About Diane George
I graduated from The Prince's School of Traditional Arts in 2004 with an MA in Sacred and Traditional Art . My final degree show was attended by HRH The Prince of Wales.
My work explores number, geometry and pattern; a language founded in the natural world. It is a language that we all intrinsically understand and which binds us to one another and the wider universe. Rather than being limiting, the rigour of number, form and proportion gives a boundless variation of expression. In geometric form and pattern, we perceive something timeless and eternal.
My paintings are entirely hand made and are executed mostly in egg tempera, acrylic and metal leaf or gold leaf on paper, calfskin vellum, glass or gesso panel. I make my own quills and egg tempera paint, using 'early' pigments for the purity of colour, regularly raiding Welsh beaches for shells to use as paint palettes. I do not, however, grow my own cows or make my own vellum. I am very happy to let someone else do that bit.
Each painting can take up to four weeks to complete. Most of that time is spent on drawing out the design, using a set of Victorian age compasses, a sharp pencil, a ruler and lots of tracing paper. Every painting starts from geometry and number. The 'twiddly bits' are built up on top of the geometric framework. The gilding is done first, then the paint is applied. Generally speaking, the gold will stick to the paint if you try and do it the other way around.
Each calligraphy piece starts out with dozens and dozens of little thumbnail sketches, scribbled out on sheets of ordinary paper. With the Arabic style calligraphy in particular, it can take days to arrive at a satisfactory design and balance of the letters. The most simple words are the most challenging! All that empty space to balance. When I am satisfied with the thumbnail sketch, I work up a larger, more precise sketch of the design. This then guides the final work.
Master of Arts Degree Princes School of Traditional Arts, Shoreditch, London 2002-2004
Researched sacred and traditional art, with focus on methods and materials of medieval illuminated manuscripts.
Selected recent shows and exhibitions
Surrey Contemporary Art Fair, Feb 2018
Celtic Art, Chalice Well, Glastonbury June 2017 (group exhibition)
Art in Action, Lettering Arts, July 2016
Reading Contemporary Art Fair 2016
Chester Art Fair 2015
Sacred Arts of Islam, Chalice Well, Glastonbury June 2015, (group exhibition)
Art Gemini Prize Finalists 2014, Trispace Gallery, London
Art Gemini Prize Finalists 2013, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
Art in Action, July 2014
Illumination, Linlithgow Burgh Halls, Edinburgh, 11/2013-02/2014, (group exhibition)
Wells Cathedral, May 2013 (group exhibition)
Vestry House Museum, London Apr-May 2012 (curated by myself)
St. David's Cathedral (Exhibit of Gospel of Thomas illuminated manuscript), 2005 -2017
Hereford Cathedral - permanent display of commissioned manuscript replica pages