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A Spotlight on Dione Page (British 1936 - 2021)

Dione Page says each of her paintings "contains its own life force and energy to beguile you."

Dione Page has a long history of creating bold outdoor scenes, of country houses with picturesque, manicured gardens, accompanying such scenes are the still life images of succulent fruits, blossoming flowers and ready to eat shellfish. As often as not, still life and landscape join forces. A country mansion stands in the background, dwarfed by outsize flowers, with a plate of fruit in the foreground. Or the scene is maritime, Essex fishing boats and a foreshore filled with anchors, fishing tackle and shells. Boats stranded in the mud of Mersea or Harwich.

This bold quality has matured over the years. Outdoor scenes have been succeeded by still life and black outlines by bright colours. Fruit, often larger than life, on willow pattern plates, and flowers, poppies and lilies in particular, for the artist is a keen gardener, are prevalent.

Her chosen subjects are intensified by her favoured medium: a mix of gouache, wax pastel and lumigraph pencil. This unique combination was developed and perfected from her earlier days as a graphic designer, where she worked for local prominent artist, Charles Debenham. Henry Moore was very influential, his use of wax pastel in his drawings in the Second World War, were especially significant.

Dione grew up during the war on her father’s farm at Maldon, where Suffolk Punches ploughed the fields. Her family home was a manor house, once moated, with a banqueting hall and a resident ghost! She remembers drawing on newspapers at the age of four, and having attended schools in Danbury and Colchester, her talent led her to the Colchester School of Art under the Headship of John O’Connor RWS with tuition from Hugh Cronyn and Carel Weight RA.

In 1966, she married Nelson Blowers, who has framed her pictures from that day to this, and they have produced three children.

Dione Page’s first pictures were memories of Wales. She went there, on holiday with her family, attracted by the mountains and waterfalls. Water gushing over bare rocks was a favourite theme. Welsh chapels and cottages sat for their portraits, the buildings standing out firmly from their backgrounds, their severity lightened by just a touch of colour.

What makes a successful artist? Awards? She has been the recipient of several notable awards such as in 1983 and 1988 the Watercolour Award at the RWA. She has had her work included in group shows at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions in London, the Royal Watercolour Society and the Society of Women Artists in London and the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff.

Success also depends on the expertise in his/her chosen medium, and individuality, a personal point of view on what is presented. Dione Page’s large, welcoming pictures tell us that the world can be a good place, a happy place, and life worth living. There should always be an artist to remind us of that.

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