With a style that ranges from realistic to abstract and mysterious, Deirdre Weinberg depicts a variety of subjects from landscapes and cityscapes to scenes from everyday life. A creator of paintings, illustrations, and murals, Weinberg considers herself a figurative painter whose work “always has political or social underpinning.”
Weinberg feels that being an artist is innate to who she is; for her, she says, making art is “such a part of you – like an extension of your hand.” Even though her family urged her to study art formally, Weinberg decided not to go to college for art, because, she explains, “I was worried about being trained and not having a chance to develop my own style, of being taught only to develop the vision of the teacher and not my own.” Instead she studied landscape architecture and went on to work as a city planner. This education influenced her art in its own way, contributing to the underlying structure that she incorporates into her work.
Weinberg constantly pushes herself to grow by integrating new ideas and techniques into the elements of her work that she feels are already successful. A recent project of hers was to paint one painting of something in San Francisco every day. Although she created, as she says, “a document of a time and place,” her primary goal was to improve her ability to see and think about the world around her. She was pleased when this project challenged her. She says, “There were days where there was nothing new and I had to find something interesting, something worthy of painting, so I went searching – either going to a new place or looking at details.” Currently, Weinberg is looking for ways to integrate the collaborative process, which she enjoys while making murals, into other art projects.
At an artist residency she recently attended in Argentina, Weinberg decided to embrace more abstraction. Although she is excited about this prospect, she still doesn’t feel like she has completely incorporated abstraction into her practice: “at this point I think I’m just making pretty pictures, and I am still looking for ways to integrate the underlying ideas,” she says. In all her work, Weinberg tries to convey a message – she is interested in “environmental issues, labor issues, and cooperate domination and] how they play out a hundred miles down the road” – without being pedantic. She is searching for “a hazy middle ground,” she says, between being “overly literal, hitting you over the head with significance” and creating works that are purely decorative. This is clear in her work, all of which shows larger themes through individual experiences and lives. She hopes her paintings can be “inroads to conversations.”