Diana Werts Bio
Diana Werts is a native Kansan. Beginning in 1971, while studying art at Emporia State University, she found a personal connection to the landscape of her region. Emporia is situated on the edge of the Flint Hills, which are home to the largest intact tall grass prairie in the country. Werts has always credited the Flint Hills as her primary source of inspiration due to the ever-changing prairie grasses, big sky and distant vistas. Her oils and pastels have been featured in regional and national shows over the last 25 years. She has conducted artist residencies across Kansas and Missouri, and more recently at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.
My paintings celebrate the life cycles of plants and the diversity found within the Midwestern landscape. Energetic brushwork and vivid color come into play as I balance acute observation with abstract elements, and try to compose paintings that bring the intimate and delicate into a bold statement. I want my paintings to resonate with a sense of the seen and unseen in such a way that it prompts the viewer to do the same.
As much as I am moved by the natural beauty present in other parts of the world, I feel most compelled to paint the prairies that I have known intimately all my life. The rich soil, the rootedness of the native grasses, the plant companions that bloom at various times in spring and summer and the insects that visit them remind me of how interconnected we are; I am thrilled to be a part of it! The splendid visual aspect of the prairie combined with the liberating sense of its teaming life prompts me to draw upon my faculties of representation and abstraction to convey the sense of well-being that I find here.
I was born into a family of gardeners, and I find joy and satisfaction in growing plants for the birds, butterflies, bees, and humans; this also gives me a chance to watch life cycles, and to see a way toward better balance in our delicate ecosystem.