The 2018 Voyage Phoenix Magazine Interview:
V: Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
D: Phoenix, AZ is now just coming of age when it comes to the arts. I moved to Arizona in 1990. Coming from any other urban area, like Chicago, I quickly realized that if I was to survive as a working artist, I had to stop myself from being disappointed. For example, I had to learn to ask the right questions before signing a contract with a gallery. I read every book on art marketing and learned from others who came before me. My disappointments ranged from being offered solo shows, then finding out a few days before the opening that the gallery had closed.
A Phoenix gallery curator also promised an exhibit. I sent a list of images for promotion, press release, and I was promised catering by end of week. He never delivered. (I wrote a letter of cancellation stating my reasons).
D: What I learned about working with others when exhibiting your work, whether locally or beyond, is treat it as your legitimate art business, and you should expect professionalism from all involved. I learned to pass on some local art opportunities that did not match my expectations. I learned why they call it a “practice”. Also rejections, yes, I have a drawer full of them.
V: Please tell us about Diane Sanborn Art.
In 2004, my husband and I started BRIO Fine Arts Center. It was an amazing creative space that offered classes and artistic opportunities for all. At our high point we employed 23 instructors. We had a monthly art exhibit, held art receptions, and always maintained a respectable reputation for an authentic arts experience. Due to the recession, we closed the business after a successful ten - year run. Now the focus of my business is me, and my art. So it is simply named Diane Sanborn Art. (www.dianesanbornart.com). I hold an annual home show over a three-day weekend usually in the spring. It is well attended with a good amount of sales. I send hand printed invitations and provide refreshments. I offer a wide range of prices and sizes. I turn my home into a comfortable and non-intimidating place to view and purchase art. It is never snobbish or pretentious.I think I would like to be remembered for being authentic and risk-taking in the arts. This is a review written by Ann Landi, professional art critic. She featured my home show concept in her Vasari 21 newsletter.
Recent Review by Ann Landi
Open Studios: Part Two â¨by Ann Landi | Jun 19, 2017 | Features |
Make it a Social Event
"A corner of her house during Diane Sanborn’s “home show”â¨â¨“I went through a period when I thought I was all alone in my part of the world,” says Diane Di Bernardino Sanborn, who lives in Scottsdale, AZ, and makes largely abstract work. “There are very few galleries in my area for contemporary art. Rather than sit around and grouse about it, I decided to do something.”â¨â¨Her solution is an annual “home show,” where she opens up her premises for two days each year and sends out about 200 formal invitations, via snail mail, including a short description of what she’s been up to in the past year. For instance, in her latest series, “Calm,” Sanborn told potential visitors that she had dedicated the work to “a sense of peace and quiet”— her response to the tumultuous year in politics. And she carefully labeled the show “contemporary art”—“that rules out the Southwest thing,” she says.â¨â¨Over time the “home salon” has proved to be not only an anticipated gathering among her followers, but a sales success as well. “I sold nine paintings, and I have two more sales pending,” she says of an event held in late April."
V: Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
D: Yes. Drawing on old newspapers on the floor with a red crayon in my parent’s first apartment.
Pricing: $200.00 – $3500.00
Phone: 480 560 1733
Facebook: Diane Sanborn Art
We included a visit to your Home Show as part of our activities while in Arizona. It made for a fun, and memorable day. Our purchase of the fine art limited edition giclee of your painting Uber Spot. It has become the bright spot of our living room. It is our extreme pleasure to add your work to our small collection. We're so happy with this addition that it's become a must have to include an original oil as well. You'll be seeing us again.
Ellen and Jim
New Collectors sail away with new work
A recent home show was the inspiration for this commisioned piece. The couple requested a re-purposed use of their family heirloom crocheted lace and table wear. Although it may not be the current decorating trend to use doilies under vases and atop furniture, they loved the look of the lacy textures with designs that brought back memories of their mothers and grandmothers handmade items. I have been weaving with canvas, tissue and other mixed media to create these one of a kind pieces. Avid sailors, "The Deep" incorporates both their love of sailing as well as preserving a memento of the past. Mr. Engle and Ms. Rheaume are pleased with their new aquisition.
