Darlene Weaver Fine Art



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Darlene Weaver Fine ArtLife has a way of shaping us from the outside if we aren’t mindful. If we’re not paying attention to the inside, the heart, the core of who we are, we find it can take us into directions that were never intended. I know because I let it happen to me.

I must say, I admire all of the brave artists who had the courage to follow their hearts and make their passion for creating art their life’s work. There was a brief moment in time when I thought that would be my reality. I spent a few months studying with Jim Pollard, an artist who painted like John Singer Sergeant and my confidence soared. It was in the early ‘80s. I completed 4 or 5 large oils while the kids were in school. I would paint from the time they left in the morning until they got off the bus 7 hours later. The day would pass with me lost in the state of “flow, “painting with my whole heart & soul.

But then divorce happened. And both parents dying from cancer. And moving to a different house in a different town with 3 soon to be teenage kids. And finishing my college degree so I could get a “real job.” And a 21 year career in long term care.

I had decided on art therapy because that way, I rationalized, I could merge my love of old people with my love of art. It led to working with those who have Alzheimer’s disease as well as to a graduate degree in gerontology, the study of aging.  Even now I am still working as a consultant to health care facilities, and giving presentations on Alzheimer’s, positive psychology, wellness, healthy aging, and creativity!

But the longing never left. Now I am almost 60 years old with a husband and 6 grandkids. I look at the accomplishments of the “brave artists” that have spent their last 20 years actually creating art and I realize I have none of that – no awards, no galleries, and no articles about my work in The Artist’s Magazine. And I start to think, “Who am I kidding . . .”

I do believe that things happen for a reason, however, and that perhaps I wasn’t ready to be an artist until now. I’ve grown. I’m more at peace. I’m ready. I’m not concerned with all those things I mentioned earlier – awards and such. I just want to paint. And I hope that what I paint will move you the way it moved me when I was inspired to paint it. There is a story behind all of my paintings which make them all the more meaningful, at least for me. I think I shall not share them with you unless you ask because you have the right to bring your own story to the viewing.

What moves me, you might wonder? Well, old people for one. And children. Old people because they are still here! They have lived! They have histories and stories and stamina to have made it this far. Yet so many feel invisible, lost & alone. Children because they are so fresh and new and innocent. It’s as if they still have heaven sprinkled on them like pieces of glitter that gets stuck to the skin.

Nature moves me, too. I am continually awe-struck by its’ wonder, beauty and mystery. How did God do it? It astounds me.  Standing by the ocean can bring me to tears. So can the sky-colors at sunrise and dusk. Or the sun bouncing off the water of a clear, northern lake, streaming through the boughs of an evergreen. And the reds, yellows and oranges of the sugar maples in the Wisconsin fall. Even stones on the ground or rock formations reaching up to the sky in a State park have an impact. These things leave me breathless. And they fill me so full of love for their Creator that it aches. Singers break out in song; I break out in color and shapes. I know I can never duplicate it, but I can express how it makes me feel in my heart.

My purpose then, is to paint works that show the beauty and dignity of my subjects, and to evoke the same feelings of awe, joy, gratitude and compassion in your heart as my first encounter with them stirred in my own. It’s my small way of honoring the work of the true Master of the universe and of saying, “thank you.”