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Dianne McGhee

Artist's Interview

How long have you been doing stained glass?
Since a child, I've always been drawing and creating something or other. Being attracted to bright colorful objects, it wasn't any surprise that I would be attracted to stained glass. My acquaintance to Chris and Vicki Payne lead me to take a stained glass course in their studio 17 years ago.
What other artists and movements inform your work?
For as long as I can remember I've always been drawn to unusual, colorful, objects. The more unique the better. In fact, as an older teenager, I painted the walls of my bedroom bright lemon yellow. I think Mary Engelbreit has played a big part in my life. She adds bright colors to almost everything and also adds a splash of whimsy. I also feel that her unique style influenced a drive in me. I wanted to develop a style that was so unique, that when someone saw my work, they would know that I did it.
How would you describe your work?
Unique, colorful, whimsical, abstract, unusual, definitely unusual.
What are your motivations for creating?
Wow, just about anything. I get inspired if I see an unusual shadow. My doodle idea came when I saw a reflection in a little garden. The light was hitting one of the plants in such a way, that there were several colors of light that looked like they were dancing and dangling. That gave me the idea to add the beads to my work. I also try to follow the trends in decorating fashion and elaborate on those ideas. Right now my inspiration comes from anything that dangles. I'm a lot like my cat that way :-).
How, if at all, have the events of 9-11 impacted your art making?
As tragic as 9-11 has been for all of us, I still try to do something I've always tried to do and that is to always look on the bright side of life. Although, many would not find much to feel bright about, it's certainly brought a closeness among people that went unnoticed before. With tears coming at unsuspecting moments, at times it felt difficult to create. For awhile, I was unmotivated to do much glass at all. What I did instead was something totally new to me. I've always loved watercolors but have never painted in my life. I went to the art store, bought some watercolor paints and paper, and painted. Even though I was sad, I still used very bright colors. I just tried to take my mind off the events around me and just do something. I've heard that when you don't feel like doing something, if you just start to do what it is you don't feel like doing, eventually you will feel like doing it. Painting created a new inspiration for new glass ideas, and now I have new ideas just swimming in my head.
You are one half of an artistic couple. How does your partner influence what you create?
Victor is such a wonderful person. I truly feel he brings out the best in me. Unfortunately I've been in some relationships with people that didn't share my appreciation and style of art. I think that I was kind of stagnant in my creativity during those times. I need to always be changing and adapting. I have to be flexible and spontaneous. If I'm not changing, I'm not growing, and if I'm not growing, I feel like I'm dying, creatively speaking, of course. Victor is extremely witty and we have a lot of laughter in our home. I think laughter keeps your spirit young and keeps your senses alive. We share similar tastes in most everything and I think that's a big plus. He's extremely encouraging and he's very supportive. I think the best is the fact that the living room can be in a shambles and he totally ignores the mess. He comes in the door, gives me a kiss and says, "Honey, what did you make new today?" How absolutely wonderful is that.
What would you like your fellow EBSQ artists and collectors to know about you and or your work?
Not only do I like my pieces to be different but I won't rush through my work just to finish them up. As frantic and demanding as some seasons can be, I still try to put the same attention to detail in every piece that goes out the door. First impressions are lasting. I want your first impressions of my work to make you smile. I hope it's something you get enjoyment out of every time you see it.

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