Recent Review by Ann Landi
Open Studios: Part Two
by Ann Landi | Jun 19, 2017 | Features | 10 comments
Make it a social event
A corner of her house during Diane Sanborn’s “home show”
“I went through a period when I thought I was all alone in my part of the world,” says Diane Di Bernardino Sanborn, who lives in Scottsdale, AZ, and makes largely abstract work. “There are very few galleries in my area for contemporary art. Rather than sit around and grouse about it, I decided to do something.”
Her solution is an annual “home show,” where she opens up her premises for two days each year and sends out about 200 formal invitations, via snail mail, including a short description of what she’s been up to in the past year. For instance, in her latest series, “Calm,” Sanborn told potential visitors that she had dedicated the work to “a sense of peace and quiet”— her response to the tumultuous year in politics. And she carefully labeled the show “contemporary art”—“that rules out the Southwest thing,” she says.
Over time the “home salon” has proved to be not only an anticipated gathering among her followers, but a sales success as well. “I sold nine paintings, and I have two more sales pending,” she says of an event held in late April.
44 x 48
oil and cold wax
THE NEW ABSTRACTIONISTS PART IX Walter Wickiser
Gallery NEW YORK, 2016-17
Diane Di Bernardino Sanborn
The paintings of Diane Di Bernardino Sanborn are like messages from another
universe. Playful, mysterious and endlessly amusing, they make us smile, contemplate, then smile again. We feel we have been let in on secrets that can’t be reduced to words.
Color is Sanborn’s idiom, and her palette is wide-ranging. One work is aqua and viridian, another ocher and umber, yet another vermillion and gold. Within these beds of color, lines, shapes and symbols unfurl like strands of DNA, according to a logic of their own. As viewers, we can scrutinize the chains of triangles, ovals and trapezoids and puzzle over their meanings. Are they hieroglyphs or pictographs from the unconscious? We may wonder, but the wiser path is to abandon theory and experience the visual.
In Kites and Lanterns, orange, blue and chartreuse diamonds pull our eyes merrily around the canvas, as if traversing a fairgrounds. The colors are vibrant but not hard-edged and the softness with which pale blues melt into vegetal greens suggests a natural landscape. The rounded, golden forms in Polite Conversation, which are as voluptuous as naked bodies, also seem to have emerged from the natural world, as do the lavender, cobalt and yellow shapes sprouting amidst the green in Land of Hopes and Dreams.
As the titles of these works suggest, Sanborn’s images may hail from another universe, but it’s one that runs parallel to our own. In this, she has something in common with those two Modernist granddaddies of the whimsical, Joan Miró and Paul Klee. In her washes of gorgeous color and serpentine lines, we discern a dreamscape that feels uncannily familiar and strange at the same time. It’s as if these apparently abstract works reveal things we have always known, even as they challenge us to recognize them.
“A line comes into being … it goes for a walk, aimlessly, for the sake of the walk,” Klee, once observed. He was describing the act of drawing, as a child might experience it. In this way, he captured the adventurous essence of art. In Sanborn’s paintings, we find a healthy dose of that meandering spirit—an eagerness to follow wherever line and color may lead.
Her sensuous explorations are supported by a subtle color sense and a technical mastery of her materials so assured as to go unnoticed. Sometimes the walker doubles back. And occasionally in the pentimento, we can glimpse evidence of an earlier pass. These ghostlike remnants bleeding through add another numinous dimension to the canvases. “Art,” said Klee, “does not reproduce the visible. Rather, it makes visible.” So it is with Sanborn’s paintings, which reveal to us a reality we would have never seen without them.
TEXAS - Sanborn’s abstract monoprint, entitled Identity Theft, was one of 29 selected from almost 300 entries for the 28th annual international exhibition at the University of Texas Tyler’s Meadows Gallery! Staged January 17th through February 8th, the show’s juror was Wade Wilson of the Wade Wilson Art Galleries in Houston and Santa Fe.
