Diane Howey speaks of the creative world as a “large umbrella” sheltering opportunities to create, explore and enjoy. And if you get a peek inside her studio, you can begin to see what she’s talking about.
There’s a felted cat, fish and rooster, experiments in sculpture and wool. There are vases and bowls from her days as a ceramicist, experiments in mud and pressure. Paintings line the walls, experiments in color and canvas. And most recently, there are the gourds (“The world is gourd crazy and I wasn’t aware of it,” she says)—an experiment in experimenting itself.
“It’s just so fun to allow yourself to delve in so deeply,” Diane says.
Diane’s current infatuation (aside from the gourds, of course) is with lockets.
“I love containers,” she said. “I like boxes and things with hinges and things you can put stuff in.” This manifests itself in pieces like the wave-cutout rectangle filled with sea glass in pastel greens, blues and purples.
The sea glass locket also hints at Diane’s main inspiration: nature. The shape of a pea pod, the texture on a cholla cactus or the shape of a discarded antler cause intrigue and wonder.
“Who thinks of this?” Diane says of these shapes. “That’s what inspires me.”
This inspiration is coupled with that provided by instructors who have “opened their book of secrets” to allow her to learn and grow in her art explorations. For others, this instructor is Diane herself, who has also taught classes for 20 years.
“I just love sharing what I do,” Diane said. “I like to teach class because I like to help people…. I think everyone is creative if they’re interested.”
Perhaps this is why Diane’s creativity seems to abound: she is interested in everything, and these passions by no means compete with each other.
“You have a child and you love that child, and you have another and your love expands,” Diane said.
Red Truck Art, then, showcases just how many “children” Diane has. But at the same time—as she dances through her studio to her storage cupboard sing-songing “I just got some new metal before I left and I’m so excited about it!”—Diane herself embodies the exuberance of new creatives.
“I get to be a child,” Diane says. She calls coming out to her studio a chance to “play.”
And part of this playtime means being unafraid to try new things, and to learn, experiment and grow. With fuzzy fish, maybe, or a gourd carving or two.
“If you keep at it, then your art becomes better,” Diane said. “And if you keep at it, then your art becomes good. And if you keep at it, your art becomes great.”
Her artwork is available at Eastbank Art Studio at 8th and Railroad downtown, and in Santa Fe.
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