Friday, November 20, 2015

Meet The Artist - Betty Guffey Richardson

Hi everyone!  Happy Friday!

Today I have the great pleasure of introducing you to a wonderful, sweet and caring artist who is not only extremely talented but also very supportive of, and encouraging to other artists.

Please meet 

Betty Guffey Richardson

Who is, "BETTY"?  Tell us a little about yourself.

This is a hard question when you really stop to think about it.  What defines me as a person is the tricky part…not the societal labels we are all too quick to use.  I believe most people that know me well would say that I am an intense person, with a strong intellect, soft heart, and a person of stringent values and ideals.  Getting to really “know” me I think would be difficult for many, because I tend to guard what I say and to whom I say it. That comes from too many years as a criminal investigator and always being the one asking the questions!  I am extremely cautious in the close relationships I make with people, primarily because I have been hurt many times by people I trusted.  But once a strong personal bond has been created, I consider those relationships for life.  There is not much “gray” in my life. Things either “are” or they “aren’t” – black or white.  While I have always had creative tendencies, with a love of color and self-expression, I tend to be fairly restrained and a little bit too orderly in my work. Writing was my first creative outlet.   But I love making “art” and doing most anything where I can creatively express myself.  My life has been extremely varied and complex, and I can draw on those experiences through my art. I lived and traveled all over the world before I was 30 years old, and these experiences have held me in good stead most of my adult life.

Mixed Media by Betty Guffey Richardson
Mixed media – acrylic, collage, deli paper, stamping, stencils, doodling

How did creating art become such a large part of your life? 

Growing up, I was never allowed to take “fun” classes in school (art, home economics, etc), but instead was always forced to focus on academics and my “grooming” for a career.  Creating “art” or crafts was a weekend pastime, usually with my Mother who was very creative.  After I had a major cardiac event at work and subsequently retired when I was 50, I sought solace and activity in creative endeavors such as working with fused glass, sewing, crocheting, embroidery, redecorating my house, furniture…you name it.  Something… anything I could do to occupy my mind and my hands.  But that wasn’t enough.  Then, one day, while trolling the internet, I stumbled across Tammy Garcia’s Daisy Yellow Facebook group.  I was totally enthralled with the beautiful and such personal art I was seeing.  Could I do that?  The good Lord knew I had already amassed quite a collection of assorted art supplies…so I dove in head-first and asked questions later.  I have never looked back.  And I give Tammy 100% of the credit as a guide and mentor to my current obsession with journaling and creative art journaling.  I learned so much from her brilliant mind and exceptional talent.  I cannot thank her enough!

Mixed Media by Betty Guffey Richardson
Mixed media, Dylusions journal, paper napkin, acrylics, Gel pens, textiles

Let's talk art journals. Why art journal?  What goes in your art journal?  Can anyone art journal?

Let me take your questions one by one.  I could espouse on this subject for a long time, but will try not to bore your readers!

Art Journal Page Spread by Betty Guffey Richardson
Heavy body acrylics applied with palette knife & credit card; lettering with bamboo brush and fluid acrylics. In my large Dylusions journal.

WHY ART JOURNAL?  For me, art journaling is a way to express my moods, explore, experiment with “what-if’s”, create just for fun or “because” I feel the NEED to do it.  I use Art journaling in tandem and as an adjunct to my writing and journaling, where I let it all hang out.  Then, after getting “out” all that inside stuff, I can express myself creatively in my art journals.  I can help heal my spirit, my mind and my soul by visually expressing myself.  Many, many of my art journal pages are never shared with anyone.  Some are just too personal to share, you know?  Your art journal is your own personal, private space…just for you.  Art journaling can, and should be, a creative outlet for you to express yourself exponentially taking into account your being, your surroundings, your moods, your habits and your need to express these things in a creative way.  For me, the act of art journaling is an outlet. A release.  A necessity.  I cannot imagine NOT doing it.

Art Journal Spread by Betty Guffey Richardson
Creative lettering turned into a journal spread in my 9x12” Canson mixed media journal.  I drew all the letters first, colored most of them with Sakura Gelly pens and Copic markers, then did the background page with acrylics, NeoColor II’s, stamping and washi tape.

