We had the good fortune of connecting with Diane Van Noord and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Diane, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
The value that matters most to me is honesty. Truth matters, and it opens the door to genuine interaction and engagement and trust. When building a business, relationship, friendship, or one’s beliefs, honesty lets you always move ahead and feel free.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My paintings are expressions of a love of freedom, the freedom that comes from knowing what makes a painting good from the artistic, composition, and element viewpoint that has been studied and proved throughout the history of fine art. As a wonderful mentor of mine said, “you have to know the rules before you know how far you can break them” – before you have a mess on your hands. I have been painting for over 35 years – while raising a family, finishing school, many moves around he country (yes, I have lived in Colorado and my daughter was born there!), financial challenges both personal and in the economy, and with many successes along the way.

I’ve learned how hard it is to make a living at art as an independent artist, from my studio, through gallery representation and at art festivals. Being creative has to be a driving force in your blood that won’t let you go because it is so easy to get discouraged.

I have learned to paint what I love, not what I think will sell, and that is a giant step to take in having your own style. You have to be true to your own expression by first of all finding it, then staying with it to develop it fully. Now, I do believe in taking ‘side trips’ to explore new ways and for the fun of it. But it is important to always return home to what you love the most bringing the highlights of your adventures with you.

For much of my career, I have painted in oil with palette knives in an impressionistic and contemporary style. When I began painting I used watercolors, and slowly felt the need for a more substantive medium, so I tried acrylics, mixed media, and finally oils. Sometimes I will add cold wax and/or sand for more texture. My painting style is alla prima for the smaller works.
I love to teach others to help them discover their own style, their best expression, and to discover who they are in their heart as artists. I am a good listener. The studio is my happy place.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I have lived in the Denver area some years ago and have visited since then and also painted with Colorado Plein Air Painters, I would spend as much time with them as possible outdoors, enjoying the natural beauty of Colorado. We would go hiking in the mountains, horseback riding, plein air painting, and visiting galleries and museums.

If they came to my home town where I live now, I would take them to the beach, for walks on the boardwalk and pier, for hikes in the many county parks here, to Morning Star Cafe for Breakfast or The Toasted Pickle for lunch, Fricanos for pizza and time spent watching the gorgeous sunsets over Lake Michigan.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’ll have to start at the beginning of my life with the influence and instruction of my creative and inventive father who taught me to stand tall, speak slowly so that I could be understood, and to do many artistic activities. There are other many fine artists, friends, and children who have shown me the value of honesty, and be truthful with others and with myself.

The dedication of my Shoutout story needs to go to Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. I have gained wisdom in living my life through having so often failed in personal and professional areas, learning over and over I need to look for better ways to make decisions. Thankfully, I have always looked to God’s word in the Bible for his wisdom, understanding, instruction, discipline, and forgiveness. That has led me to embracing the heart felt and high value of honoring truth in all I do and say.

Website: www.dianevannoord.com

Instagram: dianevannoord

Facebook: Diane Van Noord and Hawk’s Nest Studio

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