"Blue, green, orange":
Adding Color to a Night of Music
"Blue, green, orange" (2018) has been featured in marketing materials for the upcoming Bay Area Rainbow Symphony concert on April 28. The Little Stars Trio, an award-winning string ensemble, will be performing. Siblings Dustin, Starla, and Valery Breshears, ages 8, 10, & 11 respectively, have performed internationally at festivals and events, and have won numerous awards in chamber music.
100 Colors, 18 Paintings
FIG First Independent Gallery
February 28-March 24, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 3, 5-7 pm
Diana Gordon loves her journey. She ceaselessly seeks out new challenges to conquer and new paths to explore. She works daily on expanding her painting vocabulary. She experiments, she tinkers. The result of her explorations is a wildly entertaining yet deeply thoughtful body of work. Gordon is able to connect with the viewer and we can't help but smile and nod in appreciation of the little things she shows us. A dab of color here, a piece of collage there… how do these impact the meaning of the work? Will adding a line send the painting in a different direction? How do you see a still life in a new way or capture the essentials of a landscape? In Gordon's work you can see the puzzles being solved, the challenges surmounted and fun being had along the way.
The artist writes, "This body of work reflects my growing interest in structurally composed paintings that balance precision and color in unexpected ways. I paint from things I see and things I imagine for as long as it takes for the painting to achieve a final state of repose.
"Color spontaneously applied or crisply calibrated on the canvas and the physicality of the paint itself is why I paint. I am irresistibly drawn to color that appeals to its neighbors in emotionally different ways – vibrant, playful, peaceful, bold, chaotic, soft, or radiant – as if lit internally.
"This work is intuitive, without assumption: I explore tangible shapes and forms as well as representational images with fond associations. In every painting, the unnecessary is eventually jettisoned until what is essential remains.
"When I finish a painting, I have "dance[d] to the end of love" (Leonard Cohen). Each painting has been mined to its core – the work doesn't rely on an explanation – hopefully it invites you in. When a painting resonates beyond its scale and feels contagious to you, the viewer, a conversation has begun."
2016, oil and collage on canvas, 40" x 40"
2018, oil on canvas, 36" x 36"
Santa Monica Artist, Lawyer & Activist
POSTED MAY. 30, 2015
SUSAN CLOKE / MIRROR COLUMNIST
“You have to do the work even when it’s not going well,” were Diana Gordon’s words when talking about making art. “It’s not a sometimes thing. You have to be disciplined.”
Gordon was speaking about her current show at FIG Gallery, Bergamot Station (figgallery.com).
She could have been talking about so many parts of her life.
Publicly known in Santa Monica for her involvement in local politics, Gordon was one of the founders of the Coalition for a Livable City (smclc.net).
“It was my first Council meeting,” said Gordon talking about her introduction to Santa Monica politics. “I went to a hearing on the plans for the renovation of Santa Monica Place. The meeting was long. Many articulate people spoke. Yet it felt as if it were a done deal.”
Fast-forward to the present time.
“I think we are at an interesting crossroads in Santa Monica,” she said. “The Hines project was a decisive turning point and residents are now organized in a way that makes their voices heard.”
Gordon, the political activist, is also Gordon the attorney and Gordon the artist.
“My grandmother was an artist,” she said. “She was raised at a time when women were taught to paint on china and paint watercolors as part of their college educations. It wasn’t until the later years of her life she began painting landscapes. That fascinated me. She painted for the sheer joy of painting."
Gordon was also influenced by her mother’s friends.
“My mother had two best friends, one was with a major ad company and the other was a fashion buyer for a major department store in the Midwest,” she said. “They had interesting work and I wanted to have interesting work too.”
Gordon studied history, Spanish, and art at UCLA.
“When I was a junior I did a year abroad in Madrid,” she said. “I studied at the Prado and saw for myself the worlds created by artists such as Goya and Bosch.
Having grown up in the San Fernando Valley the artists I studied at the Prado were a revelation.”
Being a painter herself was in her future, but Gordon didn’t know it yet.
She graduated UCLA with a major in history and went on to law school at UC Davis.
“I liked being a lawyer,” Gordon said.
“I went into the field of business and entertainment litigation and practiced law for most of my adult life. I only began transitioning to being an artist in the last 12 years.”
In 2003 Gordon inherited a treasure trove of paints, art materials, and books about art. It seemed the inheritance came at just the right time in her life.
Gordon began to study with the artist Martin Lubner at his studio in Venice, CA.
“Abstract art interests me because it is a nonverbal language and it requires an emotional understanding whereas with figurative art our minds recognize the object,” Gordon said. “How color works in the service of other color, the diversity, the range and the dialogue of color fascinates me.”
Gordon said the process of painting is, for her, like being a lawyer.
“You are always working to marshal ideas and winnowing down to the strongest possible statement,” Gordon said. “Everything that you’re passionate about in your life makes your life and your work better.”
What Say You?
Artist Diana Gordon’s show at Bergamot Station’s FIG Gallery, Will to Form, is her first solo show. The opening reception is Saturday, May 30. The show closes June 27. Pictured is her piece “Red and Black.”
Gallery & Museum Venues:
“Will to Form”
May 27, 2015 - June 27, 2015
May 30, 2015 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
FIG Gallery Bergamot Station
Diana Gordon's paintings are rooted in the rich history of expressionist abstraction, while at the same time her work is often punctuated with references to modern representational painting.
From splendid passages of color across a large abstract canvas to an intimate sized still-life, all her work is charged with power and confidence.
Gordon is a classic process painter, whether it's making small adjustments, adding splotches of paint or collaged material, or even completely obliterating something she's previously done, she explores paths opened by the unexpected accidents that come along and challenges herself by trying something daunting and new.
There is always a sense of exploration in her work, a studio journey that travels through chaos and uncertainty, ultimately to be resolved by her natural sense of composition, beauty and order.
“Tree of Life”
2016, oil and collage on canvas, 40" x 40"