I sat down with Dianne Novak to see how her year with our mentorship program went for her, I asked her when did she first think she wanted to be an artist? Dianne always thought of herself as a writer and didn’t think she could be an artist as well. She grew up surrounded by creative people. Her mother as well as other family members were talented in art. Dianne said she had always wanted to do that, to paint, but in her mindset she was the writer. Then when she retired part-time and she took a couple of the paint night events that the city held with the Rumriver Art Center. She told herself that if the Rumriver Art Center offered a real painting class she would take it and if she was not enjoying the class she would stop taking it. She loved it and had a blast. Paul Boecher was her teacher and gave her encouragement by telling her “you got something- go with it.” This is when she started to call herself an artist. She says it is a gift to be at this point and is delighted with the ability to create and paint.
Dianne grew up in Chrystal MN with 5 siblings. Her dad was a salesman and her mom stayed at home until the kids went off to school and then she worked in the school. Her mom had taken some painting classes and was very talented Diane said. Dianne took her first art class in Jr. High school. Her teacher was very kind she recalls, but she was so embarrassed by one of her assignments that she wouldn’t even turn it in. I think she has come a long way from that
I asked Dianne what inspired her. From an artist’s standpoint she said the Impressionist painters inspired her, especially Claude Monet. She also really enjoys John Singer Sargent’s landscapes. What really inspires her is “God’s creation”. Her paintings all have scriptures that go with them. “What captures me to want to paint something is the beauty I see in it.” Dianne tells me. “ God creates beauty. Sometimes the world only shows a very small bit of loveliness, but I look for the beauty God originally intended.”
Dianne says her eye is becoming more aware of light. She now notices the light coming through the trees and the curtains. She is inspired by that light. This is one of the things that has occurred over the last year working with her mentor Pat Undis, a growing understanding and seeing of light. Dianne tells me she loved this last year. She says it’s been challenging as well as rewarding. It really helped that she has someone to be accountable to, as each time they met she needed to bring new things she was working on. She says she has grown a lot. Dianne told me that “if I am learning something and it’s a struggle and hard, I love that. I will miss it a lot. It was a year full of growth and joy.”
The places that Dianne has seen growth is the ability to see things differently, to see color and light in a new way. She says her techniques have improved but she still struggles with putting the paint on heavy and she feels she blends too much. One of her goals moving forward is so use heavy layers so that the viewer can see the brushstrokes in the paint. She is excited to experiment on paintings that no one may ever see where she can work out new creative problems. She has a studio set up now and is excited about having new goals to work on. One of her new goals is to take a drawing class to feel more comfortable with drawing.
Dianne is excited to see her show up and to showcase the work she has created over the last year. Dianne and Pat’s show opens on Saturday August 14th and runs through September 4, so come by and check it out.