Diekmann’s works depict unbridled joy

Published 5:28pm Monday, June 3, 2013

Diekmann creates constantly, and she’s done so all her life. Whatever she touches turns to fun. When VW buses were popular, she became known for painting murals on them. She has collected stones from her travels, and those stones have found their way into her whimsical works.

“This mouth comes from Maui,” she says, touching one of her stone paintings. “I recognize that blue hat; it’s from Newport.”

She smears and smacks the paint onto her canvas, stretching the boundaries of what paint can do.  Her beach scenes sparkle with reflected light. Diekmann finds inspiration everywhere.

“It’s all there in every human,” she says. “Tap into every experience, every person you ever met, every joy and love and pain. It’s all in there, inside. Now, instead of a moment in time, I’m painting my lifetime.”

Diekmann has been trained as a potter, too, and for many years she co-owned a pottery studio in Rhode Island. Now she teaches pottery from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays at Tryon Arts and Crafts, and she teaches Thursday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. Painting classes happen on an individual basis.

“I like to go into people’s houses and teach them how to make the most of painting in their own environments,” she says. “It’s fun.”

Light flows across the walls of her art studio. She has dubbed it her playhouse. She’s working on a Dancer series, and her grandmother’s artistry as a seamstress inspired a series called “The Ladies.” One of her paintings depicts the flash, and brilliance of life in the womb, inspired by her grandchildren. She has two grandchildren due to be born from different daughters on the same day this September.

Diekmann and her husband, John, crisscrossed the country looking for the best place to live. They searched everywhere, beach towns and busy cities, until they found Tryon. When they stepped foot downtown, they knew they’d found the place they actively had been seeking for a year together.

“I have met so many people here, artists and collectors, golfers and musicians,” she says. “At this point in life, it’s time for quiet beauty, and Tryon has everything an artist needs.”

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