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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

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  • “Chicago Sky II”Chicago Sky II

    oil pastel/collage

  • “Two Moons”Two Moons

    acrylics

  • “The Express”The Express

    acrylics

Diane Zeni

  • Art
I am an Art Professional

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Contact Info
wakingdreamsstudio.com

artist statement

Once upon a time I was a dancer. Now I make art. The story of my life is the basis for what I am creating today. It’s my autobiography, plain and simple. More than anything else, my background in dance informs my artwork. For me, painting is simply choreography on canvas and if I can get a sense of movement into my work, I’m happy. A blank canvas represents hope mixed with a little fear—it’s a metaphor for life!
I believe that art is communication—one person’s way of seeing, or thinking, or feeling brought into the world in a singular form. How (or if) the communication is received is unpredictable, but I know magic can happen in that space where your story and mine intersect.
For my collages, I use torn paper (I’m an avid destroyer of discarded books!) I construct and solve a puzzle at the same time using images and words that have meaning for me. Oil pastels provide the missing pieces, along with vibrant color, cohesion, definition or obscurity. I tend to make things out of stuff that comes my way by chance and I finish everything myself with frames I find in thrift stores and rummage sales—there’s history there, too.
I’m intrigued by maps, the sky, stars, planets and moons, water and fire. I love doors, windows and bridges and the discovery of what may be hidden that can be seen if you look a little closer. Some of my collages are narratives meant to begin a story that the viewer may complete. The places in my landscapes are all imaginary. I like a shade of gray, a blurry line, a jagged edge. Conceptually, I like to take the long view without losing sight of the details.
Recently, in an effort to work on a bigger scale I’ve been painting with acrylics and incorporating alcohol inks into my collages. I studied oil painting with Janet Shafner and pastels with Martha Wakeman at Connecticut College where I received a B.A. in Dance.

proficiencies