We recently checked in with Diane Edison who is adjusting to working from home in Athens, GA. While juggling her teaching responsibilities at the University of Georgia, where she has been a professor of painting and drawing for over twenty years, she continues to develop her direct, nuanced portraiture. Using either color or monochrome pencil on black paper, Edison in effect works in reverse: drawing reductively until the image emerges. However, Edison also uses her work as a form of autobiography, choosing to depict the people in her life that she deems significant. Currently Diane has been working on portraits of herself and her wife Daphne, two subjects she has returned to often over the years. She shares:
"Working in my new space was a short-term problem in the beginning. Because of the stay in place orders, I could not retrieve all of my supplies. I did however bring home work-in-progress and my color pencils and paper. My studio is the bedroom that my daughter had used. I downsized from a loft space to a 288 square foot room. Ironically, when I had all of that space, I tended to work in smaller areas around the larger the room, that were no bigger than my current space. It’s starting to grow on me because it is an intimate space with great light. And I am home. My practice has always predominantly featured up close self-portraits using color pencil on black paper; my current work is limited to four tones of grey pencil. Daphne, my wife of 29 years, continues to be my reluctant muse. Her portraits have been executed in oils, pastels and color pencil and I have created several double portraits of she and I. We are isolating together and it has been a good experience so far. If that changes over time, it will make for an interesting series. At the same time, I am currently finishing up the spring semester painting classes through zoom and email. It has been quite the adjustment, not having that hands-on experience with my classes."
Here are images of Diane's current works-in-progress; you can see more portraits of her and Daphne here.