Monday, January 14, 2013

Wild October

The summer and fall were productive times for me in the studio. A large selection of my work is going to be exhibited during the month of February at the Gallery of the Quogue LIbrary in Quogue on the south shore of Long Island.

The two pieces pictured here have special meaning for me since I made them in late October and early November just after hurricane Sandy. I hadn’t started out to make pieces about the storm at all. Actually, I was blessed with some free time in the studio by my good luck of not losing my electricity or suffering any real discomfort from the storm that so damaged much of the city. I began working on these two pieces and was amazed at how fast they developed. In fact, I had to rush to keep up with them as each in its turn seemed to clamor for attention, telling me “Here, here.” It was like a train rushing down the tracks and I had to run to jump on before it left. Most artists have periods when a piece is going well or, unfortunately more commonly, when a piece is going slowly and painfully. But the intensity of work on these two images was, for me, extraordinary. I was working every day for at least six hours at a time. Near the end, I realized that, of course, these two images certainly were about the storm — the wildness and destruction of the storm.

WILD OCTOBER DARK  11 in. x 9-1/2 in.  monotype, pastel, colored pencil, and collage

WILD OCTOBER LIGHT  11-3/4 in. x 9-1/2 in  monotype, pastel, colored pencil, and collage

Monday, September 24, 2012

LILY HILL GOLD, 2012, monotype with pastel, colored pencil and collage, 8-1/4 in. x 10-3/4 in.

LILY HILL GREEN, 2012, monotype with pastel, colored pencil and collage, 9-1/2 in. x 11-3/4 in.

Winners' Show

East End Arts Council Gallery
133 East Main Street, Riverhead, NY  11901
October 12-November 9, 2012
Reception: October 12, 5-7 pm

A solar plate etching of mine, Leaf Peel, won best in show at East End Arts Council's Print Show in July of 2011. The Print Show was curated by Craig Zaniello, master printer for many well-known contemporary artists. A selection of my newest work, all monotypes, will be on view in this exhibit. The artists, each of whom has won best in show in one of the 2011 exhibits at East End Arts, will be speaking briefly about their work at the reception. You can also see a few of my newest pieces on my web site,

In other news, a piece of mine, Yellow January, was accepted in the National Juried Show Joy, also at East End Arts Council, from August 21-October 5. The curators for this exhibit were Peter Marcelle, Director of Gerald Peters Gallery in New York, and Bruce Helander, Editor-in-Chief of Arts Economist magazine.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Complex June

The two pieces you see here, June Morning and June Evening, are some of the most complex work I've done recently. As always, they started out as a monotype made on the etching press using some small weeds that grow in the spring out in Southold, where I spend my weekends. These delicate little plants held up surprisingly well in the printing process. It always amazes me that seemingly delicate and fragile bits of nature are at times the strongest.

After the prints were made, I began working with other materials such as watercolor, pastel and colored pencil. Since the small weeds had delicately but strongly embossed the paper, I was able to use the subtle differences in the physical heights of some parts of the image to accept color in differing ways. I then began using some small slivers of collage from a printed photograph of my own that was made in Wave Hill. (Wave Hill, in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, high above the Hudson River, is a magical place.) These slivers of color and light seemed to open small windows into another possible world.

As I worked, two different times of day became evident in the way each piece progressed in terms of color and light. I realized that I had both morning and evening of a warm, alive, filled to the brim June day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Leaf Peel" wins Best in Show

I am pleased to announce that a piece of mine has won Best in Show at a Print show going on now at East End Arts Council Gallery in Riverhead from now through most of August.

The piece in question, “Leaf Peel” 2005, 20 X 16 inches, is composed of layered solar plate etchings using two separate printed images. The top layer is cut away in furled leaf like pieces to reveal the layer underneath. While this piece is a bit different from much of the work I’m doing now, the nature theme is still prominent. The layering of the etchings means that the piece is about 2 inches deep and it’s framed in a shadow box frame.

The juror for the show was Craig Zammiello, a master printer with 30 years of experience working with artists such as Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Kiki Smith at Universal Limited Art Editions on Long Island. He is now master printer at Two Palms press in Manhattan working with artists such as Ellen Gallagher, Elizabeth Peyton and Chris Ofili. Mr. Zammiello has taught workshops and classes at NYU, Yale and the Flemish Government Center for the Graphic Arts. He is currently an adjunct professor at Columbia University. His own work has been exhibited in the US and abroad. His prints can be found at the Yale University Art Gallery and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

East End Arts Council

East End Arts Council


the monotypes and mixed media work of

Dianne Martin

At the Rosalie Dimon Gallery

Jamesport Manor Inn

May 6 – August 4, 2011

The Jamesport Manor Inn, in a bucolic setting on the North Fork of Long Island, is located on Manor Road in Jamesport among horse farms and vineyards.

The pieces in this show were made mostly in the last year or two and include many of the Fables series, as well as the Jungle series and a few other older pieces.

Come out to the beautiful North Fork, visit some wineries, enjoy the bay and the sound beaches. When you’re here please do stop in to the Jamesport Manor Inn for a delicious meal and a chance to see some of my recent work.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


These recent pieces were made using a copper plate etched in a complex process called “sugar lift.” The leaves that make up the “forest” here are mostly dried ginkgo leaves.

In my work with using the press to make monotypes I’ve used dried plant material directly on the press. Here the process was somewhat more complicated. It involved getting a sticky sugar solution on the leaves and then impressing them on the plate. An acid resist ground was then applied to the entire plate. At that point, the plate was soaked in hot water and the image made with the sugar solution “lifts” from the plate exposing that area to the acid.

While this is a technique used by many printmakers, using dried plant material was, shall we say, quite challenging! I went through a bundle of plant material before I could find things that would hold up and not just disintegrate. Luckily for me I was helped all along the way by a wonderful printmaker and teacher at Manhattan Graphics Center where I worked this past spring and summer. Vijay Kumar was endlessly patient and encouraging in my darkest hours of frustration using my disintegrating leaves!

What you see here, in these two variations, is the finished etching printed in relief, with ink rolled on the surface of the plate rather than rubbed into the lines in the more usual way of printing etchings. I then worked with each image using many materials, including pastel and gouache. I became absorbed in painting the gouache in intricate patterns within the impression of the leaves. Here I was definitely seeing the “trees” rather than the “forest” as a whole!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fable of the Five Birds

This was the first piece of the seven images in the Fables series that I completed in 2009. It will be included in an exhibit of collage and mixed media work curated by Peter Marcelle, owner of Hampton Road Gallery in Southampton. The exhibit will be at the East End Arts Council in Riverhead ( from July 23rd through August 27th. Gallery hours are 10AM – 4PM Thursday – Saturday. The Arts Council is at 133 East Main Street in Riverhead, 631-727-0900.

Fable of the Five Birds contains elements of collage in addition to oil monotype, colored pencil and pastel. The small elements lined up on the bottom of the image are my way of adding “predella” images to the piece. In medieval and renaissance altarpieces small images relating to the main subject are often painted down below the main image and sometimes on the sides as well. Their function is to further amplify the subject of the altarpiece. For example, an image of Saint Frances will have predella images that relate stories of the life of the saint. Sometimes these small images are taken out of a large altarpiece over the centuries and are displayed on their own. In my Fable of the Five Birds I wanted to use this device to add depth and mystery. In all of these fable images in this series I wanted to create a strong sense of a possible story, narrative or fable. The fable itself remains a mystery, even to me.