Dannevirke artist’s love of nature prompts painting career

Dannevirke artist’s love of nature prompts painting career

Diane Clayton had always wanted to paint.

In her former career as a counsellor she’d valued the therapeutic effect of painting, but it was when her husband became unwell 12 years ago that she decided to try it herself.

“There were six weeks when I couldn’t go anywhere,” she says.

Now Diane, along with other talented artists in Dannevirke, will be participating in a regional exhibition at Square Edge in Palmerston North.


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The Combined Communities exhibition will run until June 22.

This piece, called threesome, will be at the exhibition at Square Edge.

Diane is not only contributing her art to the exhibition, she also recently created a piece for the ceremony to name a kiwi chick which was presented to the Polish ambassador at the May 26 event.

Diane created this piece for the naming of the kiwi chick.

She chose to link the two, painting a kiwi on a totara post, including barbed wire to symbolise the struggle through the Second World War.

For Diane, art takes her into the creative side of the brain, but sometimes that means she becomes totally focused on her work to the exclusion of all else.


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One of her pieces, she says, took her 155 hours to do – a piece depicting a scene in Cornwall, England, which included some very fine details.

After 12 years, she still has a passion for what she does and it has come with some good successes.

Diane finds much of her inspiration in nature.

“It’s a place where you can sit quietly, contemplate and process [things].”

The exhibition in Palmerston North is being run for the first time, as artistic director Karen Seccombe was determined to kick something off for the Manawatū-Tararua region to help the local clubs which were currently struggling.

“It’s encouraging and supporting [clubs] to ensure that the arts survive.”