Clinton artist Diana Foote received the Jacquelyn Kaucher First-Timer Award at the 44th Annual juried Mid-Southern Watercolorists Exhibition. Her award was presented at a reception honoring the artists on Feb. 14. This free exhibit can be seen until April 6 at the Historic Arkansas Museum, 200 East Third St. in Little Rock.

The show was juried by Chris Krupinski of Fairfax, Va., holder of many certifications including American Watercolor Society and National Watercolor Society. She selected 41 paintings by 35 artists from 123 entries submitted by 72 artists from Arkansas, Alabama, Arizona, Florida, and Texas. Images were chosen that conveyed good design, strong values, and convincing color, along with originality. She said, "The strongest pieces stepped beyond technique to convey an emotion or unique perspective. It is the passion that shines through the technical abilities and creates a memorable piece of art." She advised artists to "paint from your heart and not your head."

The passion is evident in Diana’s memorable watercolor entitled "Seaside Waterfall." Diana said the impressionistic painting combines many such beautiful waterfalls seen on a recent trip to Maine. Its soft magical look caused one viewer to comment, "I almost feel wet just looking at it!"

Diana has had a lifelong interest in art, enrolling in her first art class in 1972. Since then she has taken classes and workshops from nationally recognized artists in Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, and Missouri. Her preferred mediums include watercolor, acrylic, and mixed media. She enjoys painting from nature and using an abstract format for her subjects.

Currently Diana belongs to the Mid-Southern Watercolorists and the North Central Arkansas Artists League. More of her work can be seen in group exhibits of the NCAAL, including those displayed in two areas of Ozark Health Medical Center in Clinton.

Diana has retired from her professional nursing career, and lives with her husband Mike in Clinton.

Diana Foote stands next to her award-winning watercolor "Seaside Waterfall" at the Mid-Southern Watercolorists Exhibition in Little Rock. (photo by Mike Foote)