Diana Jahns – Painting with Photography

[guest post by Diana Jahns]

Diana Jahns - Busy
“Busy” by D. Jahns

I’ve been painting for a long time and photographing digitally for about 10 years. I am fascinated by the possibilities of combining the mediums with results that are partly descriptive and partly abstract.  These days I use my computer as much as my easel and paints for making art.

The door blew open for me with regard to combining painting with photography when I ran across the work of Holly Roberts.  Then, when I saw Jason Engelund‘s photo last year in the Viewpoint Gallery’s Twelve show I was struck by how painterly his images were and his (at least as it appeared to me) use of digital image manipulation.  Both of these approaches, though different from each other, appeal to my sense of art making as a tactile experience.

So lately I’ve been layering photographed images (creating montages in Photoshop) and finding some combinations seem more potent than others.  With layering in mind, when I’m out photographing I look for surfaces that remind me of paintings.  I look for surfaces that have a soulful quality to them.

I also photograph my own paintings in progress to collect images of paint on canvas, or watercolor on paper, or drawings for layering with photo images.
This process is still so new for me that I do not have many finished examples, just work in progress for now.  I’m attaching two finished examples:  “Palm Tree by The Ocean,” a piece I’ve contributed to the Art Auction at the Center for Contemporary Art in Sacramento this month; and, “Touch.”

I have not yet explored collage work, that is physically cutting out photos and gluing them down to a painted or drawn surface, though I am tempted and think I will some day.  I think “Touch” has something in common with my abstract paintings, “Fog” and “Hey, I Know You.”  I still enjoy painting on canvas so I suspect I’ll continue to work in both mediums, photography and painting.

Diana Jahns - fog
“Fog” by D. Jahns
Diana Jahns - Hey I know
“Hey I know” by D. Jahns
Diana Jahns - Palm Ocean
“Palm Ocean” by D. Jahns
Diana Jahns - Touch
“Touch” by D. Jahns