About the Artist
Dianne Hicks was born Dianne Wingert in San Francisco, California, was raised in the Bay Area, and moved to Oregon with her husband and son in 1994. She has always enjoyed art from the time of her first box of crayons to painting with oil and acrylics in the 60’s and 70’s. She majored in Commercial Art while attending college in the Bay Area, CA, which prepared her for her first job in the commercial art field working in Silicon Valley. But she was looking for a creative outlet and found it in classes to learn Printmaking and Airbrush. During this time, she participated in local art and wine festivals in Los Gatos, Mountain View, Stanford, and Saratoga, CA. Once she tried watercolors on her own, she was hooked. She was self-taught and painted as a hobby until her son was born. When her son went off to college, she picked up the brush again and pursued her love for painting and enrolled in a local art class. Since then, she has become a member of the Watercolor Society of Oregon (WSO), Wild Over Watercolors (WOW!), and Keizer Art Association (KAA).
I have always been influenced by color. Since my early childhood, I have been attracted to vibrant colors, whether it is paint chips from the local drugstore, a bowl of cat’s eye marbles, or a box of crayons. It is this influence that shows up in my work in watercolors. Being aware of the way light hits an object or person, can bring a painting to life. What I try to show, through color, light, and an interesting subject, is that if you look closer to everyday items, you can make these things interesting and beautiful in their own way. I look for the way sunlight hits a person’s face, and if this will make the portrait lively and realistic.
My watercolors are primarily realistic and my subject matter varies from portraits of humans, dogs and cats, florals, objects such as balloons, pasta, or coffee cups, and landscapes which may include boats or buildings. I find that, by using watercolors, I can create a transparency that helps illuminate the subject matter. For many years I steered away from portraits until I began taking classes and workshops to try my hand at it. I found out that I enjoyed seeing a person’s face develop on paper; into a three-dimensional painting that can actually resemble the model’s face. Changing up the subject matter for my paintings keeps it interesting. I am always on the lookout for good subject matter and when I do, I like to take a photograph of it for later reference. Some of my subject is about daily routines we see around us every day. I would call these EDLs (everyday life) and they are the most fun to bring to a painting; like folks drinking coffee on a sidewalk café, children drawing with chalk on the sidewalk, a couple picking out a Christmas tree, folks in their everyday settings that tells up to embrace those moments.
I am influenced by everything around me and see beauty where it might be overlooked. While in high school, I studied art history and some of the masters and innovators in art. I really admired Impressionists such as Degas, Monet, Manet, and Van Gogh. The way they applied paint on the canvas, bringing life and light into the subject matter, intrigued me. I also found that the late sixties hippy poster creations brought color, creativity, and imagination that I thought was exciting. It all started with crayons in my early years, finger painting and tempera paint in grammar school, oil and acrylics in high school, printmaking and airbrush in college, and finally watercolors in my later years.
Associations & Societies
Watercolor Society of Oregon (WSO)
Watercolor Society of Oregon (WSO), founded in 1966, is a statewide organization of over 800 juried watercolorists. Dianne was inducted into WSO in 2012 and has been an active member to present day.
Wild Over Watercolor (WOW)
Wild Over Watercolor is a collective group of over 20 talented artists with a passion for watercolors. The group supports collaboration, synergy, social, and professional development opportunities. Dianne has been a dedicated collaborator of Wild Over Watercolor, participating from 2010 through present day – contributing featured works in group art shows in the Salem/Keizer and Portland Metro areas.
Keizer Art Association (KAA)
Founded in 1977, the Keizer Art Association is nested in the Keizer Heritage Center in Keizer, Oregon. KAA hosts monthly shows and is home to personal development and portfolio display opportunities for artists of all abilities. Dianne joined the Keizer Art Association in 2016 and is excited to explore new avenues for personal growth and to share her works alongside other talented individuals.