Diane McLean studied at Rhodes University and graduated with BFA (distinction in painting) in 1984, followed by MFA in 1988. Since 1984 she has had one solo exhibition at the SA Association of Arts in Klerksdorp, several two-person and three-person shows, and has been represented on many group shows and art fairs around the country. Amongst other publications McLean’s work has featured in Fair Lady, Femina, Sarie, Rooi Rose, House and Leisure, Garden and Home and SOUTH magazines. Her work is in private collections in South Africa and abroad, as well as public collections such as William Humphreys Art Gallery, the War Museum in Bloemfontein, Rand Merchant Bank and Wooltru. She has been commissioned by, amongst others, the Luthuli Museum, the Womens’ Development Bank and several South African universities, to paint official portraits.
The primary motivation in her work is the exploration of light. It could be light from the side describing the forms and textures of a still life; diffused light from a skylight caressing the flesh of a figure or animal in a studio; or a landscape illuminated by the light unique to her part of the world. She is inspired by the particular way that light gives form to our surroundings