Drawing and painting came naturally to me early in life. Blessed with a family to encourage, or at least not dis-courage my creative impulses. I was allowed to occupy myself with all manner of art supplies, including oils at the tender age of 9, when I received my first landscape commission. All of the 10 dollars received bought more paint and canvas.

Also more than blessed to be living in the right place at the right time – when latter members of Canada’s illustrious Group of 7 artists spent several summers plein air painting in our little town and surrounds. The likes of A.Y. Jackson and A..J. Casson helped fan the flames of a young artist in-training.

Most summer holidays were spent painting in my aunt’s wheat fields, and pouring through books on how Frank Wood painted seascapes. The light!

As a young adult, I moved from our little town to the big city of Toronto, Ontario, hoping to find recognition for my ‘calling’. I humbly say I did. In 1970, I felt the need for classical training, applied and won a scholarship to art college as a mature student. There, three of my professors, Doris McCarthy, Audrey Garwood and Wyndham Lawrence, among others, further stoked the flames, but corralled the passion with the knowledge of just how to use it. For this I am eternally grateful.

Having explored all genres – Magic Realism, Abstractions, Impressionism, the subjects which keep recurring are figures – people with stories to tell. Oil, acrylics, pastels, all mediums are used even to this day. I am so fortunate to have made my living as an artist for over 45 years now, and where does the time go.

Still painting as passionately as ever, and living in the splendor of Alaska, how can one not be inspired every single day.

Diann Haist, AIS 05/27/17