Throughout a career of over 45 years my artistic practice focused on creating figurative paintings that addressed the human condition.  From the 1980's through the 1990's my paintings portrayed images of sorrow, pain, and inner wounding, as a pathway to facilitate healing & self-growth.  During this time, I did many large diptychs which paired a figure with animals or landscape, to show the importance of our connection with nature to heal our wounded souls.   After the birth of my only child in 1997 my paintings grew to include the question, “what will we leave of our earth for future generations?”  I began to incorporate words, text, images of children, nature, prayer, and additionally images of the ethereal realms, of memory, dreams, and spirit.  
 
My painting “Elephant Prayer” (2020) took several years to complete.  There is no religious symbolism intended, but rather the idea that prayer, as thought, creates energy which then radiates out into the world to effect change. There are words scratched onto the surface which say, “We all share the same breath”.
 
“The Weeping Drawer” (2007-2022) has an actual drawer built into the box which opens and contains small paintings that represent pain, suffering, loss, and loves.  This artwork has continued to evolve since its inception, and this year I have repainted the entire painting and added new paintings to the drawer.  I imagine this painting acts as a shamanic object which encases my intent to transmute or transform pain to a greater power.
 
I have always mined the experiences of my own life, searching for a universal truth within that experience, which then serves as a road map for my work.  “Death is a Hard Teacher” (2022) has the quote scratched onto the surface, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  While this painting came from a personal experience of suffering the loss of a relationship, and the inability to fit into another’s life (I was given a single drawer), it caused me to reflect on the many traumas of our current world situation and the issues of loss, betrayal, pain and grief.  It is a time of grieving for so many.
 
My paintings explore a merging of ideas and worlds beyond the veil of the illusions in which we exist.  They offer a vision of a spiritual path, the importance of connection with the natural world, and the encouragement to face life’s sorrows and suffering, to ultimately awaken in our hearts compassion for all life.  As a contemporary mystic, love of wilderness and the beauty of the American West continue to be a guiding force in my life and in my art.
 
Diane Marsh 2022