In the studio with Diana Baker



What is your favourite medium and why?

I love working in mixed media. There are always so many avenues to explore and I particularly like adding text to my images. I dye my own rice paper for collage in a variety of textures.

What themes do you pursue in your work?

I tend to work in series, until they run their course and I move on to something new. In recent years I have explored seascapes, landscape, interiors, ballet and canine capers, although I must say landscape if my favourite theme and I return to it again and again.

What should people know about your art that they can't tell from looking at it?

People tend to have their own interpretation. It is very individual and not for me to say.

If you had to choose one artist whose work inspires you, who would it be?

Margaret Woodward, Australian artist

Tell us about your studio. Location, clean, cluttered, big, small, etc?

My studio sits on 100+ acres in the Australian bush. It is secluded, but not remote and is housed in a separate building to my home. Because of my enthusiasm for mixed media it tends to be a bit messy but does get a clean occasionally. It is not large but big enough for me, although one could always use more space.



Do you have any pre-work ritual that puts you in the right mindset to create art?

No. Creating art is just like having a regular job. You need to work at it all the time, not just when you feel ‘in the mood’. If I waited til I was in the mood, nothing would probably ever happen. Discipline is required.

Do you prefer to work with music or in silence?

Always with music or the radio.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Rehabing injured wildlife which, sadly, happens regularly in our area. I’m also involved in border collie rescue and have friends who train their dogs for TV.

What is your favourite colour?

Hot pink and/or orange.

What do you collect?

I try to avoid collecting ‘stuff’ although I do like to purchase art in printmaking form.

Interests other than art?

Family get-togethers, anything to do with dogs, most music in a variety of areas and playing with my Jack Russell and Border Collie. I also like to cook and have an appreciative audience, ie my husband, who doesn’t like to eat out because the food at home is always superior.



Are there messages within your work?

Sometimes, not always.

What excites and inspires you as an artist?

Light and shadow at different times of year and time of day. Fog and frost in the winter, golden light in the autumn and heat thermals in the summer, especially the colour in bushfires!

What does your creative process entail?

If I have a specific idea in mind, I get to it quite quickly. If not, I tend to begin with collage and a variety of mediums, set it aside to dry, and then start pouring or splashing paint around to see what evolves. It’s sometimes quite startling to see what evolves from that initial mish mash.

What do you enjoy most about painting?

The solitude. It pushes life’s frustrations out of your head as you concentrate on one thing only.

How do you know when an artwork is completed?

At times I know it is finished. Other times I keep fiddling. My husband is a great critic and knows when to tell me to stop.



What advice do you have for artists who are starting out?

Buy the best materials you can afford and work, work, work. Get some tuition along the way. Learn your pigments, what is transparent, what is opaque, and mix plenty of swatches as you go so that you can learn what each colour will achieve.

Do you have any planned upcoming exhibitions?

Yes. I have a solo show coming up at the Old Fireshed Gallery in Historic Wollombi, NSW opening on Friday July 07 and running until Sunday July 16, 2017