"It was an honor to be chosen. Encountering jurors the caliber of Wade Wilson is one of the benefits of seeking out these academic exhibitions,” stresses Sanborn. An art critic who has published more than 300 articles in international publications, Wilson is credited with establishing Art League Houston as a leading force in the cultural community while serving as the league’s executive director.
Sanborn’s artwork will also be featured at the “Crossroads” exhibit at Eastern Kentucky University’s Giles Gallery slated for Jan. 31 - Feb. 22. “Of the many approaches to the ’Crossroads’ theme, the underlying factor is the high quality of the work,” points out Gallery Director, Esther Randall.
Diane Di Bernardino Sanborn (www.dianesanbornart.com) has made choices that will serve her well: -Renee Phillips "Artists Share their Aspirations for 2013" (Professional Artist, Dec./Jan. 2013) A long time art educator, Diane has served on the faculties of Glendale, Paradise Valley, and South Mountain Community Colleges. She currently teaches art classes at Glendale Community College and in 2012 was chosen as Outstanding Adjunct Faculty of the year. She was a 2008 finalist for the Governor's Arts Awards, Best in Art Education. Her series, based on Aesop's Fables, is included in "Best of Americas Oil Artists." - Leni Reiss City Sun Times
Robert Morris University, Ox-bow, and Songscapes
CHICAGO - Diane Di Bernardino Sanborn was chosen as professional artist-in-residence at Ox-bow, affiliate of Chicago Art Institute. As an Ox-bow professional artist-in-residence, Sanborn will have
24 - hour access to her studio.to be admitted to the program, Sanborn underwent a rigorous selection process, which involved submiting images of her series in process entitled Songscapes. The series
was featured in a 2009 solo show at Robert Morris University in their State Street Gallery. "With these works, I'm exploring the realm of emotions by translating song lyrics into visual metaphors, my work describes how through love, loss, and laughter, we are able to reinvent ourselves and survive. Perhaps just to sing another song, paint another picture, we are able to continue. The work includes a painting entitled Come Fly With Me, 60 x 48 oil on canvas, it depicts a romantic couple flying around the world. - Oriana Parker, Arts Writer, Phoenix, AZ
Fascinated by the physical structure of trees and their place in the environment, Diane Di Bernardino Sanborn completed ten 28" square oils in a series entitled, From the Ground Up that is much more than landscapes. She presents ten intimate moments for the viewer to ponder. "These works take me back to my earliest memory of looking up to the sky and being in awe of the unverse." Her process takes the viewer both upwards and inwards. Branches create forms and lines, bringing new per-spectives and visual possibilities. Anyone who creates art is interested in what is inside and what is outside the self. It is this relationship that connects the physical with the fantasy world.
Scottsdale Artist Emerges with more than 15 minutes of Fame
If visual art could hum a familiar tune, Diane Sanborn’s work is a song you can’t forget. Diane Di Bernardino Sanborn will open her one-woman Art Exhibit and Sale at McDowell Mountain Ranch Community Center, McDowell Mountain Ranch Road in Scottsdale, AZ.
Sanborn’s work conveys a depth that plants the feet and stills its viewer. In this series, her contemporary American Realism awakens the core. Divorced of pretence and artifice, Sanborn’s work triggers internal memories and creates visual metaphors that resonate within the viewer.
The work speaks of her heartland roots calling from a place we’ve all been or would like to go. Colorful and broad in scope, her paintings combine elements that orchestrate a sense of
home and a style illuminating the ordinary. The pieces have a quality impossible to ignore.
The figures and architectural images in her compositions consist of color harmony inducing a sense of familiarity. They create a place where honesty resides. Sanborn says,
“When I was younger, I found that drawing with a crayon became almost magical.
To create images and to tell stories with my drawings was fascinating.
Today my work continues to reveal the infinite number of human possibilities. If the viewer takes a moment to examine an
uneventful, ordinary situation, it can become extraordinary by an associated memory.”
“Art triggers a range of thought and gives meaning to the mundane. The viewer observes thinks, and associates rather than accept prescribed icons. It is then that an idea is born, and creativity continues its cycle. Art gives us who we are and what is important.”
Sanborn works primarily in oil, with glazed layers of color. Take a deep breath, absorb and remember. It will change you.