WHAT GOES IN MY ART JOURNAL – well, part of this is answered above. But because I own and manage two art groups (one mail art, one art journaling), I do a lot of “prompts” geared just for the sake of creating and pushing our people outside their comfort zones, to explore mediums, techniques, ideas, and sometimes, we ask them to dig deep and explore their inner self. We developed prompts a year in advance for the journaling group, and it is a challenge sometimes to create art, on demand and in advance, but I push myself to do it.  Thinking up the prompts is easy. Working on them “on demand” is difficult sometimes.  I work in several journals at one time.  From super large (10x16) to small pocket journals (4x5”-ish).  The reason?  Some days my muse is on vacation and “big” art projects just aren’t in me.  I always have a pocket journal and a few gel pens in my purse and can whip out mandalas, doodles, zentangles or sketches while waiting somewhere like the doctor’s office, at the oil change place, over a relaxing cappuccino at Starbucks, or even while riding in the car.  My journals have every kind of technique and art you can imagine in them.  I belong to several art journaling groups, and will sometimes use “their” prompts in my own journals when I am “prompted out” with my own.  Less brain activity required that way!  I like the suggestive idea of prompts to kick start that “spark” of creativity, to get those creative juices flowing.  And once started, the spread will lead me where it wants to go, at least most of the time, anyway!

Journal Page Spread by Betty Guffey Richardson
Mixed media in my large Dylusions journal. Prompt was “Northern Lights”.  Clouds are white dryer lint.  Dylusions acrylics that were scraped on with credit card and brushed; lettering with white Signo Uniball.

CAN ANYONE ART JOURNAL?  Absolutely, yes!  No special skills or mediums are required.  Do you doodle when you talk on the phone? Do you have some pens and pencils or even some crayons?  Can you cut and paste?  Do you have something to say about your day?  Then YOU can art journal.  No special artistic skills or drawing ability is required. I am a good example of THAT!  I cannot draw, but I have a good eye for color. And I can cut and paste with the best of them.  Tracing paper can be your best friend!  You can do it!

Journal Page by Betty Guffey Richardson
Salt resist watercolor, on 140 pound cold press paper, tipped into my Canson 9x12 mixed media journal. Stamped lettering, colored with Copic markers and outlined with Sakura Gelly pen in black.

As a mixed media artist, what are your favorite art supplies to work with?  If I was just starting in mixed media what supplies would you say would be my 'must haves'?

People ask me all the time what should I have to start art journaling.  I started with a composition notebook, some Crayola brand colored pencils, two stamp pads and some watercolors.  I made a ton of pages with no special supplies.  I had scissors and a big load of magazines and some Elmer’s glue.  Granted, when I look back at them now, they are rough.  But I was being creative—in my own unique way and it made me happy. Very happy.  It still makes me happy.

I did a lot of trolling on Pinterest, and on YouTube. I watched a bazillion and one video tutorials of artists whose work I liked.  What were they using?  Did I have or could I get that? Could I dissect their work without having to watch a video?  Yes. And I did.  I asked lots of questions, and most everyone I asked was always willing to help guide me and point me down the path I was already taking.  Art journalists love sharing. Ideas, mediums, materials, where to get it, how to get it, how to do it.  I love, love, LOVE all my art journaling friends.  And I thank them for being there, guiding, explaining, experimenting and sharing.  We have all definitely bonded through this journey.

Journal Page by Betty Guffey Richardson
Mixed media in my Canson 9x12 mixed media journal.  European paper napkin collage; hand painted tree with Dylusions acrylics; lettering on watercolor scraps colored with Copic markers and lettered with Black Sharpie fine tip marker.

Journals are kind of a personal thing.  Do you want unlined paper? Lined?  Grids?  I’m all about the paper. How it feels, how well does it take wet media, how is it to write on--with and without paint.  For just journaling and writing, I want a fairly slick/smooth type paper since I journal with a real fountain pen or dip pens.  I particularly like writing in Picadilly journals.  I can tart up the covers, and pretty up the pages and edges easily. I rarely use paint in these journals, but will add washi tape and other decorative elements to the pages to foo-foo them up and break them up a little bit.  I can usually fill two Picadilly journals a year just with writing.  Writing is so cathartic for me. I MUST do it!  

I am also doing some faith-based journaling in a spiral notebook by Blue Sky called “Smart Notes.”  It has a hard cover, really nice paper and lots of room to write and make study notes.  I am in the process of doing a self-imposed Bible Study course and really studying the Bible. This is my third time to read the Bible cover to cover, but this time, I am really “studying” it.  More writing. More healing. More awareness.  Hopefully, more growth spiritually, and emotionally.  

