Diane's tufted portraits celebrate the lives of local rescue animals and adoption narratives. By mixing disparate motifs and media, her art aims to re-frame the use and meaning of animal bodies in our culture. Trained as a figure painter, Diane's human subjects' textile rich environments were featured in her early paintings.
As she copied vintage scarves and pastoral scenes on Toile de Jouy and Peacock chenille bedspreads, Diane became interested in the use of both animal imagery as well as animal print patterns. She studied how luxury brands used animals to symbolize pedigree, luxury and colonial exoticism. Her goal is to update the idea of the bucolic textile or animal pelt rug into something both joyful and critical.
For the “Belly of the Beast” project, Diane creates tufted paintings to produce low relief full body portraits of rescue animals sleeping on their backs. Tufting, or looping yarn though a backing cloth is commonly used in carpet making. She uses a combination of thousands of loop pile stitches at various heights and cuts pile loops to create fuzzy textures. Through exaggerated color, rich texture and the animal pose itself, skin rug transforms into an interspecies interconnected meditation.