Diane Nevitt was born in Macclesfield, Cheshire in 1955, moving to the Westcountry in the early '70s. Diane studied Fashion and Textile Design at Plymouth College of Art and then went on to study Textiles at Taunton College of Arts and Technology. Although having a love for textile design, Diane's first love was painting and she went on to become a professional artist.
Diane worked as an artist in her own studio for 30 years on Plymouth Waterfront, exhibiting her paintings and producing commissions for a variety of projects, some of which include those at the Government Offices for the Southwest, Regional Development Agency, Villa Tivoli, Merano, Italy, Anvil Projects Guernsey as well as Westcountry Television.
In the early nineties Diane studied with the late renowned artist Robert Lenkiewicz in Plymouth. For what proved to be five years of intense tuition, Diane acquired a discipline of painting's technical requirements including shape, tone and colour. She was described by Robert as 'the loveliest of colourists'. Diane has now moved back to the Cheshire countryside, where her love for art began and is now working from an old converted cotton mill surrounded by the rich colours of the Cheshire Countryside she knows and loves so well.
Paintings are an investigation into the act of painting itself, the physical substance of paint, the relationships between forms and the building of a personal language of colour and marks.
Diane's early paintings were based on the immediate environment of everyday objects and landscape of the Devonshire and Cornish coastline, which were of muted colours and complex forms. The paintings moved to a change of medium - acrylic, pastel and charcoal on paper. It then moved to free abstraction and graphic mark making.
Diane's paintings became increasingly reliant on memory and association for their inspiration, and pointed towards more formal abstraction. The work then moved forward to vigorous brush marks and scratches into the canvas. Influenced by the bronze sculptures from Paris' Musee d'Orsay, some of Diane's latest work has seen the introduction of metallic, gold, bronze and silver, creating shimmering picture surfaces.
Diane Nevitt has had an array of influences which have inspired her artwork. Notably her interest in the relationship between colour and music which led to her learning how to play the trumpet. Music had a great part to play in a series of early paintings such as 'Music on the Island' after Michael Galasso and 'Isola Madre' Lake Como. Influences from the Art Nouveau movement and it's finide-siecle paintings saw Diane's paintings become more concerned with the timeless elemental nature of what lies beneath her work, rather than representation of the landscape.
Much of Diane's inspiration for her work comes from her many visits to Europe. Her love for Italy and in particular the spa town of Merano, has seen her return many times for inspiration, allowing her to produce some exquisite pieces of work. The beautiful light and lush orchards, vineyards and luxurious green oasis of flower gardens brought the inspiration for 'Empress Garden' and 'Villa Tivoli'. The dramatic Amalfi coastline and the Island of Capri brought vibrant harmonies of blues and greens evoking dreamlike sensations to her work. Through these visits and others to Lake Garda, Lake Como, Pamukkale, Vienna and Nice; Diane has been told that she has a remarkable talent for being able to take what she sees and feels from a place and recreate this in her paintings once back in her studio.
Diane has been greatly influenced by the late Roger Hilton CBE, "I relate to his comments that he tried to feel shapes and colours inside himself"
Diane begins with a blank canvas, colours and shapes start to evolve and feelings emerge of places, with colours changing as stronger feelings and a sense of place become more apparent. "I have no preconceived ideas of how the painting will end up. Painting is like music, it must be built on discipline and a firm understanding of paintings technical requirements but at the same time allowing a freedom of expression".