Thoreau said, "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."
Thought provoking, don't you think?
When I see strong colors, strong contrasts, misty or mysterious subjects, anything that catches my attention in an unusual way, that's when I want to grab a brush and paint!
As a sailor, I have traveled thousands of miles on my sailboat, it is both physically and mentally challenging and I find painting can be the same but the rewards at the end of a passage or a painting, offer me the same feelings of personal satisfaction.
This is my journey!
Southern California was a great place to grow up. Her happy childhood was spent spent on the beach or making art, in her mind there was nothing else. Her mother was a teacher and artist. She encouraged both of her daughters to use their imaginations and gave them what ever they needed to create their own art. There were always several art projects going on in their house at the same time.
During her high school and college years, she had some wonderfully talented instructors, most notably, the renowned fiber artist, Gerhardt Knodel, whom she credits for her love of fibers. It is her belief that having a learning disability is why she felt more comfortable working and hanging out in the art departments. "Nothing wrong with the right side of my brain" she would tell herself! She was successful in a variety of mediums and won numerous awards during those painful academic years, it felt great to be good at something!
Although she never really stopped making all different kinds of art, there was no one medium that stuck, she loved it all. Marriage and motherhood became her main occupation for many years but in 1984 while she and her husband were on a sailing trip to Catalina Island, they happened to walk into the Off White Gallery in Avalon and saw the breathtaking work of Denise Burns. Those luscious oil paints just spoke to her and she knew immediately what she wanted to do. As a psychotherapist, her husband recognized her excitement and was thrilled for her. He suggested she find a place to study art again. She began by taking workshops in the nearby artist community of Ojai, CA. In 1985, while in an art supply store, she saw a flyer for the California Art Institute and enrolled immediately. Later she opened a studio/gallery in the historic Old Livery building in downtown Ventura, CA. That's where she painted and eventually started her faux finish business Just Faux Fun.
When her husband retired, leaving California seemed like an exciting idea. They both loved to sail and had been sailing the west coast from their home port in Ventura, CA up to San Francisco and down to Mexico for 30 years. They decided to relocate their home, her studio and their sailboat to the Southeast, so they could sail from Maine to the Bahamas and everywhere in between.
She is now so inspired by her southern surroundings, she feels the low country was in her DNA all along, just waiting for her return.
You can view Diane's work and available pieces on her website and see what she's been working on by visiting her Facebook page.