PictureA self-portrait painting by Diane Liu Benet. Courtesy image.

As a young girl, artist Diana Liu Benet regularly watched her father, an internationally renowned watercolorist, paint. And as she followed in her father’s artistic footsteps, she realized that “despite all the beauty of his brush stroke, the bold use of color (his trademark), the gesture or implied motion, there was no shadow,” Benet says.

Like many children who follow in their parent’s footsteps but seek to add their own perspective, Benet took a different tack in her painting and mixed media work.

“It’s always been about light and shadow,” she says. “The quality of light; the clarity or translucence, the hue or the lack of color, and what it allows one to see or disallows the same, has captivated my attention since childhood. With that, the interplay of shadow is light’s compliment. Whether the shadow is dense or slight, hard edged or soft, reflective of color, draws me into the setting. This is how I see the dance of the subject, a certain rapport between the light and the shadow. Do they make magic together or just complete the steps?

Benet is exhibiting her artwork at the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center (85 Throckmorton) throughout June with a wine reception on June 7 (6–8pm) as part of the Mill Valley Arts Commission‘s First Tuesday Artwalk. The monthly celebration of local art includes a host of venues, including the O’Hanlon Center for the Arts, Seager Gray Gallery, the Mill Valley Public Library, Dolls and Dandy Salon, Terrestra, the Depot Bookstore & Café and City Hall. Receptions at each venue are Tuesday from 6–8pm. First Tuesday Artwalk Guide with venues and a map.

Benet says her Chinese background has imbued her with the value of composition and the definitive character of stroke, while Western training allows her to explore her world in oil, egg tempera, mixed media, charcoal & ink.

My progression into painting hopefully has carried with it that same sense of light and the affect it has on our world,” she says.

The 411Diana Liu Benet exhibits her “Remembrance” paintings at the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center, 85 Throckmorton Avenue, throughout May. The First Tuesday Artwalk receptions are Tuesday, May 3, 6–8pm. First Tuesday Artwalk Guide with venues and a map.

Want to know what’s happening around town? Click here to subscribe to the Enjoy Mill Valley Blog by Email!