How Did I Get Here From There
Diane Kleiss: A Retrospective
The life of an artist is one of focus, dedication, failures and successes, but the lives of
women artists have extra levels of directives and challenges. Only persistence,
perseverance and an insatiable desire to express their creativity could propel them
forward. My journey is reflective of other woman artists who have braved the hurdles
and defied the road blocks.
Tho art and art resources were non-existent in rural Iowa’s K-12 schools in the late 1950’s, I had been
'art driven’ from the time I could hold a crayon. I taught myself all the rudiments of perspective, shading,
mixing paints, and composition from photos on calendars and in books.
Finally, starting college at 39, I took every art and art history class I could. With the help of some
great instructors my work now reflected the shapes and forms of my world. I began to approach
it from a story telling perspective and gained a new freedom of expression.
I never once stopped my art driven life. Over the years I have had 21 studio spaces starting with a
walk in closet in our big Iowa farm house at 13; then anywhere in our home that I could set up an easel;
to an old cabin by a lake; rented spaces shared with other inspiring artist’s; and now having room for
a studio with the textures of nature at my doorstep.
As I look back over the years of my changing styles and focus,
my work has represented a visual life gleaned from the pages of my written journals:
My Journey as a Woman Artist