Diane Lee Moomey's painting

Coastside artist Diane Lee Moomey’s work will be on display at the Caldwell Gallery in Redwood City through the summer. Image courtesy Diane Lee Moomey

Local artist Diane Lee Moomey will be showing her watercolor paintings in an exhibition called “Figures in a Landscape” at the Caldwell Gallery located in Redwood City.

“We try to get a wide range of artists,” said Boris Koodrin, curator of the San Mateo County Arts Commission. “We like to represent everybody with a wide variety of styles.”

There will be 35 pieces of art from Moomey. Art by Laurel Bergman, of Redwood City, will also be displayed.

The gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and “Figures in a Landscape” will be on display through Sept. 27.

“I find (Moomey’s) work very striking,” Koodrin said. “Her use of shapes is a bit different than what I’m used to seeing. Primarily it’s her use of color, she uses very vibrant colors in her work.”

Moomey is also a sculptor and has shown clay work in Canada. Since moving to California in the 1980s, she has exhibited cut-paper sculptures, brush drawing and hand-made books. Since 2008 she has worked almost exclusively in watercolor.

“I’ve been making art since I was a little girl, but going from different media,” said Moomey.

She began doing watercolor after attending a class while visiting her mother in Florida.

“I loved it. And when we got home she pulled out all her paints and papers and said, well, let’s just paint,” said Moomey. “So we did.”

This series of watercolors is a fusion of both Asian and Western mythological and philosophical thought.

“I’ve also been interested and influenced by the imagery in the Tarot goddess art, myth and magic,” said Moomey. “That has been like my home my whole life.”

Elements of Northern Buddhism, Tarot, Bon religion and some Judeo-Christian traditions have influenced her own spiritual journey as well as her art and appear in this series of watercolors. She is also interested in portals and doorways, which appear in her work.

“When I began my meditation practice I started to be aware that what I look at is not necessarily everything there is to see,” said Moomey. “Once in a while there are these portals or doorways into another way of looking at things ... (I paint) portals, doors, gateways, that kind of thing, inviting the viewer to walk right through and see what’s on the other side.”

Moomey has shown her art at the Pescadero Art and Fun Festival, Coastside Arts League and Silicon Valley Open Studios. She’s also had several pieces published in the We’Moon series of feminist calendars and datebooks.

She also writes poetry and is active in the local poetry scene. Moomey is co-host of Coastside Poetry, a local monthly reading series and has several pieces published in literary journals.

“Poetry and painting are like my left hand and my right hand,” Moomey said. “Neither one works without the other.”

A preview of Moomey’s art and more information can be found on her website, dianeleemoomeyart.com. For more information about the exhibition, visit the San Mateo County Arts Commission website.

“I just want to say thank you in advance for anyone who goes there to see my work,” said Moomey. “I appreciate viewers. And feel free to write to me afterward. I love to get feedback.”

Emma Spaeth is a staff writer for the Half Moon Bay Review covering community, arts and sports. Emma grew up in Half Moon Bay before earning a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Oregon.

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