Right now, I am in love with my Dylusions journals for “art journaling.”  I have the large, the small, and as of last week, the new square black one.  These journals can really take lots of wet media.  They are super smooth, lie flat when working in them, and are a joy to work in.

Journal Page by Betty Guffey Richardson
Mixed media in my Graphique pocket journal.

As to other supplies:  the world is your oyster.  Things that are my favorites include: watercolor, colored pencils – any kind work, but I love the soft nature of Prismacolor pencils, but often use Crayola brand and other brands as well, Sakura gel pens, my trusty bold Signo Uniball 207 pens in black and white, craft and heavy body acrylic paints and Dylusions alcohol ink sprays.  I love using stencils and every kind of ephemera (bits and bobs) known to man.  Of course I use everything I can play with, get my hands on and can afford to buy. I am only limited by my budget. Definitely not my imagination.

You run a Facebook group called Artful Mail Groupies.  What is "artful mail" or mail art?  

Mail art exchanges are just that – you create “art” in a specific form and exchange with another member of the group who also signed up to participate in a specific type swap.  When I started AMG about 18 months ago, I wanted to trade “art” with other people. Other groups were doing it, but no other mail art group I was in really felt comfortable to me, so I decided to create my own.  My idea was to have a group that was personable.  You get to know us, we get to know you.  We treat you like family and love you the same way.  We do everything at AMG.  We make and exchange ATC’s (artist trading cards), postcards, rolodex cards, altered art (anything and everything you can alter), tags and the oh-so-fun Happy Mail!  If you can dream it up, we can do it.  We (me and the admin team) set up the swaps and interested persons in the group sign up, then partners are assigned and each participant creates their swap according to the specific swap guidelines and mails (hopefully) by the specified due date to their assigned partner(s).  Happy mail is just that – mail to make someone happy.  We basically share our “stuff” for their “stuff” and this can encompass everything from bits of ribbon and lace to painted papers, bits and bobs and ephemera of every description. We often have themed Happy Mail swaps.  It might be a little, or it could be a lot.  Happy mail is a lot like opening presents on Christmas Day. You never know what you are going to get.  One woman’s “extras” are another’s very special treasures.  All of which can be used in creating mail art or on your journal pages.

Altered Journal Cover by Betty Guffey Richardson
Altered Book/journal cover that was for a swap in Artful Mail Groupies.  Dylusions Acrylic over gesso, stamping and collage.  The inside was all tarted up as part of our exchange, but I loved how the cover came out. Left it rather simple so that repeated handling would not deter my partner from using it. 

Out of all the art that you have created, is there any one piece which is your favorite?  If so, why? 

I have a few that I like more than others, and some I don’t like at all.  But picking just one … that’s difficult.  Some I like because they just resonate with me.  Others I like because of the technique, and still others I like because of the materials or overall composition.  The ones I don’t like others may love and I am always appreciative of their positive comments. I am my own worst critic. Picking just one favorite…can’t do it!

Journal Page by Betty Guffey Richardson
Acrylic in my Canson 9x12 mixed media journal in response to a prompt to create something that was “Picasso” inspired. This was mine.

Recently you planned and hosted your first art retreat! How exciting!  Can you tell us a little bit about the art retreat.  Will there be another one?

Oh my, was this ever fun and it was a great success.  All the attendees seemed to have a great time and we enjoyed each other’s company immensely.  In an effort to make the retreat affordable to everyone in our groups, I tried to keep the costs down by doing everything myself.  Attendees paid $115 that included 4 nights lodging, all their meals, the off-site workshop and all their supplies during the retreat.  I had made arrangements for us to stay at a huge 4200 sf residence on the other side of the lake (I live on a beautiful lake about 55 miles east of Dallas), but sadly, the property owner long leased it out from under me.  I couldn’t find anything anywhere close to similar in size and adding the cost of a hotel was NOT in the budget, so I ended up hosting at our vacation rental property, which was about half the size.  It’s a cute cabin, right on the water.  The weather was perfect the first two days, rain for the next two, but we didn’t mind. We were all busy arting!

