I was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1949 and ever since...I've been moving north. My father was born in Calument and Mom's family came up from Paducah, Kentucky. As a child we traveled by car to our favorite vacation spots and 'Up North' was the preferred destination. I always hoped for a glimpse of a wild animal of any type just to get that special feeling of being "'in the'country'". I remember city life as filled with fun and adventure...a 50x100 foot lot, a backyard alive with lilac bushes, a mulberry tree for climbing, a vegetable garden for learning where food comes from and a dirt play area under the stairway where I entertained myself for endless hours with the planning and then digging of major construction projects only a child knows the real meaning of. Even so, it was a great day when we were moving to the country..."
In 1978 I moved north again and began living on a 40 acre farm. I was inspired by the natural beauty of my new home and had a desire to share the farm with needy animals. In 1985 I founded the non-profit Cedar Wildlife Rescue, an organization to care for injured and orphaned wild animals.
About the same time the wildlife center began. I also owned and operated a neon sign plant. During this time I produced neon signs and art. I provided the neon signs and displays for "Meijers Thrifty Acres" and created a neon logo for the "Animal Planet" corporate office in Bethesda Maryland. I began making neon sculptures in the shape of animals and in 1995, I was invited by The Crooked Tree Art Gallery and Museum in Petosky, to display my work called, "Wading Birds of North Americal" in an exhibit featuring glass artists of Michigan. All the while...the wildlife center inspired me with the infinite character and beauty of the animals coming to the farm.
The Cedar Wildlife Rescue became one of Michigan's largest wildlife rehabilitation centers, receiving hundreds of animals each season. Diana created an environmental science educational program from the experiences she encountered with animals and people. The program delivered a message of treating each animal as an individual and encouraged people to live with animals in harmony and with tolerance. In regards to the programs Diana is quoted by the Detroit News in 1987 as saying..."one at a time, each animal has a place and it is our understanding of this which promotes the preservation of all species."
In 1993, Diana received Environmentalist of the Year Award in the category of education from the Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council. At that time the programs had reached over 40,000 children and adults. During this time I began keeping a journal and drawing sketches of animals and places I encountered at my favorite locations.
One very special project was a nine year record of watching one eagle's nest. This was part of a biological survey for Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore in Leelanau County (Michigan). The last entry in this adventure which I called "Pearls in the Swamp" was written the summer I moved North to my new home on Keweenaw Bay where wild life inspirations are abundant everywhere and conveniently flying, swimming and diving past my cottage windows daily.
Field sketches are the notes and or drawings from life, which I use to develop color renderings later on.
Most of my work is done while I watch things happen in nature. During the time I cared for hurt and orpaned animals, I held in my hands many of the animals that have become the subjects of my art. In this experience and in my current and ongoing every day encounters.... I am inspired to draw
and in the living world...
The inspirations are unlimited
Currently I work in my home studio and sell my work at shows or privately. I do have a home gallery which you are welcome to visit. The note card idea is my way to combine thoughts and information from my personal journals with the wildlife art...and continue the work I started with the wildlife center. I also operate an antique appraisal service which grew from my lifelong passion for collecting antiques and historic art.