Painter of Wild Birds
Observing, raising and portraying birds has been a major part of Diane's life since the day she first picked up and marveld at a Flicker tail feather at the age of eight. Childhood summers were filled with days questing after elusive woodland species, or quietly watching songbirds bring fledglings to feed and bathe in her own back yard. Thus patient observation of long hours became a practice early in her life.
In her early twenties, having completed formal training in art school as a portrait painter, she shifted to her beloved birds as subject matter. This was spurred in part by becoming involved with taking care of and raising many injured and orphaned birds in aviaries which she built for that purpose. Over the years, as an aviculturist, she was to observe, handle and use as living models more than 100 species running the gamut from temperamental hawks, owls and even a Golden Eagle, to gentle Wood Ducks, Bobwhite and an orphaned Brown Thrasher.
In 1980 Diane moved her studio-home in Ohio to southern Florida. She had been commissioned to produce a series of bird paintings depicting the "real" Florida. Field work entailed months of exploration and the amassing of sketches and color studies of not only the birds, but vegetation and habitats.
Her focus became quite naturally the myriads of shorebirds, and wading birds in this new place of cypres swamps, Mangrove islands, and white barrier beaches. In her oils, she concentrates upon intimate portrayals of nesting egrets, herons, and other water birds.
For the past decade, Diane and her partner in-life Skip have devoted a substantial portion of each year to conservation, she through her art work, and he through direct work on specific preserves, or in speaking on issues.
They make their current home in Central FLorida on the shores of a lake teeming with wildlife. By removing most of the lawn, and planting more than 200 species of trees, shrubs and perenials, most of which are native, they have transformed their abode into a mini-sanctuary for birds, butterflies and myriads of small creatures.
This true "labor of love" is aptly called "Edge of the Wild".
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