Albert Lea artist has paintings displayed at City Hall, Northbridge Mall

Published 9:00 am Sunday, June 11, 2017

By Tyler Julson

Albert Lea native Diane Hill is proudly displaying her paintings at Northbridge Mall and City Hall in Albert Lea. Her watercolor paintings will be on display from now through the end of July.

Hill got her start as an artist about 25 years ago, starting with small pieces of art no bigger than 2 inches by 2 inches that she would wear as jewelry.

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“I was looking for a way to express myself that didn’t have words,” Hill said. “I made my living as a public speaker, but I wanted another avenue to express myself.”

Hill said she has gotten braver throughout the years and has moved on to create paintings of varying sizes. Although she does artwork with many different forms, she is most passionate about using watercolors.

According to Hill, one of her biggest influences was her teacher and mentor, Charlotte Laxon. She credited Laxon with having a great artistic and teaching style.

Hill went on to teach classes of her own in her favorite medium, watercolor.

Pictured is Diane Hill’s favorite painting in her exhibit, “Keep Coloring.” Hill was inspired by a melted box of crayons she had forgotten in her car. Hill’s paintings can be seen at Northbridge Mall and City Hall. Tyler Julson/Albert Lea Tribune

“I’ve taught beginning watercolor,” Hill said. “What I like to do when i teach is to show people the magic that happens with the water, the paint and the paper. You’ve got a tiny puddle of water and you just barely touch it with paint and it goes like crazy.”

Hill has multiple paintings on display at both Northbridge Mall and City Hall, but her favorite was one she painted of a box of crayons. She drew her inspiration from a box of crayons that said “Keep coloring outside the box.” She took the box of crayons and forgot them in her car; when she returned to find the crayons, they had melted and were oozing outside of the box. It looked incredible to her and she knew that she had to paint it.

She took the crayon painting to an art show in Rochester and it sold very quickly. Hill said she found out later the painting sold to a prominent art collector who lived in Beverly Hills, California.

Another version of the melting crayon painting as well as many of her other works are available for sale with the prices listed with the paintings on display.

Hill had some words of wisdom for anyone who is thinking about getting into painting.

“My advice is just start, just do it,” Hill said. “Some of the best advice I got was ‘Remember that it’s just paper.’ So what if you make a mistake, just grab another piece of paper. Even mistakes can turn into beautiful creations.”

“Still So Much to Explore” by Diane Hill is on display at City Hall in Albert Lea. Hill, an Albert Lea resident, has been painting for nearly 25 years. Tyler Julson/Albret Lea Tribune.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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