FoCo Now
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FoCo Now

The Mind of a Local Fort Collins Artist

I met with Diane Findley on Friday, February 21 in her home studio in her backyard. During our meeting, she showed me her paintings that she did (as seen in the picture below), pottery she’s created, as well as a piece of Japanese pottery from WWII. Being very outgoing and friendly, Findley was able to share a piece of her world with me and the art that she loves to do in our quick little interview.

Diane Findley in her home studio in her backyard on February 22, 2020. Photo by Sophie Gentle.

I was able to talk to Findley a lot about Trimble Court Artisans, a local art gallery that sells art from artists here in Fort Collins.

Gentle: “Well first, could you restate your name and state what you do?”

Findley: “Oh, my name… I do business as Diane Findley. I’m sort of like the president for life over at Trimble Court Artisans. I’ve been a member since 1976.”

Gentle: “Okay well speaking of Trimble Court Artisans, what is your favorite thing about being able to work there?”

Findley: “Oh talking to grown-ups and getting out of the garage once in a while. Yeah, and that really means that it’s a community effort and everybody pulls together and we have so many things in common. We compliment each other and we try to support each other. So like when somebody sells an $800 painting, we send out an alert and we all jump up and down for joy. It’s that kind of a group.”

Gentle: “Yeah, that’s very nice. So how many artists work there?”

Findley: “Well there are 50 members and everyone’s required to work a shift a month or more. It’s not a big time commitment but it’s a real serious commitment.”

Gentle: “That’s very cool. So do you sell your own paintings at Trimble?”

Findley: “I do. I sell my own paintings at Trimble and I’ve had, you know, shows and I put myself out there on the web and stuff. Like one of my goals early on was ‘I want to have my paintings seen all over the world’ and now you can have your paintings seen all over the world from your couch.”

Gentle: “So what’s your favorite type of art to do?”

Findley: “I’m really drawn to come out and paint. So I don’t put many restrictions on that. I’m actually old enough that I should actually be able to whatever I want.”

Gentle: “What would you call the type of art that you like to make?”

Findley: “Well if I was going to tag it, I would call it ‘Fort Collins Fauve’. There was a group of artists that — I’m not sure what century they were in — but they called themselves ‘The Wild Beasts’ or the ‘Fauves’. They didn’t follow the rules and they put colors next to each other that weren’t supposed to go next to each other. It’s really abstract expressionism. It’s rooted in reality but everything comes from something out there.”

Gentle: “Yeah, that’s an interesting way to describe your art. So — I’m going to switch subjects a little bit — where else have you lived besides Fort Collins?”

Findley: “Oh, this is great. I grew up outside of Washington D.C. during all of the 60s. That was an exciting time in our country and I ended up staying there until I came to CSU, how about that?!”

Gentle: “So how would you compare the art in Fort Collins to back where you’re from?”

Findley: “Oh my gosh, marble steps everywhere! I love those marble buildings. They have so many galleries and so many museums and then here we have — you know — we have my garage, Trimble Court, little odd places here and there.” She laughs, “No, I shouldn’t say that because we do have at least 10 galleries in Fort Collins that are functioning.”

Gentle: “Yeah, that’s very cool. Well that’s actually all of my questions that I have. Do you have anything else that you want to add?”

Findley: “Oh, okay! I have notes. Well my overall theme is ‘We express our humanity by making things.’”

Gentle: “Wow, that’s beautiful.”

Findley: “And now I want to quote my friend who’s so brilliant, I would never try to come up with a quote like this for myself and here’s what she wrote, ‘Beauty exists, not only in the thing created, but in the human touch extended’.”

Gentle: “That’s a beautiful saying. Well thank you so much for your time! I’ve loved talking to you.”

Being able to talk to Findley for a little bit, I was able to see and experience a part of her world and discover what art really means to her.

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