Art and painting has always been a strong factor in Diane’s life. Even as a child, she was strongly drawn to art, drawing and painting. She took all the art classes’ available while she was in JR. High and SR. High School. However, living in a small community, art instruction was minimal. After high school graduation, Diane enrolled at The University of North Texas. She declared her major in art and found herself well behind graduates of big city schools with unlimited resources. Diane began to work on catching up and in four years she graduated with a major in art and education. She taught art in the public schools of Dallas and Arlington, Texas for several years. On her days off from teaching school, she started teaching watercolor classes. Teaching watercolor classes was only part time until the family moved to San Angelo, Texas. There she established a small studio in the breakfast room with a maximum of six students. She quickly found it wasn’t enough space and moved the classes to her husband’s pool table.
Diane had always worked in oils and never had any watercolor training. When her toddler daughter tried to drink her turpentine, the ever vigilant Diane Maxey turned to watercolor, stating she would go back to “serious” oils when her children were older. She never did go back to oils, but continues to work in watercolor and now in acrylics. While Diane was still in Arlington, famed watercolorist Al Brouillette was teaching a night class there. Diane enrolled in his class and continued working with Al for several years. She has enriched her studies since then with watercolorists like Robert E. Wood, Milford Zornes and Dick Phillips. When Diane moved to Phoenix, her studio needs were more than the size of the pool table. She built a new garage and converted the older one to a full time studio. She taught watercolor and design classes there for 15 years. While taking a year off from teaching, she and husband bought an older home. She added another year to her sabbatical, rebuilding this house and making it their home. She made sure she had a formal studio for herself and started teaching classes and workshops for Scottsdale Artist School. During this time, Diane started traveling to teach watercolor workshops. She has conducted workshops across the US and has taught workshop groups in Spain, Italy, Greece, Czech Republic, Ireland, Mexico and France.
After teaching and showing in galleries for many years, Diane retired to her studio due to an illness. With her limited schedule, she is teaching a limited number of workshops and spending her time in the studio working in watercolor and creative acrylics. Her workshops are full of information about design, inspiration, color, and pigment mixing. She demonstrates her unique techniques in the classes and workshops at the Scottsdale Artist’s School in Scottsdale, AZ and Springmaid Beach in Myrtle Beach, SC.
In addition to the books, she has also written articles for a number of artists’ magazines, and her work appeared on the cover of Watercolor Magic, Spring 2000.
She is a signature member of the Southwestern Watercolor Association, the Arizona Watercolor Association, the Texas Watercolor Society, associate member of Transparent Watercolor Society of America and the American Watercolor Society.
Today, Diane lives with her husband, Bill, in the home they rebuilt in Paradise Valley, AZ, where she paints daily and continues to explore the byways of watercolor and acrylics.