Journal Page by Betty Guffey Richardson
Mixed media in my 9x12” Canson mixed media journal.  This is the type of page that is hardest for me.  I can add paint until the cows come home, but just adding more bits and more paper (JAM = just add more) is the hardest for me.  While cleaning off my worktable one night after making the background page, I just started gluing down random bits of paper and assorted trash and ephemera that was laying on the table.  For whatever reason, it actually works and I was happy with it.  Used acrylics, stencils, NeoColor II, black china marker, white Signo Uniball pen, threads, found poetry (letters that were just random and laying on the table—I made up the quote), punch cut circles, leftover bits of painted papers and images, cut outs from using decorative scissors, a face image that was printed on deli paper, scraps of scrapbooking paper, a piece of newspaper.  JAM.  Isn’t it fun?

We had 10 participants, and I completely emptied out and carted all my art supplies and equipment (6 car loads) to the cabin for everyone to use so they wouldn’t have to bring so much with them.  (I won’t do THAT (all the art supplies) again, for sure, and the hubs said he wouldn’t help with that bit again, either! Ha).  We attended the world famous Canton (Texas) Trade Days flea market on Thursday, stayed in and arted all day on Friday (it was pouring rain all day anyway, but we didn’t care), went to a workshop at Big Mouth Scrappers in Forney, Texas on Saturday and made the cutest Texas-themed journal, designed by Angela Medina (designer for Tim Holtz).  Tiffany Goff Smith came all the way from Alabama and taught us a new way to make mail art envelopes to get us to “think outside the box”.  We did a journal collaboration project and an altered cigar box project, in addition to more basic art journal pages.  We had attendees from California, Arizona, Illinois, Alabama and Texas.

Journal Page by Betty Guffey Richardson
Mixed media in Canson 9x12 mixed media journal. Image from Victorian Trading Company catalog; acrylics, textiles and felt ephemera

We had some very generous donors for our goody bags including Golden Arts, Retro CafĂ© Art, UmWow Studios, and iStencils.  One of the ladies printed up a bunch of her Teesha Moore style art and gave out to all the attendees for use in their own art.  It was a fabulous time and most definitely we will do it again.  Early fall in Texas almost always has perfect, predictable weather, and it sure beats the summer heat in the triple digits!

"Paint" a picture of yourself for us using 10 colorful words to describe you, the total picture. 

Tall, graying, fluffy, talkative, intelligent, generous, loving, creative, assertive, honest.

Thank you so much Betty, for this wonderful look into your creative process, your art and you.


If you would like to see more of Betty's art, you can find her at the following links:

Art journaling group: ARTFUL JOURNEYS
For Sale group: ARTFUL EXCESS
Personal blog:  ARTY AUNTIE
Art Groups Blog:  ARTFUL CHICKS
Cooking/Recipe Page:  AUNT BETTY’S KITCHEN

Friday, November 13, 2015

Meet The Artist - Cindy Grundsten

Hello my friends.  I am so excited to introduce you to today's artist, because she is one of my very favorite artists.  I discovered Cindy a few years ago on Deviant Art and over the years she has delighted, awed, and inspired me.  

So without further ado, all the way from Sweden, please meet the sweet

Cindy Grundsten 

Artist, Cindy Grundsten
Artist, Cindy Grundsten

Who is Cindy Grundsten?  Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a fortunate woman who has received the gift of seeing and practicing art. I create images both in photo manipulation, and also through photography.

Flower, Photography by Cindy Grundsten
Flower, Photography by Cindy Grundsten

 I love photographing nature. I think that nature is like a painting in itself. And I love to photograph small details of nature.

I have created photo manipulation since 2008. It's incredibly fun and relaxing. I usually make the fantasy art.  I have learned by watching other people's art. But to learn that way, it is important to know how Photoshop works and to know how to produce a certain effect.  That photo manipulation is not really difficult. But to make it neat and well done is difficult and time consuming.

A Magical World by Cindy Grundsten
A Magical World by Cindy Grundsten

Why and how did you become an artist? 

I do not believe that one only becomes artistically inclined. I believe that you are born with it. Either you have it or not. It's not something you choose yourself. You have it inside you.

Since childhood I have created different things. I drew every free moment when I was a small child. I have created sake of clay, I've created beautiful flower decorations, I have sewn ornamental bears that I sold. I have sewn, knitted, crocheted. Yes the list is long.

So I've always had an interest in creation.

