about dianne bennett

about dianne bennett

tiny salvations

Mother nature is my religion. Birds and other wild beings connect me to the cosmos and are a vehicle of personal transformation and awe.  They witness our madness as a species and are victims of our ignorance.
I paint portraits of wildlife on road signs as warnings to STOP and ask ourselves what is sacred that is what is disappearing before our very eyes. To advocate for and celebrate what is left of our natural world.

A kind of awakening happened within me the first time I saw a bluebird and I continue to find salvation and renewal following the call of birds into the wild.

junk junkie

I find my inspiration in random places
mostly thrift stores, flea markets, curbside,
used book stores
or my own recycle bin.
waste not want not
my philosophy
leads to
accidental poems
and revelations
words and icons
advertising or religious
or both
seeking to raise questions
about which is which and what is what
to surprise myself
and to make pretty things
out of junk

Growing up in the 1960s San Fernando Valley when orange trees outnumbered houses, I watched as meadows disappeared to housing tracts and shopping malls. The L.A. City school system left me lost in the masses of the baby boom era. I found refuge in creating art and inspiration in family outings to the desert, mountains and beaches and the San Fernando Mission where I fell in love with the religious iconography and the mixture of colors and patterns painted on the pews and walls.

When my career as an advertising and editorial illustrator collided with the 1990s dawn of the computer age, I began using a language of symbols to find and express my own story, obsessions, passions and questions. Moving from Los Angeles to Ventura during the el nino years of torrential rains and flooding confirmed and ignited my junk collecting passion and I began making art with the detritus that I found washed up on the beach.

I now live in the Mojave desert near Joshua Tree where I continue to dig deep into my story, psyche, thrift shops, garage sales and rusty desert junk piles for inspiration. The desert lends it’s magic. Road signs and birds guide my way.