Diane Varney's Blog

artist, botanist, jeweler, student, ceramist, gardener, nature -lover, designer, environmentalist, teacher, painter, photographer, writer, traveler...



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July 16, 2010 - Mexico City seeing Diego Rivera murals at the Palacio Nacional--incredible!


July 9, 2010 - My latest painting, entitled Artist's Journey--Tightrope.


April 4 , 2010 -- Gorgeous Human Art
Take a look at this uTube video of the Omo people from Ethiopia. The photography is by Hans Silvester who created a couple of books--one is Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa.

Click below to see the video:


March 26, 2010
I'm so excited about my rooftop garden. I've been eating the most fantastic salads with: baby spinach, baby broccoli leaves, baby lettuce, mint, basil, nasturtium flowers and leaves, cilantro, pea shoots, dandelion leaves, arugula, chives, chive flowers...... Now I take the salad bowl up and pick directly into the bowl. Also have many seedlings which will soon be ready to transplant. I'm eating a few blackberries and strawberries too.

Here's a new, small mixed media painting I recently finished.

March 18, 2010
A friend and I flew up to Oaxaca city after birdwatching for a few days. We visited the ethnobotanic garden, art galleries, markets and ate wonderful food. Loved it and hope to return for the textile fair this summer.










March 16, 2010
Recently returned from wonderful trip to Oaxaca. I went to Puerto Escondido with the local Audubon society and it was magical. First we traveled by boat in a large mangrove lagoon. The next day we went out in the ocean and saw thousands of dolphins and a few sea turtles and three black and yellow sea snakes.





In the afternoon we went to a river mouth to watch birds as the sun set.



February 25, 2010
Last week I had the pleasure of hosting Julia and Isaiah Zagar from Philadelphia for the screening of their son Jeremiah's documentary film about Isaiah's art and their lives, called In a Dream. The film was incredible--highly recommended. Also, if you are ever in Philadelphia, be sure to visit Isaiah's fantastic mosaic murals.

New York Times Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/16/arts/television/16lidz.html?_r=1

Movie: In a Dream

Isaiah's Art

Isaiah drew Paul Klee for me when he learned that we are both big fans.

Veggie Garden Project
I am thrilled with the progress of my bucket rooftop garden. I planted the first seeds on Jan. 13th and already have radishes, baby beet greens, baby spinach and much more. I'm hopeful that I can grow most of my fruits and vegetables. I now have 17 buckets. Just got planted several rasberry plants--can't wait..

February 22, 2010
The San Miguel Writer's Conference just ended (the best yet)--I was thrilled to see and talk to Barbara Kingsolver, the keynote speaker. She's been my imaginary sister for many years, and it turns out she too, has an imaginary family--what fun! Her talks were inspiring and awesome and her new novel is The Lacuna, set largely in Mexico, involving Diego Rivera and Frida Khalo.

February 15, 2010

Dunce or Sorcerer?

I've painted some sort of scary paintings lately and it's been kinda fun.

Waiting for the Barbeque


Night Magic


February 13, 2010

Candelaria - San Miguel's Celebration of Spring

February 12, 2010--Watch These!
I don't watch television, but I loved these speeches by JK Rowling and Steve Jobs on TED:



Febuary 10, 2010
I'm donating this painting for an auction which will benefit the Audubon Society of Mexico and El Charco de Ingenio, San Miguel's wonderful botanic garden. The event is this Sunday, Feb. 14th and you can find more info here.

February 6, 2010
Finished this small painting yesterday. It is called "Now I See" and is painted on handmade paper with acrylic, oil, and colored pencils.

I've become excìted about urban agriculture and decided to create a vegetable garden on my roof terrace. It was planted almost a month ago and the radishes are doing quite well. I'm going to add more buckets and am planting seeds. Can't wait to harvest something!

Rain, rain, go away. It rained almost non-stop for four days recently. The dam behind our house overflowed and caused local flooding. Typically the rain only occurs in summer here.

I've been playing with various art media, trying to teach myself how to use them. Here's one of my experiments with oil, oil pastels, etc.

January 30, 2010
Yesterday we fulfilled a dream of many years--we visited the Monarch butterfly sanctuary in the mountains of Michoacan, Mexico. It was truly a magical experience which I highly recommend. Millions rest in the fir trees and fly around a bit when the air warms. They stay in Mexico for five months, then head north.

January 27, 2010
Here are a few small paintings finished in Fall 2009. All have a layer of acrylic, then thicker cream oil layer, lines are incised, watercolor is rubbed into the lines, and the surface is glazed with oil. I'm intrigued with the textures.


January 20, 2010
I've been experimenting with mixed media on smallish pieces of paper I've been working with less planning and more intuition, and it has been interesting to see what has emerged!.


This is my first finished piece for 2010. I've become enamored with skulls--the Mexican influence for sure. This has acrylic, oil, colored pencil, metallic paint, watercolor, ink..... I scratched the lines through the black oil layer.

Emerging From the Swamp

This piece has multiple layers and I sanded through them, then transparent layers over the base. I've been intrigued with faces and the different expressions that just a slight change can make. Oil and acrylic on paper. Kinda scary, but I like it.

January 13, 2010
Recently we went to Morelia and Troncones (near Zijuatenejo)

In downtown Morelia

We stayed at Los Raqueros in Troncones

January 7, 2010 - San Miguel de Allende
I've decided to start a new blog as we enter the new year. I want to share what's happening, as well to have a sort of scrapbook. I plan to post once a week so stay tuned!

Typical Street Detail

Succulents Thrive Here

Sanctuary for Magical Thinking (oil on canvas)

Recently finished--it was started in Baja in October and is based on my old art studio in Baja.

La Sirena (acrylic on canvas)

Recently finished-- started over a year ago in Costa Rica. The mermaid's tail is sort of collagy with pieces of foil from yogurt containers torn up and glued on. I'm liking oil much better than acrylic now.