The Coast News Group
A Brush with Art

Artist’s winding path leads to Japanese Friendship Gardens solo exhibit

No surface escapes paint in artist Diana Carey’s studio. Photo courtesy of Nadine Baurin
“Life is not a straight line,” declares Oceanside artist Diana Carey. The nonlinear evolution of her artistic creations have led to her current solo exhibition at the Japanese Friendship Gardens in Balboa Park titled “Creating A Storm; Sakura Fubuki.”Having grown up in the Los Angeles area, Carey resided in Encinitas for 20 years, where she was an active member of the 101 Artists’ Colony and Full Moon Poets. When asked at what point she began seriously creating art, Diana responds emphatically, “I always created art. Always.”

Fully immersed in her creative lifestyle as she completes a degree in Art History at San Diego State University, Carey says, “Art should evoke and portray the artist’s fibre, his struggles and his vision. The artist interprets his vision. The viewer brings his own visions and interpretations to the artists work. Together the real art work is determined.”

This philosophy is evident in the evolution of Carey’s artwork. During a period of less than two years during the late 1990’s, Carey was left emotionally reeling from a divorce and the death of several close friends and family members. To deal with the grief, she began painting hearts on the surface of stones, while writing original poetry on the reverse.

Under the pseudonym “d.goth,” Carey shared her “Hearts of Stone” not only through shops and galleries across the country, but also at local art fairs. She reflects, ”People would look at the art, read the poetry and tell me their stories about love, loss, joy and pain. I realized the healing aspect of art, not just to the artist but also to help others deal with grief and loss through artistic expression.” Her weekly classes at Casa de Amparo in San Marcos continue helping youth ages 5 to18 heal their emotions while taking refuge from abusive and negligent homes.

Carey’s work acquired an additional dimension when she began breaking the stones, allowing more abstract images to emerge from the cracked and broken surfaces. These “contemporary frescoes” won acclaim as Best of Show, First Place, and a Special Award at the 2001 Del Mar Fair. This body of work paved the way for her current abstract impressionist style.

In 2008 Carey felt driven to experiment with the abstract expressionist technique of throwing paint pioneered by Jackson Pollock. Unlike Pollock, however, Carey discovered a preference for having a subject to anchor her paintings. With the gestural technique of throwing, splashing and dripping paint onto large canvases, she creates abstract impressionist works of art infused with the essence of her subject, such as tangled bird nests or the blossoming cherry trees in “Cherry Blossom Storm,” the signature piece of her exhibit currently at the Japanese Friendship Gardens.

Acknowledging the importance of the viewer in the artistic process, Carey says, “The audience has the power of determining the status of an artist and painting, and also determining the interpretation of the artist’s own interpretation.” Excited by this concept of relationship between art and audience, Carey has created a 21-block montage for her “Sakura Fubuki“ (translated Cherry Blossom Storm) exhibit, which will evolve as individual pieces are purchased and removed throughout the two-month show. She says, “It gives a transparency to the symbiotic relationship of artist and audience.”

Carey’s work has been shown in many national exhibitions, including the National Catholic Museum exhibition at the Historical Society of Washington, DC, as well as internationally at the Culture Inside Gallery in Luxembourg.

“Creating A Storm; Sakura Fubuki,” a solo exhibit of gestural paintings and stone art by Diana Carey, is currently on display at the Japanese Friendship Gardens in Balboa Park through April 28.

Learn more about the artist and her current exhibit at



1 comment

Julie Ann Stricklin April 9, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Great Story Kay!! Diana-You go girl!! :)

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