That I nowadays create digital is probably only because of the digital development.  Unless the digital world I would probably create something by hand.

Elf by Cindy Grundsten
Elf by Cindy Grundsten

You are a digital artist.  What makes you choose digital over traditional painting?  What is the most challenging part about working digitally?

The first time I came in contact with an image editing program was 2007. Then I did not know what photo manipulation was, or how it was done.  So I started editing my photographs. I thought it was great fun and was doing it for a year.

After a year, I felt that I wanted to learn more. Then I searched on Internet and found Deviantart. For the first time I saw these amazing photo manipulations. Then I decided to learn it.  I struggled a lot to learn. The road was long, but I sat evenings and weekends, and tried to teach me different things.
Eventually, I took a course in Photoshop. And when I learned how the program worked everything became much easier.

So that's the way it is. I'm not good at painting in Photoshop. I have not given myself the time it takes to learn. But perhaps I will eventually.

Summertime by Cindy Grundsten
Dances in The Summer by Cindy Grundsten (Summertime Series)

Your art tells stories.  Do you imagine the stories first or do they emerge as you work on a piece?

Mostly the ideas come while I create.  If I find good stock pictures, I get excited and then it is easy to create. Sometimes it flows very smoothly.  And good ideas comes to me during the process.

Young Prince by Cindy Grundsten
Young Prince by Cindy Grundsten

If you had to pick one favorite out of all the art you have created, which piece is it?  Why?

I've been thinking. But I do not think I have any favorite. There are some works I like more than others. But if I still have to pick out one I like the Sweet Dream series as I did in 2010.
I like the series because this work made me so happy. The workflow was amazing. And I also like the pastel colors in this work.

Summer Day by Cindy Grundsten
Summer Day by Cindy Grundsten (Summertime Series)

Is your art hanging or displayed in your home?  If so, where and how?  If not, why not?  What type of art (besides your own) hangs on your walls?

I have one work that I have done on the wall. It's a dog image. But my daughter and my sister has a lots more of my work on their walls.  However, I have ordered a canvas of a photograph that I took and which I like very much.  I also have other photographs I have plans to print out and hang on the wall.

Ronja by Cindy Grundsten
Ronja by Cindy Grundsten

Where else in your life does your creativity emerge on a regular basis besides in your art?

Leaf, Photography by Cindy Grundsten
Leaf, Photography by Cindy Grundsten

Shooting photos. I love photographing the wonders of nature.  It is truly inspiring to photograph. When I take a picture of anything, that's just the way it looks at the photo moment.  The next day it might look different. Nature changes all the time, and being able to capture the moment is fantastic. And no one can have an exact picture.

Rosebud, Photography by Cindy Grundsten
Rosebud, Photography by Cindy Grundsten

"Paint" a picture of yourself for us using 10 colorful words to describe you, the total picture.

Difficult, I had to take some help of my boyfriend.

happy, humorous, stubborn, short, thin, short-haired, blonde, warm-hearted, integrity, strong

Thank you so much Cindy, for this wonderful look into your creative process, your art and you.


If you would like to see more of Cindy's art, you can find her at the following links:

My swedish website:
My swedish /english website:
Facebook Fan Page:
Fine Art America:

Thursday, November 12, 2015

It's Windy Out There

I thought I'd let you know that, yes, I am still painting during all these wonderful artist interviews. I hope you are enjoying the features, I know I am. 

I painted this pretty girl last night.  I think her hair was inspired by the howling winds outside my window.  They are still howling this morning!

Photo of Windy by Tori Beveridge
Photo of Windy by Tori Beveridge

It's an 8 x 10 mixed media piece with lots of collage, gesso, acrylic, ink, neocolors on 140lb cold pressed watercolor paper.

Details of Windy by Tori Beveridge

Stay safe in the winds and I'll see you all tomorrow with another artist interview.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Meet The Artist - Alexandria Jeffery

The time is flying by so quickly!  I can't believe it's already Friday again.  This week's artist is a very special one.  I am so happy and proud to introduce you to my very talented niece, 

Alexandria Jeffery

Artist Alexandria Jeffery
Artist Alexandria Jeffery

Who is, "insert your name here"?  Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Alexandria Jeffery. I grew up in the upper beaches of Toronto.  I have always loved drawing and sketching and dreaming. I would consider myself someone who principally uses the right side of her brain.  At times reality can be detrimental to the soul, so I choose to live outside of what is real as often as I can. 

