Featured Artist: Diane Farris


Current town: Sussex County Resident

What are you working on/ describe your work. I work primarily in watercolor and dyes, sometimes augmented with color pencil. I don’t use black (or rarely). I was a tattoo artist for decades and 99% of tattoos start with black. I loved the art of tattooing, and truly enjoyed working on designs for people with my clients. It’s extremely rewarding to work hard on a piece knowing that you gave someone the absolute perfect piece for them and that they will wear it for as long as they live. Once I withdrew from tattooing and drawing every recognizable thing on the planet, I looked back and thought – no black, no structured designs – not now at least. It’s going on four years and I’ve yet to do a line and fill piece, and proud to say so!


What’s your art background / when did you begin really focusing on art? I have always lived as an artist. I was always encouraged as a child and was the kid in grade school that people asked to draw things, and I progressed from there, always taking art classes when available, and drawing on the walls of my home otherwise. I graduated from Rutgers with a Bachelors in Fine Arts and the world has been stuck with me ever since! Jobs I’ve held: computer graphic artist, typesetter, photography lab assistant, photography instructor, tattoo artist, photography collection curator.

What’s been happening in your life/ what’s next for you? Traveling, interviewing people, mostly musicians for my WFMU radio show, painting and curating for a fine art photography website: Printedart.com


Describe your current state of mind / what’s inspiring you? Things that inspire me are varied; my emotions, music, and then the odd/absurd thing I see on the street or overhear in a store. A lot of my work comes out of social commentary even if it’s to poke fun of how weird humans can be. Although all my work at the moment is abstract, there are many subtle figures and meaning in most.

Any exhibits coming up/ past exhibits you’d like to mention? I will have a large number of paintings displayed in The Fine Grind Coffee Bar in Little Falls NJ for the month of April 2013. In October, Parlor Salon in Montclair will be hosting my pieces for a month as well. I have several pieces in individual group shows upcoming, all over the tri-state area for various lengths of time.


Is any of your work political? Not generally, no. Although I love collage and assemblage, I could see myself producing more socio-political work, but not at the moment. I had a politically motivated period for art a couple of decades ago.

What is one of the biggest challenges you face as an artist? Focusing. I love creating when there are no deadlines. I also have been dismally prepared in the task of framing, matting, or getting promotional materials together. It’s a dichotomy to be an artist and actually a working one.


Has the meaning of your work changed over time? To me, no, to others, I can’t tell.

What are you listening to these days? A lot of rock, metal and punk. Radio Birdman, Kylesa, Killing Joke, Hail Hornet, Night Birds, Eruption, Spellcraft, Doro, Redimoni, Gnaw, A Storm Of Light, Batillus, Yob. I obviously, could go on. Music is the engine in my life, art is the expression.


Favorite artists and why/ people in your field whom you most admire: Hieronymus Bosch, Max Ernst, Isamu Noguchi, Lyle Tuttle, Mark Mothersbaugh, B. Mossman. Most are examples of artists working during their lifetimes, not being discovered after the fact. They had a vision, spoke a word and made it happen when it counted.

Favorite authors, fiction: Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov

What was the first piece of artwork you bought/ do you buy a lot of artwork? I am in the habit of purchasing artwork. The first piece I bought was a Dali print called “Don Quixote.” I have always been fascinated with the print process and editions. I love paper! When I travel I am always looking at street vendors for pieces.

Your website(s): http://vividvizion.blogspot.com


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