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Diana Hamer
Diana Hamer

Diana Hamer is a Toronto-based visual artist and celebrationist. She works in acrylic and mixed media, enjoying figurative and portrait work of humans, canines and birds. For the last 10 years she has been exhibiting her work in Toronto art fairs, cafes and restaurants. She participated in the 2015 Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition at Nathan Philips Square, and during the summer of 2016, exhibited her series, "Mutt Shots" at the Queen Mother Cafe on Queen West in Toronto. She has studied painting extensively at The Toronto School of Art and OCAD. The most eye-opening painting course she ever took was with Tom Dean at OCAD.

What draws her to the easel is a desire to render emotional expression and gesture that compels the viewer to move towards the painting to take a closer look. Also of importance is the depiction of texture; soft, wispy, bristly, smooth. Can you feel the dog's soft fur? Can you sense the serrated edge of the feather? Dry-brush technique, glazing and the use of a plethora of household items like kitchen scrubbies, toothpicks, darning needles and credit cards help her create a variety of textures that vigorously stimulate the sense of touch through the eyes.

She is particularly inspired by Rembrandt's luscious and frankly abstract manipulation of paint to create rich texture and depth, and by Andrew Wyeth's use of large masses of light and dark punctuated by achingly delicate lines. Her project, "Mutt Shots" has been two years in the making. This series of 31 canine portraits was influenced by Rembrandt's poignant and expressive portraits, PD Eastman's "Go Dog Go", and various Toronto dogs who brought their people to her local park to play. Painted on birch cradle-boards, much rubbing and scratching was employed to achieve a texture of maximum furriness. A viewer once said of the series, "These dogs, they all have something to say".

© 2003-2015 Diana Hamer. All rights reserved.
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