Lost In The Moon by Alexandria Jeffery
Lost In The Moon by Alexandria Jeffery

You are a digital artist.  When did you try digital painting for the first time?  What makes you choose digital over traditional painting?

I was first introduced to digital art in 2008 when I went to school for design and graphic arts. Having only ever used Microsoft Paint on an antique PC, my eyes were opened to a world of inescapable imagination. Seeing what a computer was capable of was nearly too much to absorb. When I first started I was absolutely inadequate. I had no understanding at all about what to do. I decided to stay in my comfort zone and continue with painting and sketching until one day, I scanned one of my drawings into my computer and tried my hand at airbrushing. From that point something clicked. I was hooked.

Though I will most frequently use digital art over a traditional style of art, I don't think I prefer one to the other. To me, if you can find a way to express yourself artistically and emotionally, the medium you choose shouldn't be significant.

Distance by Alexandria Jeffery
Distance by Alexandria Jeffery

For those people who aren't familiar with digital painting, would you please explain your process.  Which program(s) and tool(s) do you use in your painting?

I use a myriad of different programs and techniques to create one piece. Usually I will draw everything out on a piece of paper and scan it into my computer. Then I will go from GIMP to Inkscape to my Mac Sketchbook and finish with a Copic marker program to give my work an airbrushed and clean look.

Who are your favorite artists?  Whose art influences and inspires you most?

Jackson Pollock is one of my favorite artists. You can hear his work. It makes noise. It's loud and rhythmic and unnerving. When I look at his work, I can’t help but move. I can almost feel an electric current on my skin that makes my hair stand on end. I have always been drawn to Salvador Dali. There is something about his work that leaves me feeling unresolved. There is something that makes me want to look away but then something pulls me back in and locks me in place. I can't blink when I look at his work.

Though these two artists are the ones who inspire me, I don't feel I emulate them in my work. To me, they are untouchable. They do, however, influence me everyday. Not necessarily in the style and techniques of my art, but in how I see the world.

Paradise Not Lost by Alexandria Jeffery
Paradise Not Lost by Alexandria Jeffery

What has been your greatest challenge as an artist?

My greatest challenge as an artist would be to be taken seriously. I find, as an artist/aspiring artist I am constantly forced to prove myself.

If you had to pick one favorite out of all the art you have created, which piece is it?  Why?

 I did a piece of art for my Parents last Christmas. There isn’t anything spectacular about the piece itself. It’s simple and almost cartoon-like. It took eleven days to create. It was my first major graphic design project and it was tedious and frustrating but rewarding. The meaning behind it is something that can only be understood by my Parents, and myself because of that it remains to be my favorite piece.

Highway on Fire by Alexandria Jeffery
Highway on Fire by Alexandria Jeffery

Is your art hanging or displayed in your home?  If so, where and how?  If not, why not?  What type of art (besides your own) hangs on your walls?

No, my art isn’t displayed in my home. I don’t know why, now that I come to think of it. It isn’t because I’m not proud of some of the work that I’ve done; I have just never had the urge to display my own artwork. I have two artists on my wall right now, Salvador Dali and my Grandmother.

"Paint" a picture of yourself for us using 10 colorful words to describe you, the total picture. 

Heady, impulsive, moody, excitable, wistful, introspective, reclusive, erratic, nurturing, alive.

Thank you so much Alexandria, for this wonderful look into your creative process, your art and you.


If you would like to see more of Alexandria's art, you can find her at the following link:

Friday, October 30, 2015

Meet The Artist - Diane Coe

Happy Friday everyone!  This week, I'd like to introduce you to the sweetest, most delightful artist,

Diane Coe of The Shepherd's Studio

Artist Diane Coe with Lamb
Artist, Diane Coe with one of her lambs

Who is Diane Coe@The Shepherd's Studio?

I was first a Shepherd and a FarmHer, loving my quiet rural life on our small 5 acre farm in Maryland. After 15 years of Homeschooling my kids and farming for 7 years, I finally found time for myself and decided to pick-up my paint brushes by signing up for an online watercolor class. It felt so foreign to me, but the more I practiced and found my niche the more I felt confident in myself as an artist. I think the timing was perfect for me to get back into art because as I've grown closer to 60, the farming was becoming more difficult. My husband will retire in a year and we will relocate to Texas, so I've re-homed all my sheep and only have 5 Muscovy Ducks for an occasional egg. One priority in finding our next home is a cottage studio so that I can be as creative and messy as I want. I keep telling my husband that there's more to it then just having a "room"'s a place that I can feel and allow the creative soul within me to come alive!


