Photo by Heidi Bates
Working on the watermelon painting in my studio, 'tidal to the moon'. #374 verse: 13. Acrylic on canvas, from an original photograph, altered in the computer on CorelDraw.
(Diane Jo Small)
I was born in Vancouver, B.C. in 1956 and grew up in Gibsons Landing, B.C.
My mother, Trudy Small, was an artist who went to O.C.A. in the ‘50's.
My husband and I moved to Ontario in 1985. We moved to Paris, Ontario in 2015. I started adding poetry to my
artwork about 15 years ago.
I use old family photographs a lot in my work. I also take new ones if I need to, and add found objects
or recycled materials. Sometimes I use existing photographs if they're of something I can't take myself, like the George Ohr photo, or a shark photo. I bought a book years ago called “How to create your own personal shrine”,
just from seeing the cover. I realized then that’s what I had been doing for years without knowing it.
I studied Fine Art at the University of Victoria, and Graphic Arts at the Kootenay School of Art, in
Nelson, B.C. I also took some night classes in drawing at O.C.A.
I taught stained glass for 7 years in Oshawa at the Arts Resource Center, and worked with
glass for about 20 years.
I added the poetry to the paintings to try to get people to slow down and take their time when
looking at my work.
I say I write about time and memory, but my friends say I write about death. It’s hard to argue
I’ve shown at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, winning Best in Show for a collage
called “Sacrifice”, in 2010. I had a piece called “Fireskin” in the 1st Triennial show in
Peterborough, in 2012, and have had numerous pieces in the Lindsay Gallery.
Lindsay Gallery 2015
March Break Art Camp - Mixed media shadow boxes “Shadow Box Dreams”.
Wax Poetry and Art on-line magazine 2015- "mobius" and "ephemera", mixed-media collages, poetry.
Christmas Show, December 2014 - January 2015
“the space where the object should be” - #247 verse: 7 - mixed media collage.
“911" - #198 verse: 10 - mixed media collage.
Annual Juried Show, Lindsay Gallery June 2014
“the oracle of pain” - mixed-media collage. “Thoughtfully selected integrated text.
Captivation on may levels”. James Campbell, Executive Director/Curator Visual Arts Centre of
Clarington. Honourable Mention.
Canvas Confidential, Lindsay Gallery, art auction
2014 - mixed media collage.
Merry Macs Antiques, Argyle, Ont. August 2014.
“the house of pain” - #244 verse: 16 mixed media collage. Sold.
Canvas Confidential, Lindsay Gallery - art auction.
2013 - mixed media collage.
Annual Juried Show, Lindsay Gallery - July 2013.
“the book of the dead” - mixed media collage.
“Powerful, ambitious mixed media - poignant fusion of imagery and prose, and a poignant
subject. Bravo!” - Juror James Campbell.
Members Christmas Show, Nov - Dec 2013
“mobius” - mixed media collage.
“the oracle of pain” - verse: 5 mixed media collage.
Member’s show, Nov - Dec 2012
“anchor” - mixed media collage.
“the unspoken language” - mixed media collage.
"fireskin" - Peterborough Art Gallery - First Triennial Show, 2012.
Annual Juried Show, June - July 2011
“drinking the blood of the moon” - mixed media collage.
Jo Forrest, mixed-media collage, Lindsay Gallery Annual Juried Show 2011.
and "the steam cage".
"shrine" - mixed-media collage on board, driftwood, beads, my mother's necklaces, tags, found objects, poem.
"the hanging man" and "ultraviolet" - Christmas members sale, Lindsay Gallery, November - December 2011
"ultraviolet" - mixed-media collage on wood, acrylic paint, found objects, chicken bones, text.
"sacrifice" was inspired, in part, by Rule #4, my own list of rules, called the 10 Suggestions, since the title "The Ten Commandments" was already taken. I saw a woman on TV talking about her relentless pursuit of physical perfection by having multiple plastic surgeries, and buying expensive clothes. She said no matter how much she did, she still felt like an awkward teenage girl inside, and I thought, "well, you're trying to fix the problem with the wrong solution, and when it doesn't work, you try again and again, hoping for a different result, which is never going to work". It's a black hole you get sucked into. She thought if she looked beautiful, she'd feel beautiful, but plastic surgery doesn't alter your memories. She needed a different kind of solution altogether. The piece was about sacrificing the wrong things in an attempt to fix a problem. She spent a lot of money, and went through a lot of physical pain, all for nothing. The solution was causing her more harm than good. It doesn't have to be about plastic surgery, it could be about any dysfunctional coping mechanism.
You can't fix an emotional problem with a physical solution.
Surfacing Magazine Fall 2009
"the rainbow man" mixed-media sculpture and poem.
Oshawa Literary Society Auction 2007 - painting. Sold.
The Station Gallery, Whitby, Exploring the Waterfront, July - August 2003
"KT" - painting, text.
"KT" - acrylic on canvas. Front.
"KT" - back, altered.
The Station Gallery - Culture Then and Now, 2002
"Me as Venus" - collage.
"Me as Venus" - mixed-media collage, acrylic on canvas. Front. There's a second painting behind this layer, you can see the cut-out showing the giraffe.
"Me as Venus" - back of painting. Acrylic on canvas, collage. The painting can be popped out of the frame and turned around so you can see the back of it if you want to.
"A very well researched piece with careful and thoughtful execution of both theme and imagery. Technically very well done".
Oshawa Art Association, 34th annual juried art exhibition, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa. 2002.
"rapunzel" - painting on canvas.
Oshawa Art Association, 33rd annual juried art exhibition, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa. 2001.
"moonlight house" - painting.
"blue moon" - painting.
Robert McLaughlin Gallery Chair'ity Auction 2001 and 2003. Mixed-media sculpture, altered chairs.
Me, poster for Sea Cavalcade contest. 1974, Elphinstone High School, Gibsons, B.C.
Two paintings of me by my mother, Trudy Small. The painting was used as a wrapping for a box, and sent to me in the mail. This is all I could salvage of it. I remember her doing it. She projected different slides of me onto the paper, and did the drawing, then painted it.
Another painting by my mother.