“Amore” is the Italian word for “love,” and Diana Madaras is known for painting what she loves. The 2023 Annual Show will feature 15 new paintings ranging from scenes of Madaras’ recent travels in Italy, to expansive landscapes depicting the desert she calls home, and her favorite animals.
“Every painting tells the story of something that is deeply important to me,” Madaras said. “In this show, I have painted in traditional Madaras style, but also allowed myself the freedom to push the envelope. At Madaras Gallery, I have the flexibility to show whatever I choose, and therefore have luxury of exploration and creative growth.
For that, I am forever grateful.”
- Diana Madaras
Mike's Saguaros by Diana Madaras
Acrylic | Size: 30x40" | Framed size: 40x50" | $8,000
My contractor friend, Mike, invited me to view the house he was building at the end of Swan Road. The huge, modern home backed up to a sheer rock outcropping. The house was amazing, but what really captivated me was the dramatic mountain/desert scene behind it.
Debbie's Cholla by Diana Madaras
Watercolor | Size: 13x18" | Framed size: 21.5x26.5" | $2,800
My dog Maxwell Smart is in love with my friend Debbie’s dog, Lotti. We often walk together, and on this particular morning when I arrived at Debbie’s house, I noticed the cholla were ablaze in white light from the hot summer sun.
Super Bloom by Diana Madaras
Acrylic | Size: 36x72" | Framed: 42x78" | $15,000
Friend and collector Jim Federico took an incredible photo of Picacho Peak when the wildflowers were in full bloom. Abundant winter rains afforded a “super bloom” in the desert this spring. Awash with life and color, Picacho Peak is always rich with wildflowers, but never more so than this year.
Tea Roses by Diana Madaras
Watercolor + Pastel | Size: 22x30" | Framed size: 33x40" | $4,500
I poured paint onto wet water watercolor paper to create the background which set the tone for this still life. I took advantage of the light areas to place the flowers, and left other light areas untouched to create a mottled effect. The pouring adds a lot to the abstraction and interesting design of this piece.
Dreamy Quail by Diana Madaras
Watercolor + Acrylic | Size: 9x12" | Framed size: 18x21" | $2,000
When friend and photographer David Lovitt came around the corner of his house, he noticed a quail nestled in the bougainvillea. Fortunately, he had his camera with him and captured the beautiful bird in the soft morning light. He was kind enough to let me use his photo as inspiration for this painting. His photo hangs in the Gallery next to the painting. Proceeds from the photo will be donated to Make Way for Books.
Abstract Saguaro by Diana Madaras
Acrylic | Size: 16x20" | Framed size: 22x25" | $2,500
Sometimes I give myself permission to play, and I had great fun with this one. I thought the painting was finished, but after seeing some inspirational abstract art in Italy, I came home, took the painting out of the frame, and worked on it for many more days. I added more shapes and colors until I was finally happy with it.
Amber's Bobcat by Diana Madaras
Watercolor on Yupo | Size: 12x12" | Framed size: 20x20" | $2,500
My friend Amber took a photo of this handsome fellow perched in a tree. The painting is part of a new series called “Call of the Wild,”-- all painted with watercolor on Yupo paper with white backgrounds.
Purple Roses by Diana Madaras
Collage | Size: 22x30" | Framed size: 34x40" | $3,500
I did a series of “poured” paintings with fellow artist Betsy Dillard Stroud. We wet large sheets of watercolor paper, then poured 4 or 5 diluted colors directly onto the paper and let the paint run every which way. The process created an interesting background one could not get with direct painting. After the paper dried, I cut pieces of handmade paper and collaged the flowers and vase onto the sheet. This is one of the few collages I have ever offered in my collection.
Barb's Flowers by Diana Madaras
Watercolor + Pastel | Size: 10x14" | Framed size: 18x22" | $1,500
A fellow artist once asked me “what are trying to say with this piece.” I think about that a lot when I paint. In this painting, my objective was to create a soft floral scene using a combination of wet-in-wet techniques (which creates a dreamy effect) and vibrant pastels. I especially like the little dots of pink that peek through in various places—a happy surprise.
Wood Duck by Diana Madaras
Watercolor | Size: 9x12" | Framed: 18x21" | $2,500
Thanks to photographer Howard Paley, I had the opportunity to use his photo as inspiration when painting this beautiful duck floating on a pond at Reid Park in the heart of Tucson.
Florence by Diana Madaras
Watercolor | Size: 7x9" | Framed size: 13.5x16" | $1,250
My favorite stop in Italy was Florence. This pen and ink sketch, then painted with watercolor, is the view from the Piazza Michelangelo high on the hill above the city. I was in awe of the immense Duomo (large dome) and the intricate designs on the exterior of the structure that took 142 years to build. It is one of the greatest masterpieces of Gothic art. This Florentine cathedral is one of the largest churches in existence.
Italian Coastline by Diana Madaras
Watercolor | Size:11x14" | Framed size: 19x23" | $1,500
The picturesque, colorful cities along the Italian coast provide an endless source of painting inspiration. I liked the way the three boats in the foreground echoed the colors on the buildings in the town. This scene is from Vernazza, thought to be the most beautiful of the seaport villages. I used handmade watercolor paper that I discovered in an old mill atop a steep hill in Amalfi. The mill was best known for producing paper for the Vatican at one time.
Shrine in Capri by Diana Madaras
Watercolor | Size: 10x15" | Framed size: 19x22" | $3,200
During our stay on the Amalfi coast, we took a ferry to Capri. Despite the heat and humidity, we decided to climb the narrow stone steps from sea level to the city center at the top of the mountain. About halfway up, we stopped to rest and admire the ancient shrine carved into the wall. It helped motivate us to continue our journey which amounted to about 36 flights of stairs. The Shrine is painted on handmade paper from Italy.
Flowers at Ravello by Diana Madaras
Watercolor + Pastel | Size: 12x16" | Framed size: 19x22" | $1,800
Ravello is known as the romantic town on the Amalfi coast, and on the day we traveled there, it rained. That didn’t stop us from hiking through the city that ended with a walk through the magnificent gardens of Cimbrone. The amazing estate overlooked the ocean and was teeming with lavish gardens and spring flowers. I liked the way the flowers cascaded down the side of the old pot. Ravello Flowers is painted on handmade paper from Italy.
Land of Lemons by Diana Madaras
Watercolor | Size: 11x15" | Framed: 20x23" | $1,500
Also in Ravello was a lemon orchard situated next to the restaurant where we ate lunch. The Amalfi coast is the “Land of Lemons” with lemons everywhere and depicted on everything including fabric, ceramics, knickknacks, potholders, clothing, and more. And, of course, there was limoncello. The brilliant yellow lemons growing among the wooden supports was a beautiful sight. Land of Lemons is painted on handmade paper from Italy.