“Never take a job using your hands,” my dad would say when I was growing up. However, for me, I really enjoyed “working” with my hands. There was playing piano and the guitar, macrame, knitting, drawing, typing, gum wrapper chains – I couldn’t get enough of working or playing with my hands and it continued as I tried to be creative in my gift-giving I created decoupaged posters, a hand-built wood holder for the fireplace, a crocheted rug wedding gift. I just had to do something with my hands. I was never encouraged to be an artist. But, an artist I am. It is in my soul.

So here I am today after graduating from college with a non-art degree and spending a few years teaching. I have found my place, working with my hands and creating art. Although I’m not painting as much as I used to because I created a website that features plant-based recipes and articles about health called plantbasedcooking.com.

Short Bio

A graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, Diane Smith has been painting watercolors for the past 20 years. She emphasizes the use of vivid color, strong value contrasts, and composition to create striking images of subjects that are near to her heart. Her love of painting people can be seen in her series of family images from the ’50s and ’60s, and in her portrait work. She also paints still life and flowers. Diane has received several awards in juried shows.

Artist Statement

I love the sheer joy of using the loose, flowing medium of watercolor. I become totally absorbed in painting and enjoy creating images that are inspirational to other people. In my series of people from the ’50s and ’60s, the moments of peoples’ lives transcend time. We all share emotions–love, joy, anger, sadness, and painting a moment can bring the viewer back to the experience of the people in the painting. People relate to my paintings as if they were from their very own life experiences.
Painting Style

My paintings are vivid with strong color and images that are well defined yet oozing with paint–intertwining to make connections and pull you into every corner. Making sure the composition contains varying shapes and sizes, I make a pencil drawing and begin painting as the feeling moves me. I am careful to create images that have interesting value and composition and I paint around the page watching for balance.I have incorporated into my paintings a looseness that allows the media of watercolor to do what it does best–flow and mingle. I feel as if the creative process almost flows through me and some of my best paintings come when I allow the page to speak to me! Since reading these words from author and painter Henry Miller, my motto has been– “Paint as you like and die happy.” Painting will always be a part of my life and a source of satisfaction and enjoyment.

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    © Copyright 2011 - 2024 Watercolors by Diane K. Smith