Iíve been an artist all my life -- well, at least since the first time I picked up a crayon and felt the thrill of creation. With my first formal instruction in oil painting at age 8, I was walking the path of an artist. However, it was not until recently that I decided to make it my career.

To me, art is a state of mind. If Iím not creating art, Iím thinking of creating art. And so I did for years while pursuing a technical career and raising a family. I observed, analyzed, imagined and dabbled with art. I had the good fortune to travel to England, France and Italy and studied the art there. As time went on, I began to wonder why I wasnít a professional artist when art was such a part of me. Then in January of 2003, I embarked on an art career. I figured out what I enjoyed most and abandoned the rest. I stopped trying to recreate nature exactly and realized the interpretation is what counts. I learned to be patient, to plan, and to challenge myself. I recognized that I did have a style and I began to accept it for what it was.

In just over four years, I have made a lot of progress. I have exhibited in several shows and my work has shown in two local galleries. I belong to several online galleries whose statistics prove the popularity of my work. My own website alone has attracted over 10,000 visitors since its creation. In addition, I now host an Art History website at Bellaonline.com in which I explore various Art History topics.

The style that I have developed is a smooth and polished look of realism that is slightly naÔve -- a reflection of what I see in my mindís eye. Because I am an idealist, I strive for balance and beauty since these qualities embody my ideals. I delight in giving in to my impulse to use vivid colors in my art. I am fascinated with details; I especially love intricate patterns, curlicues, windswept hair, and eyes. I am captivated with the human form which is the necessary basis of all my work.

To me, a piece of art is most valuable to society when it can transcend real life through interpretation and inspire wonder and thought through beauty. I believe that good art is a necessary ingredient in human evolution.

~Diana Blake

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