In my late 20's, I started working for a famous jeweler, Bill Klemmer. In doing so, I learned I had talent for making original waxes. I sold waxes to the jewelry trade, and then learned how to cast and make molds for custom gold and silver jewelry pieces. The natural progression from this was to open my own studio and become a jeweler myself. I opened a shop in Grove, then later moved to Keystone Heights, Florida where I opened a larger store, called "Diana Originals", where I practiced my trade for 28 years.
Eventually, it was time to sell my jewelry business and devote myself solely to painting, which I had been doing on the side for many years. In 2004, I took the plunge, sold my jewelry business, and moved to the small artistic community of High Springs, where I opened a gallery under the same name, Diana Originals. I started for the first time, to paint in earnest, using a variety of different mediums, such as water soluble oils, scratch art, mixed media, but I always seemed to go back to watercolor as my main medium. This was a prolific time for me, and I began to show my art in local shows. This led to an opportunity to teach art at the University of Florida, The Reitz Union. My love of painting flowed easily into the love of teaching others how to paint.
I also opened a teaching studio in my gallery, and five years later, I have had the privilege of teaching many students at all skill levels. I always love the moment when we are working together and the light goes on for them concerning some particular technique or skill they have been trying to master.
My love of painting and of teaching have found a perfect fit with each other.
One of the most satisfying projects I have been involved with for last few years, is the opportunity to draw portraits of some of the area's local homeless, through the Gainesville St. Francis House. (Visit Portraits link to see some of the work.
My family made the move from New York, to Coconut Grove, Florida when I was eight years old. As the daughter of an engraver and a seamstress, I understood the value of hard work, and genuine quality. This was enhanced by growing up in the community of Coconut Grove, surrounded by artists of all types. In fact, it proved to be the perfect surrounding to feed my insatiable love of all things artistic and beautiful.