Diane George is a visual artist living and working in South West Wales. She specialises in Sacred and Traditional art, inspired by early Medieval manuscript illumination, pre and post Christian Celtic art and Islamic art. Her work includes the first illuminated manuscript of The Gospel of Thomas to be made in modern times. This manuscript is on display at St David's Cathedral library. Diane's work has been exhibited at a number of cathedrals, galleries and stately homes throughout the UK. Diane studied at The Prince's School of Traditional Arts and was awarded an MA in 2004 from the University of Wales. Her final degree show was attended by HRH The Prince of Wales.
Her paintings are entirely hand made and are executed in egg tempera and gold leaf on pergamenata paper, calfskin manuscript vellum or traditional gesso panel.
Diane makes her own quills and paint, using 'early' pigments, i.e., verdigris, minium, vermillion, rose madder, indigo, lapis lazuli, ochre and orpiment. The paint mixture is very fluid and is 'puddled' on, which shrinks on drying to leave a slightly raised surface. Some pigments require the addition of saffron, to lower the acidity and a number of the pigments, owing to their unfriendly nature, are never allowed to mix or touch each other. Diane regularly raids the local Welsh beaches for shells to use as paint palettes. She does not, however, grow her own cows or make her own vellum. She is very happy to let someone else do that bit :)
The paintings have a meticulous, underlying structure, based upon the principles of Sacred Geometry. Traditionally, art has always been concerned with an individual's evocation and expression of a universal, eternal principle. The purpose of art was to focus attention upon transcendent truths and to aid the viewer in their contemplation of Divine Will and Grace. The full page paintings, known as Carpet Pages, serve a similar purpose to prayer mats, stained glass windows, even the grand porches and doorways of cathedrals. They define the boundary of a sacred or holy space. The illuminated page, like a door, lies at the entrance to the sanctuary of the Holy Word of God. In passing through it, not necessarily in a physical sense, we transcend the purely physical experience and are transfigured by and in the Light and Love of God.
Each painting can take up to three weeks to complete. Most of that time is spent on drawing out the design, using a set of Victorian compasses, a sharp pencil, a ruler and lots of tracing paper.
Diane lives in Carmarthenshire with her other half, Peter,and their dog Muttley.