Art Attack - Diana Betteridge

Diana Betteridge
Art Attack - Diana Betteridge

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Artist Diana Betteridge has always felt a strong connection to the canine spirit. “Dogs have a very human quality,” she says. “By being ever-present, they represent an evolved consciousness that emanates love. ” Betteridge explores this connection in her latest body of work, “D.O.G.,” a celebration of the relationship and the love we share with dogs.

It was the love of her own furry companion, Buddy, that inspired Betteridge to paint dogs. As she was painting Buddy, she says she “felt a body of work start to emerge.” For Betteridge, each dog has a unique personality and spirit; and her challenge is to bring each dog’s authenticity to the canvas. She does this by first taking 100 to 150 photographs of her canine subject in a natural setting. Working from all shots simultaneously, she creates a drawing that captures the dog’s essence. Betteridge will further explore her subject by re-drawing it several times with different materials like charcoal and pastels. She stretches, treats, and tints each canvas herself before committing the final drawing to it.

Once the form has been sketched onto the coloured canvas, Betteridge, working primarily with oils, adds paint to the piece. To accurately reflect the truth of each dog, Betteridge employs different techniques, such as underpainting. Whether it’s an underlying grieving, as in the portraits of Nova, or the joyful majesty of Huck, each painting evokes a different truth and feeling. Betteridge found the dogs she painted around her neighbourhood, at the park, or while she was driving. “I’ve jumped out of my car to connect with a dog that inspired me,” she says. Most owners wholeheartedly granted her permission to paint their dogs. While honing her craft primarily on her own, Betteridge has taken courses such as photography, drawing, oil painting, and anatomy, when she felt the need to learn a new technique. She never knows which technique a certain painting will require and relies on the diversity of her craft to reflect the authenticity of her subjects.

She’s an artist in the truest, highest sense: one who stays true to her artistic voice, listening to the messages it sends, acting as a constant medium between spirit and form. Betteridge is open to doing commissioned work. To view her complete D.O.G. collection, and for contact information, visit dianabetteridge.com

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