Ukraine-Russia: Ontario woman paints Ukrainian Easter eggs in support of Ukraine

MADOC, ON. –

It’s a bold personality, with an even bolder palette.

“When did I know I wanted to be an artist? Always, always, always,” said Diane Woodward.

“It was like magic for me to make things more colorful.”

There are minimalists. And then there is Diana.

“I don’t like empty spaces. I am a maximalist. What is a maximalist? It decorates the decorated decorations. How far can I go too far?!” she smiled.

Diane moved to Madoc, Ontario. of Ottawa 22 years ago, bringing its trademark color to the city’s landscape.

“When I was a kid, I took the bus from Toronto to Ottawa and just wanted to live on the outskirts of a small town in a terrible tourist attraction,” she said.

“I realize now that I should have dreamed bigger,” she laughed.

A painting by Diane Woodward of Madoc, Ont.

His ownership is hardly an eyesore. It’s a feast for your eyes; an endless and sumptuous buffet in every way. There are layers of painted treasures up, down and all around!

“Home is a byproduct of my constant need to make things,” she said.

“In the beginning, I painted people. And then people and animals and then I said to myself ‘what do you paint after having painted animals?’ I ended up painting God. So I traveled across India to paint temples and temple art.

Diane’s inspiration is everywhere.

“There are very happy paintings. The little kids are so excited it looks like they are going to explode which was great fun.

But Diane’s home of smiles has not been immune to the heartaches of the world.

A painting by Diane Woodward of Madoc, Ont.

“For the past two years, I’ve been the ‘Madoc Mask Fairy,'” she said.

Encouraged by a doctor friend at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Diane started sewing masks and donating them.

“Since last night, I have made 4,242 masks,” she said.

Diane’s offering to others was a gift to her.

“Can you imagine what it has done to my life for the past two years to hear that four thousand times? They say, ‘Thank you, it’s beautiful, I love it.’ This is what got me through the pandemic.

And Diane understands the fragility of health.

“I had uterine cancer,” she said.

“I was so lucky that I found out when I did.”

She says that thanks to surgery and excellent medical care, her cancer disappeared. And, she says, the experience helped her reframe a lifelong struggle with mental health.

“I was suicidal from the age of seven until I was 57,” she said.

“I’m happy now. Cancer didn’t make me happy, but my unhappiness is gone.

That said, Diane feels deeply the collective grief and anguish of war.

“There is a feeling of helplessness. So I paint. And I’m doing war paint right now with Ukrainian Easter eggs,” she said.

“I have been painting images of Ukrainian Easter eggs for decades. It is a thing of beauty that Ukraine has given to the world.

A painting by Diane Woodward of Madoc, Ont.

A portion of the sales of his paintings will go to Ukrainian relief efforts.

For now, creating powerful paintings of the eggs will be Diane’s mission.

Her future, like a self-portrait leaning against a wall in one of her kaleidoscopic rooms, is a work in progress, just waiting to embrace all the colors of life.

“Ambition, like fame, fortune and beautiful lovers, I am no longer interested in that. But I am motivated. Every day I get up and do something.

You can see Diane’s work on Instagram @dianewoodwardartat dianewoodward.com or in Perth at concavegallery.com



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