Why, and how did you become an artist? 

I've always been known as a "Crafty" person. As a kid I painted by number on the velvet boards I'd buy at the Five & Dime Store! I was the little girl who sewed, did handwork of all kinds and it carried over into my adult life; I was a blue ribbon quilter prior to a car accident that injured my hands. I sewed for my kids, designing dresses from magazines and making doll clothes. That came honestly from my mom who was an amazing seamstress! I knit, I spin wool, I also do some rug hooking...if there is anything to be done by hand I can do it or have done it!

Diane Coe Spinning Wool
Artist Diane Coe spinning wool

I also come from a long line on both sides of our family, of "retired" artist! My grandfather started painting in his later years....which to me then was old, but he died at 65, so he really wasn't THAT old!!! I'd say it's in my blood! I am a total right brainer, who doesn't get along well with numbers except if it's painting by them!!!

Capturing The Journey by Diane Coe
Capturing The Journey by Diane Coe

Why did you choose watercolor as your medium? 

I remember loving watercolor when I was in a High School art class my senior year. It is so forgiving! I think it allows a lot of freedom for expression by the way it moves and flows. It reminds me of dying on silk which I did for a short time. I'm still learning many different techniques, but I finally feel like I've found who I'm meant to be in my expression of art.  I also love acrylics!!! I love to layer and layer until I get it "right"....but acrylics are heavy and watercolor is light. They both have their place in my life depending on what I'm feeling.

Come Let Us Adore Him by Diane Coe
Come Let Us Adore Him by Diane Coe

Where do you find inspiration for your painting?  

I find my inspiration in the beauty of creation. I hold that inspiration in my memory of the barnyard where I loved being close to The Creator in His creation! The antics of my animals and the stories give me what I need to create. I'm working on writing and doing the artwork for some children's books, but that's to be completed after I get my cottage studio in Texas!

Preserves by Diane Coe
Watercolor of Preserves by Diane Coe

What has been your greatest challenge as an artist?  

My greatest challenge is finding and making the time to be still enough to create. Creating is feeling. Feeling for me comes from being still. Right now, my life is anything but still. We're packing and sorting through 30 years worth of memories and stuff. I haven't made time to paint in weeks and have online classes to finish. But all things in good time. Once we are retired then I will be disciplined in making time! I have too, because my soul longs for it like a fish longs for water!!!

Psalm 65:11 by Diane Coe
Psalm 65:11 by Diane Coe

Is there one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring artists? 

Practice, practice, practice! Don't expect perfection. Don't expect to be someone else......whoever it is you admire. Instead find that niche where your soul can come alive! Then it will flow. I found it by taking lots of classes from different artist.

Garlic by Diane Coe
Garlic by Diane Coe

Is your art hanging or displayed in your home?  If so, where and how?  If not, why not?  What type of art (besides your own) hangs on your walls?

Yes. My art room is now what use to be our daughter's bedroom. It's got just 1 window and it's grey in color. It's not a very inspiring room. I find it boring and dull. But for now, it's where I can be me and I've got my paintings on the walls and canvas board. I have several of my paintings hanging in the house. One is an acrylic I framed to enter into our local County Fair and won a 4th place ribbon! The others are small watercolors clipped to a piece of burlap ribbon in the kitchen. Our other art is from my Grandfather, my husbands Grandmother and quilts that I made in the past. All of it remind me that I can be and am an artist!

Sunflowers and Zinnias by Diane Coe
Sunflowers and Zinnias by Diane Coe

"Paint" a picture of yourself for us using 10 colorful words to describe you, the total picture.

Faithful, Loving, Kind, Creative, Joyful, Laughter, Beautiful Smile, Artist, Content, Lover of Jesus

The Shepherd's Studio by Diane Coe
The Shepherd's Studio by Diane Coe - Photo of Lambs

Thank you so much Diane, for this wonderful look into your creative process, your art and you.


If you would like to see more of Diane's art, you can find her at the following link:

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