By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS
— WAKARUSA — Diane Overmyer is a full-time artist.
She paints primarily with oil paints from life, such as still-life paintings or going out on location and painting outdoors, which is called “Plein Air Painting.”
Recently, the Wakarusa artist received the Glenda Cobb Bixby Award for expressionist work with the Northern Indiana Artists annual all-member exhibition.
“This is the first time I have received this award for abstract expressionism,” Overmyer said. “It’s not totally abstract but using real elements in abstract expression. I do mostly traditional still-life painting.”
Her work has been held in more than 100 collections throughout North America and received other awards from different competitions, including the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Indiana Plein Air Painters, The Midwest Museum of Art, and other organizations. She’s also vice president of Northern Indiana Artists.
As an artist, Overmyer said it takes a large mental process while doing an oil painting.
“With every painting that I do, there is a considerable amount of energy that goes into the mental process. Many decisions have to be made prior to putting that first stroke of paint onto the canvas,” she said. “Elements such as light, value and composition all come into play. When I am out on location, these decisions have to made much more quickly then when I am in the studio, but they still are crucial to the final outcome of the painting.”
Through the years, she has learned to paint quite quickly, especially if she’s working out on location.
“This is only accomplished through years of consistent painting and learning about the artistic process,” Overmyer said. “Some paintings in the studio take much longer, simply because I don’t have to worry about the light or other elements changing.”
Overmyer was the former owner of Sycamore Fine Arts in the Old Bag Factory in Goshen from 2006 to 2010.
“I miss being surrounded by artists. I loved being able to support them,” she said. “I miss the artists the most at the Bag Factory. I’m very thankful for what I’m doing. Being an artist isn’t easy. It’s hectic and at other times, it can be very slow.”
She said 2013 has been her best year ever.
“It’s very significant. There is a lot of faith involved in being an artist,” she said. “I’m a workshop and painting teacher. This year I have taught different groups of artists through my workshops and classes so far.”
Her father enjoyed photography and she studied photography, but decided it wasn’t the calling for her life. She just uses it for her own enjoyment.
“My goal as an artist is to earn the respect of other artists. I have speaking engagements with different organizations and that’s a huge honor,” Overmyer said. “I can touch lives. I am a person of faith and I can encourage other people to find their own path of enjoyment. It’s an honor to help others.”
In addition to art, she loves playing games with her family, spending time with family and friends, photography, birding and being with the family pet, Tucker, a Welsh Corgi.