For many visual artists, photography is only for taking pictures that will be used as the reference material for a future painting. Think of it as the intermediary to a medium, if you will.
For Dianna Hanna, photography is as important a mode of expression as painting is, and the public can see the results. She just opened her latest showing of photographic works in the back room gallery – a.k.a. Gallery 7 – of the Bookstore on Perron Street.
“It was one of the first media that I ever started with,” she explained, adding that she has been interested in photography for most of her life, but has only spent the last 15 years pursuing it seriously.
When she isn’t snapping shots, Hanna works likes to spend her time working in watercolours, acrylics, encaustics and batik. All of those have taken a sideline for Petals with Attitude, a glimpse through the artist’s scenic Drayton Valley area backyard.
“I’m just totally fascinated with flowers, their perfection. I think flowers are perfect,” she admitted. “I like to capture some of their interesting times in their blooming stages.”
Their colours, she said, are also captivating.
“I’ll just go for a walk around the farm and I’ll find something interesting and it’s just gotta be captured,” she laughed. “It’s awesome country here! We’re between two rivers so in the winter we get a lot of hoar frost. It’s just filled with very nice rolling hills and everything here. It’s beautiful.”
Her modest show features some interesting close-ups of leaves and flowers. There are some with insects including a spider and a wasp but the most intriguing one is a black and white image of a drop of water balanced precariously on the petal of what looks like a tulip.
The only colour on some of the details comes from a special feature of her Canon that Hanna likes to employ but she stressed that she doesn’t use computer programs to achieve this and other effects.
“It’s a program that’s in my camera. I do not use Photoshop. I just use whatever it is that I see and whatever my camera is going to assist me with.”
She also has a great way of adding quirky titles to her pieces. A shot of an aloe vera plant is called Get the Point. Hoar frost on leaves is called Frosted Flakes. There are only several prints on display because she is preparing for a larger solo exhibition in July at the Spruce Grove Art Gallery.
That’s where she will also be teaching a workshop in batik on Sunday, April 7. For more information, contact the Allied Arts Council of Spruce Grove at 780-962-0664. More of Hanna’s workshops can be found on her website at www.diannahanna.com.
Petals with Attitude runs through till Monday, April 29.