Diane Howard Langlois, "21st Century Arctic Hurry Inlet Svalbard"
Diane Howard Langlois, "21st Century Arctic Hurry Inlet Svalbard," oil on canvas, 36" x 36"
Former broadcaster Diane Howard Langlois focuses her art around her trips to the Arctic and Antarctic, so it seems odd to catch her escaping the Calgary winter in Arizona. “If you can paint an iceberg in the Sonoran Desert and get that really cold, chilled feeling, I think you’re accomplishing your goal,” she says from her home in Tucson.
Langlois fell in love with the North on her first trip to the Canadian Arctic in 2007. “You really get physically, spiritually hooked on that scenery, the light, the sculptural entities that we call icebergs, the wildlife,” she says. “They’re just amazing. It’s so different than city life. It’s so quiet. The silence actually screams at you.”
Langlois, who was born in Montreal, worked on-air jobs at CBC in Calgary in the 1980s. She went on to teach journalism at Mount Royal College and started a family, before earning a doctorate in Florida. But she left her busy academic life a decade ago after the death of her father and began painting seriously. “I just loved it,” she says. “I loved being alone. There’s something about putting all those colours on the palette.”
Langlois thinks the North holds lessons we would all do well to heed. “Our present emphasis on materialism, the self and technology is increasing the chasm between the human spirit and the natural world,” she says. “The North is a place to renew spirit and learn about age-old traditions of being in touch with the land.”
Diane Howard Langlois is represented by Just Imajan Art Gallery in Cochrane, Alta., and Masters Gallery in Calgary, where she will have a show June 2 to June 9. Her works sell for $900 to $3,800.