Seager Gray Gallery presents “Bold Silence,” by Diane Williams. In this exhibition Williams presents a captivating exploration of contrasts. Through vibrant colors and striking shapes, the paintings invite viewers into a realm of dynamic forms floating in tranquil silent space. The exhibition runs from November 1 – 30, 2023 with a reception for the artist on Saturday, November 4 from 4 to 6 pm.
“When I first began painting,” says Williams, “I was inspired by the work of the Abstract Expressionists.” Using gesture and color to evoke intense emotional states, she was drawn to the dynamic power she was able to capture with pure paint. It was when she went to China that she began to realize the potential of contrasting strong physical gestures of color with areas of stillness. Her compositions began to expand leaving areas of beautiful space – fields of color containing bursts of energized forms.
With the expanding space came a love of scale – paintings large enough for the viewer to travel through and become immersed in. “I began to enjoy working in panels,” she explained. “I could work on each separately while envisioning how they might work together. I found I enjoyed both the areas that flowed into each other and those that didn’t.”
A stunning example is her 6-panel work, Poppies (65 x 120 in). Vivid oversized bursts of floral shapes float above green and lilac fields of color with calligraphic lines of black escorting the viewers’ eyes around the painting. Each panel is 65 x 20 in. Remarkably, any combination of the paintings work, both individually and together.
The same is also true of the triptych, Dancing with a Strong Wind (50 x 90 in). Each panel is a painting, but one could easily see any one or two of them standing alone.
Williams’ life is one happily immersed in art. She has a Master’s in Fine Art from John F. Kennedy University as well as a BFA from UC, Santa Barbara and a Masters of Art from California State University, Sacramento. She also attended the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, China and has participated in workshops in cold wax and other media.
Williams and her husband, fellow artist Chuck Potter, have taught workshops both online and in person from their Benicia studio, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Whidbey Island in Washington and Marin Museum of Contemporary Art among others. They are great supporters of the arts community as collectors as well as teachers and mentors.
In “Bold Silence,” Diane Williams invites you to share in an intricate dance. “For me,” she explains, “making art is a profound experience of contemplation and personal growth, where the extroverted converges with the introverted, and where art becomes a gateway to understanding the complexities of life.”