Diana Woods is sculptor and painter whose primary subject is the horse. Whether she is creating bold, expressive oil paintings or sculptures made of driftwood, recycled metal or found objects, her evocative pieces seek to guide the viewer to explore their own connection with these sentient beings.
Originally from Nebraska, Woods grew up on the back of a horse. She feels what she learned from her herd of mares shaped who she is today. In 1980, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting and art history with a minor in equestrian studies from William Woods College. Upon graduation, Woods moved to Montana to explore the mountains, ski, hike and paint. In 1984, Woods moved to Grand Junction, Colorado and raised her two sons. She became an art teacher, arts administrator and began exhibiting her paintings of horses and the western landscape. In 2009, Woods garnered attention from Southwest Art Magazine as one of “21 Over 31 Artists To Watch” with her piece titled, “Pegasus”. It was at this point, she decided it was time to bring a flesh and blood horse back into her life. Ironically, with the sale of this piece, she purchased a tall, gray Thoroughbred gelding that looked very much like the painting. Woods regularly rides in the desert, hoping to catch a glimpse of the wild horse herd of the Little Bookcliffs that reside near her home.
Inspired by the Abstract Expressionist movement, Woods’ paintings are filled with layers of texture, bold color and gestural brushstrokes. Profoundly influenced by the expressionist’s focus on the unconscious, she intuitively allows the images to emerge as she moves across the canvas. Myths and archetypal symbols often surround the stories in her work.
In the last decade, Woods has expanded her creative repertoire to include sculpture. She has always enjoyed combing beaches and exploring metal salvage yards for beautiful shapes and patinas. Following in the tradition of assemblage art, Woods began using these found metals, wire, driftwood and rocks in her sculptures. The effect is primal and each sculpture exudes a quiet yet powerful presence.
Woods work is in public collections across the country including Coors Brewery, Golden, Colorado; Ivinson Memorial Hospital, Laramie, Wyoming; The University of New Mexico Cancer Research Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico; St. Mary’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Grand Junction, Colorado; Grand Junction City Hall; Mesa County Public Library; The Madeline Island Historical Museum, La Pointe, Wisconsin; The Madeline Island Public Library, La Pointe, Wisconsin; and HopeWest, Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado. Woods has had numerous solo and group exhibitions nationwide.
Diana’s studio sits at the mouth of Red Canyon, at the edge of the Colorado National Monument.