Everything I paint is from a deep connection to the spirit of a place or animal.
Wild and domestic horses are painted in vivid color with textured brushstrokes. My camera lens and brushstrokes travel the world to paint what moves my spirit.
I have a love of the outdoors and all creatures wild. Blessed to meet the white Spirit Bears from the Great Bear Rainforest, BC, the majestic Caribou from the Yukon, and the Bison in Wood Buffalo National Park, NWT.
Color saturates the sky and landscapes from the foothills of Alberta, the majestic Rocky Mountains, and the rich wine country of the Interior of British Columbia.
The love of large-scale colorful blossoms reveals velvet textures.
As an artist, I integrate classical techniques, and contemporary color, while incorporating no black, brown, or gray. I capture impressions of light through layers of brilliant oil colors, wet on wet until finished.
Diane Williams Equine Painter and Photographer
Diane is a successful equine painter in British Columbia. She paints commissions and sells her work throughout North America and Europe. She has traveled extensively to paint unique horses. She has observed and photographed the Sable Island wild horses off the coast of Nova Scotia and more recently traveled to southern France to photograph the semi-feral white horses that live in the wetlands of the Camargue region.
Her love of the outdoors has led her to photograph and paint Wild horses, Sable Island Horses, the white semi-feral Camargue Horses in France, White Spirit Bears, Brown and Black Bears, Caribou, Wood Bison, and Wolves all in their natural habitat.
Her local landscapes of Alberta and British Columbia evoke the spirit of the land and open your senses.
As an artist, Diane integrates classical techniques, with contemporary, no black, brown, or gray. She captures impressions of light through layers of brilliant oil color, wet on wet until finished. Her images start as a stark light/shadow rendering of pure pigment, detail evolving on eyes, ears, and nostrils; looser as they expand to surrounding areas. In the cropping of her equine subjects, she pares down the image to its most powerful essence.
All the colorful horses
The flowing, graceful lines of Diane Williams’ equine paintings belie an underlying power. Colors dance across the canvas and her horses vibrate with regal majesty. Williams, who has had a life-long love of horses, uses her brush to capture the essence of the inner spirit of these powerful souls.
Williams’ life provided her with the perfect backdrop for pursuing her passions for art and horses. Growing up in British Columbia, Williams's father Norman, was a professional photographer, and her mother Alice was a stained glass artist and painter. Williams’ aunt, Karin Storey, was an artist and art historian at Douglas College. This rich artistic heritage provided Williams with a fertile creative childhood.
Instead of watching cartoons on Saturday mornings, Diane's mom immersed her in art classes in her local hometown, Chilliwack, British Columbia. She was encouraged to experiment with paint on large sheets of paper, the beginnings of her love of color and textured brushstrokes.
“My father gave me my first ‘brownie’ camera when I was six,” Williams recalls. “He introduced me to the concept of the rule of thirds, teaching me to place my subject matter into the one-third, not the middle of the photo. Williams’ father made sure she received rigorous training in classical photography, learning to focus on composition and more importantly, the play of light.
The more time Williams spent with horses, the greater her passion became, and very quickly the horse became her primary artistic muse. With encouragement from her family, Williams experimented with a variety of creative mediums and developed her technique. Throughout her schooling, she sought out art classes and was supported by her teachers. In high school, Williams was privileged to study under the tutelage of Ellie Pucher, an accomplished artist from Vienna.
She went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Art from the University of British Columbia. She embarked on a teaching career of over 30 years, teaching high school art and photography classes.
While teaching, Williams continued honing her artistic skills by attending extensive workshops through the Federation of Canadian Artists in Vancouver, BC, and also studying at the Vancouver Academy of Art. Perhaps most influential, Williams studied for seven years at the Sacramento School of Light and Color, where she was instructed and guided by Susan Sarback, artist and founder of the school. From Sarback, she learned how to use full spectrum colors while painting en Plein Aire.
“I think of riding as an art. This discipline expresses my painting.” Natural horsemanship with Jonathan Field, Dressage Naturally with Karen Rohlf, and the Classical French Dressage school of Dominique Barbier. Her style is infused with lightness and playfulness with her Andalusian mare and Andalusian/Lusitano gelding.
Williams’ paintings have captured the imagination of viewers and collectors throughout Canada, the U. S. and Europe. Her work has been featured in solo shows throughout British Columbia and in Alberta for three years at the International Calgary Stampede and five years at the Spruce Meadows-Masters International Show.
- First place in Western Photo Competition, Calgary Stampede 2018, 2019: Esprits Mystiques, Camargue and Equine Spirits II.
- She was featured at the Las Vegas FEI World Dressage Final, Robinson Lusitanos arranged to fly the artist and four large paintings to the show for their booth.
- Williams's work was featured at the National Lusitano, Andalusian show in Austin, Texas, and her paintings were chosen for the cover of their prestigious show program. Two times chosen for the cover of The Canadian Andalusian Show and Fiesta of the Royal Horse, PAALH.
- Featured in the magazines Horses in Art, Horses All, and Ex Arte Equinus 6.
- Her paintings, “Blue Spirit” and "Ancient Mare" are on the set of the Alberta TV series, Heartland.
- Previous Galleries in the last 8 years in Alberta and British Columbia include:
- The Alley Cat, Bragg Creek, AB
- Art Country Canada, Bragg Creek, AB
- Blue Rock Gallery, Black Diamond, AB
- The Silver Tree Gallery, Canmore, AB
- The Rustica Gallery, Cochrane, AB
- The Tyrrell Clarke Gallery, Cochrane, AB
- Llyod Gallery, Penticton, BC