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Georgia Mountain Laurel Magazine

Diane Rush: same places/new vision

Mar 09, 2017 12:26PM ● By Tracy McCoy

If you’ve lived in Rabun County for a sizeable length of time, you have also have tracked the changes, including new businesses all along US 441, with a high concentration in Clayton. Some of the places are just gone and we barely recall there having been a bus station or a Winn Dixie supermarket. New faces on old buildings, as well, keeping up with the growing population and current trends.

We may remember and cherish the small town, community feel of the older Clayton, where the original Old Clayton Inn bustled, an Italian restaurant wore a dazzling face, a cozy barbershop was a gathering place of friends, and the Clayton Café is a long-running favorite.

This is the Clayton that’s colorfully and vibrantly alive under the versatile hand of Diane Rush who employs acrylic paints, brush or palette knife to create new memories for us.

After 40+ years as a commercial artist, involving the “tiny intricacy” of greeting cards, and the challenge of wall murals, Diane now paints in a comfortable size for enjoyment. When she became a full-time Rabun resident in 2008, Diane became intrigued with the history of the downtown, especially the older buildings. Then: synthesis of a new style that fit. The results, she hopes, will make you smile.

With her new hometown as inspiration, Diane typically heads down a known path, fairly certain of the direction. However, once immersed in the process, a painting has been known to “take on its own personality. A little prayer at the beginning brings that extra direction from above.” If she gets “stuck,” Diane understands she needs to walk away, sometimes for a month or so, because she’s “trying too hard to be the creator.” Ideas that come in her sleep are her best.

The feeling of identity is an important component of painting, as is the “happy” feeling that comes with finishing a work she can be proud of. On the flip side, if she sets out to do something and isn’t able to realize it, disappointment follows. But just try and stop her from digging in and trying to accomplish something she’s been told she can’t possibly do: “Those are fightin’ words!”

Diane is glad to be living in an area that is so supportive of the arts. It helps increase her very thorough enjoyment of her art endeavors, and she hopes her skills will continue to improve along with her involvement with local artists.

An Ohioan until 1980, Diane received a scholarship to Columbus Art School in high school and was in a class with Aminah Robinson who became a well-known artist. At Ohio State she studied with David Black, Charles Csuri, and Hoyt Sherman. A commercial artist from 1960 to 2006, Diane created a line of cards that were bought by Coronet, and a line of Christian greeting cards for several years as a ministry.

Diane does custom paintings of homes. She has a booth in Butlers Gallery in downtown Clayton, and may be contacted at: 706-782-5616 and Email – [email protected]

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