live in this place in all of their ordered chaos and humanity.
Journal Spilling: Mixed Media Techniques for Free Expression is available in bookstores and on-line