Dione Page was brought up in Tolleshunt Major near Maldon, where her father had a farm. She started drawing on newspapers at the age of four and after attending school in Danbury and Colchester, she went on to study at the Colchester School of Art (1953-6) under the Headship of John O’Connor RWS (q.v.). She then worked for four years for the local prominent artist Charles Debenham (q.v.) as a graphic designer, both in publishing and advertising. She also worked in adult education. In 1966 she married Nelson Blowers, an artist’s framer, had three children and moved a few miles from Colchester where she still lives.
Dione Page’s first pictures were of the Welsh valleys where she spent many happy family holidays. These paintings of mountains and waterfalls had a bold quality, with water gushing out of bare rocks and Welsh chapels and cottages painted in a severe manner.
Later she found local inspiration in the East Anglian landscape and created outdoor scenes filled with fishing boats stranded in the mud of Mersea or Harwich and country houses with picturesque gardens. She also created still life images of succulent fruits, blossoming flowers and ready-to-eat shellfish. Her chosen subjects are intensified by her favorite 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. Her main artistic influences have been Mary Fedden and Edward Bawden. Gardening, sailing and travelling have greatly influenced her choice of subject matters.
Dione Page was elected Associate Member of the Royal West of England Academy (RWA) in 1990 and has been a member of Colchester Art Society since 1954. She has been on its selection committee for many years. She had many solo and group exhibitions in galleries, in London, Wales and the rest of Britain and still exhibits locally. She received RWA awards in 1986, 1987 and 1988.
The Broken Barge shows the bold, dynamic power of Dione Page’s drawing. She loves mixing together still lifes with landscapes, seascapes or skyscapes, the whole composition being filled with detailed elements as is the case here. Her compositions are intensely atmospheric and intriguing. Her time as a graphic designer still influences her work in her use of mixed media.
1961, 1962, 1963, Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibitions
The Mall Galleries
The Royal Institute Galleries
The Society of Women Artists
1975, 1983 The Minories, Colchester
1992 Chappel Galleries, Chappel
Hayletts Gallery, Maldon
The Studio, Coggeshall
Suffolk and Norfolk
The Aldeburgh Festival Exhibition Gallery
Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury
Gallery Q, Sudbury
The John Russell Gallery, Ipswich
Phoenix Gallery, Lavenham
The Little Gallery, Haylesworth
The Fermoy Gallery, Kings Lynn
Gallery 5 D, Chepstow, Wales
The Patricia Wells Gallery, Thornbury, Gloucestershire
Works in Private and Public Collections
Essex and Suffolk County Councils
School of Art and Design, Bristol
National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth
Royal London Insurance
South West Water, Bristol
The Minories, Colchester
The Nuffield Foundation, London
Also works abroad
BUCKMAN, David, Dictionary of artists in Britain since 1945, Art Dictionaries Ltd, Bristol, 1998, p. 937
THE ARTIST’S MAGAZINE, The Freedom of Mixed Media, November 2004