Meet the Artist
Diane was born and raised in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania in 1959. Diane's mother was a talented painter working in oil paints. As a little girl watching her mother paint, Diane developed her artistic skills and started to paint in acrylics. She also developed many other artistic interests ranging from macramé to stitchery. She also had an interest in classical music and learned to play the piano at an early age. Out of all these things though, Diane excelled in painting seascapes and landscapes, both from travelling with her parents and from her imagination. Diane received many high school awards for her art projects. Diane graduated from Mt. Lebanon High School with high honors then studied at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Beaver College in Philadelphia and received her associates degree from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Diane made the Deans list for 7 of the 8 quarters at Art Institute.
Diane had an exciting career in graphic arts with various companies in the Pittsburgh area. She specialized in sign design for hospitals, airports, hotels, cruise ship lines and public transportation.
She had normal eyesight most of her life. During 1990, she was experiencing vision problems, and went to see a vision specialist. The eye exam diagnosed her problems to be Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP).
In the same year, her brother was also diagnosed with RP. Being rare for it to happen twice in the same family to two siblings, her mother was to be tested, but she passed away in 1993 before that testing could be done. It was unknown whether she would have been a hereditary gene carrier. Diane's brother, younger than her, realized his vision loss more rapidly than Diane and was almost totally blind before he passed away in 2013.
She married in 1991 and put aside her time to paint, as she and her husband enjoyed traveling with their RV across the US. Although her sight was starting to slowly diminish, Diane adapted to new activities as boating, fishing, water-skiing, playing piano accordion, skeet and trap competitions, ethnic organizations, and home remodeling.
Over the years, Diane’s eyesight worsened to a point of having to leave the work force forever. In 2013, all her activities came to an abrupt halt, including giving up driving. What was she going to do with the rest of her life since there is no cure for RP? She knew that one day she will become totally blind - but deep inside she had a drive to continue painting. Surprisingly, she was able to pick up where she left off 14 years ago. Diane became involved with blind organizations. She is currently vice-president of The Washington County Council of the Blind and a member of the low vision committee of the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind. Diane is a staunch advocate for the blind people of the United States and is determined to help with fund drives and donating a portion of the proceeds from her artwork.
Each of her paintings feature BLT- which are bears, lighthouses and trains, which she enjoys finding in all her travels. This is an exercise in eye awareness. If you can find these items in her paintings, you have good eyesight. Those who are visually impaired would not be able to see this. Think of the many scientists that discovered a cure for diseases by looking through a microscope! We need good sighted people to help find a cure for the blind, so eye sight is extremely important in today’s world. If the world population became blind, how would we survive? We could not shop, cook, drive, see the computer, call on the phone, watch TV, cut the grass, etc.
My goal is to donate funds to the blind community and blind research organizations for a cure for the various diseases leading to blindness.