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Diane has always been an artist, starting out drawing as a tiny child. Though you could say all artists have been ‘artists all their lives’. Some just don’t realize it for a while. Diane worked as a graphic designer for 10 years, working on children’s books for the Christian book industry.

When I met her, Diane was focusing on graphite. She enjoyed the value work and detail that can be achieved with the medium. Adopted, she found and met her birth mother, renown actress Karen Black, a few years ago. She was able to spend some time visiting and getting to know her, the year before Karen’s death. Her birth father was Robert Benedetti. Karen encouraged Diane to work in oil and she did, and was able to share her oil paintings with her birth mother. After Karen’s death, Diane spent some time exploring the bright colors and techniques of Alcohol Ink and Acrylic Pour. She has had an evolution of exploration in different medium, from watercolor to pastel, colored pencil, oil, alcohol ink, acrylic pour and now back to oil.

When Diane first started working in oil, at Karen’s encouragement, she worked with Bill Fletcher and discovered she really loved mixing the colors. She did beautiful work with Alcohol Ink, controlling and creating flowers, landscapes and even portraits with it in a way few artists have been able to manage, but found the fumes too much. Diane has joined the plein air community group The Chestnut Group in Tennessee and attended workshops with Cathy Odom and Pam Padgett. Her favorite artists are Tim Horn, Colin Page, Matt Smith and Dawn Whitelaw. She is now a fulltime plein air artist, working on location painting beautiful landscapes in oil.

Diane lives in Benton with her husband and 2 dogs, and has 3 sons, 4 grandchildren and a great talent. You can find her art online at www.dianebay.com. Please come in and see her featured art in person, too. Her art is warm and vibrant and inviting and you really don’t want to miss it. The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11-3. Visits are available at other times through appointment.