About Elaine Maxham Diller
Thinking what to share about where I am these days... the latest world crisis lingers on and I must confess my resilience has taken a hit. I pivot this way and that, changing the business plan to accommodate such uncertain times, but when the roller coaster doesn't stop, I get tired. I know so many of you are too.
I am thankful to have a job with a paycheck keeping me independent to a point and the bills paid! As many baby boomers are experiencing, my hope to relocate and semi-retire has had to be put on hold. I am still enjoying my art and the nature I love, but it is clear art sales won't pay the rent. Yet.
My next step will depend on the crazy turn of events in our world. For now, God is whispering so I am focusing on the path in front of me, practicing patience, trying new styles of painting, feeling fulfilled with my work at a college, looking up for my hope. My sweet dog has moved to Kentucky to live with her original "mom", my daughter, so my walks aren't as long. I now keep active with silly squirrels (who knew they were so funny?!) and bird feeders to attract my latest subjects. For those who have never stopped supporting my journey, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I'm not finished yet...there are more chapters to come and I can't wait to pivot again to see what is next. Hold on.
February , 2016
I first moved to West Virginia to attend WVU in 1967 when I was 18; while growing up in New Jersey, I was influenced artistically by my father, Vernon Maxham, a native of Vermont and a talented artist and educator. He and my mother, Elizabeth Seaman of Wheeling, WV, met during WWII and eventually settled in New Jersey to raise their 6 children. I remember exciting visits to Dad's art room at the high school where he taught fine arts.
Many years passed before I started drawing the beautiful nature around me as I raised two children and operated a music, book and art store in the tiny town of Hillsboro, WV. I actually
started out sketching simple flowers on muslin, adding color and texture with
embroidered stitches. Soon, the desire to sketch on paper came to me over a period of
time; I visualized splashes of color on wildflower sketches. We never had much money
but I entered contests and applied for grants to purchase my first pastels and paper.
I sold many originals and prints out of the storefront from 1993- 2010 and later from the store's websites.
.My note cards were accepted into Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia in 2009.
Some of our family's outings were centered around driving through Pocahontas County; the kids loved looking for wild flowers for me to sketch. We visited the Williams River, Droop Mountain, Lobelia, the Cranberry Glades, and the Greenbrier River trail. I filled up my sketch books and stored away many good memories.
Time has passed; I am still in Pocahontas County, still walking along paths and trails, now with my terrier, Peggy Sue. My children are young adults and still love finding wildflowers for me to sketch as well as brainstorming with me about my next chapter in life.
Since my shop closed in 2010, I have been working for a community college and county government effort to bring higher education to our rural county. It has been a good experience and continues to thrive, but I have always dreamed of returning to my artwork someday.