While raising a family in Grand Rapids, MI, Darleene continued her art education with night classes at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) and watercolor workshops. For several years she painted in her basement on a door over two sawhorses, and competed in West Michigan juried shows from 1983-2003.
Trained by the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM), she volunteered for eight years as an art docent in the schools. The instruction at GRAM and the night classes at GRCC were intellectually stimulating. Finally as a non-traditional aged student, she chose to finish a BFA at Aquinas College. After graduating she volunteered three additional years as an in-house docent for GRAM. And happily she kept painting.
From childhood as a military brat, through marriage and living in Michigan, she always lived near water and the fondest memories of her childhood have to do with beaches. (Water became a subject and sand became a medium.) Darleene enjoys experimenting and reacting to what happens on the painting surface. Her focus is on subjects that reflect human nature.
Four things she has learned about her painting: “I like to paint with textures either implied or real; I like the intimate view of my subject rather than an overall vista; I don't like being tied to any one method or media; I prefer to paint without a predetermined composition”. Art has become her form of communication, and her process a journey.
Even though she uses playful methods to begin paintings, she still believes in draftsmanship and craftsmanship. Always inspired by nature, she collects, observes, percolates, plays and leaves evidence of her process.