Di Humphreys was born in 1949 in West London, but soon moved to rural Buckinghamshire. She studied at the University of Sheffield where she gained a degree in Town Planning (1967-1970) and then worked for Greater London Council as a Town Planner, after this she travelled to Sweden where she lived and worked for a short while. When she came back to the UK she settled in Manchester where she worked in a screen printing workshop, creating posters for political and community groups. In 1974 she attended a one year Art Foundation Course at Manchester Polytechnic. Subsequently while raising a family she attended evening classes both in Manchester and in Colchester. Some of the Colchester classes were tutored by Dione Page (q.v.). In 1989 she attended a three year part-time EARAC (1) course at Colchester Institute, at the end of which she gained, with distinction, a diploma in Applied Arts. She was then employed by Essex County Council to teach art at adult education classes between 1993 and 2014. In 1994 she joined the Tuesday Group, a group of artists, originally students at Colchester Institute, who work around Colchester during the summer months (2). She still belongs to this group and teaches privately.
In 1987 she joined Colchester Art Society where she consecutively held the posts of Permanent Collection Secretary and Exhibitions Secretary (the latter for 10 years). She is now Vice-Chairman of the Society.
Diana paints nudes and landscapes, treating both subjects as “figures which occupy space”. When painting nudes she likes to name her paintings after the models who pose for her and her students as a form of respect. For the past 15 years she has come to know and praise the men and women who work as artists’ models but are often misunderstood and yet essential to the finished work. Diana equally likes to paint landscapes, especially wooded landscapes which remind her of her childhood in Buckinghamshire with its Chiltern Hills planted with beautiful beech trees. Because these landscape paintings refer to her own life she thinks of them as autobiographical as opposed to her nude paintings, which to her, are by comparison biographical, especially when the sitters are named. She uses mixed media when she is in front of her subject, which helps her to work “fast and respond to the urgency of the moment”.
Selected Group Exhibitions
1999 The Cinema Gallery, Aldeburgh, Suffolk
2011 The Aldeburgh Arts Gallery, Aldeburgh, Suffolk
1993 CAS exhibitions at: the Minories; Colchester Castle; Colchester Institute; Colchester Library and The Digby Gallery at the Mercury Theatre
2007 (from) 2D3D (Tendring Tutors' Group) exhibitions at: The Quay Theatre, Sudbury; The Naze Tower, Walton-on-the-Naze; Bodgeners Gallery, Harwich
Friends Meeting House, Colchester
Life Gallery, Colchester
Red Lion Bookshop, Colchester
2015 Sentinel Gallery, Wivenhoe, Nudes
Slack Space, Colchester
Westcliff Theatre, Clacton-on-Sea
The Digby Gallery at the Mercury Theatre, Life, 2003
(1) East Anglian Regional Art Certificate
(2) The group meets at outdoor venues with local tutors such as Ian Hay and Diana Humphreys attending. Pamela Neighbour, a local artist, organised these outings in the late 1980s, early 1990s.