top of page

About Me... Diana Nicholson-Plank.


Discovering Art at a tender young age - 

as seen in this pic of me rocking my VERY awesome hair-do.

And Now...

(Oh dear!)

I would love to say that...

I've been into Art all my life - but I can't. 

As sometimes happens in life - I got under my own feet & so it wasn't until around 20 years after this first picture was taken that I began to look for what was missing in my life.

I began studying & have never stopped.


I began with...

a years, full time Fine Art Painting Course at Aoraki Polytechnic in Timaru.

Then I mixed things up a bit by doing... 

Certificates in Applied Social Science

(Psych & Sociology 101) & Community Studies


Moved me & my kids... 

to Chch in 1996 to do my Degree in Spatial Design. Absolutely loved studying so followed that up with a Diploma in Interior Design.

Then over the next few years, between doing few commercial design jobs, getting married & having 2 more kids, I did classes in Joinery, Stained Glass & Silversmithing, spending every minute I could in my Studio & renovated my 3rd home. 

Blah blah blah... I love building, socializing, food, good wine, coffee etc etc.


I taught for a few years at the Design & Arts College in Christchurch & I absolutely loved it! 

I taught Ergonomics, Spatial Design; Drawing & Presentation (etc) to some seriously awesome Interior Design & Architecture students. (Some have written nice things about me you can see on the 'Testimonial' page.)

I get just as big a kick out of helping draw genius out of the minds & heart of my charges as they do when they see what they can create.


I am an Artist, a Teacher, a mother, an amateur builder, jeweller, joiner, (& now - amateur web site builder :-) 

This is my Studio & the home of

'Discoveries' Art School.

Currently, I'm like a pig in mud. Because...


I'm teaching...

classes of yummy students each week - both the (seriously cool) Introduction to Painting & Drawing programme I wrote for my 'First Steps' students. And,

My 'Different Strokes' classes full of students who are well on their Arty way and who need somewhere to go to extend themselves a bit.

soooo love my teaching!

I'm painting...

As well as my 'Bloomin' Landscapes' pieces I became a tad obsessed with in 2017, in October 2018, I also launched my 'BFF - Best Furry Friends' - Pet Portraiture business - painting seriously cool Pet Portraits for people as nutty about their furry friends as I am. 

'Tis so rewarding it's silly. As I said - pig in mud stuff :-).  

Through everything I have ever done...

I have been happiest when in my Studio.

Painting, drawing, playing with mixed media & teaching...

My Art can be everything from 'pure joy' to 'pure therapy'. From textural, beautiful flowers to beloved furballs, I am loving my arty journey and look forward to what is around the next corner. I've popped a few pics here but if you would like to see more - you can click here...

Final - The Bridge.jpg
BFF #1806 - Poppet.jpeg
BFF #1808 - Ozzy.jpeg
BFF #1805 - Suzie.jpeg
I know only too well, the fragility of the Artistic Soul...

Especially in the early days - when we are learning.

We risk so much when we share our ‘inner self’ through our Art. And sadly, until we find our artistic voice, our flame can so easily be dampened by careless words & gestures of others.

Only a few weeks after I began painting, I proudly showed this painting to my Tutor. I had been secretly imagining the applause I would receive when I brought it to show him.

The paint was barely dry on it and he took one look at my prize artwork, mockingly smiled & called it 'naive'. His words were crushing. 

With what I know now, if one of my students had painted this self portrait, I would have been so proud.

Yes, it has a naivety about it - & that naivety is quite lovely. This was in truth, my breakthrough painting. As it turns out, a friend saw the value in it & insisted on buying it. Being flat broke I said yes - & have always regretted selling it. Some 'breakthrough' works need to be kept close to remind us what we are capable of.

Ultimately, what happened to me, was that in my vulnerability -  I had unwittingly handed my Tutor the power to crush my self belief. But - the 'upside' of my 'crushed-ness' is that I know so very well how easily the creative soul is hurt. And I know how vital it is to protect & nurture it - especially in those formative years. Ultimately (& with lots of hindsight) I am thankful to this man. Because of my experience as a student back then - I am a better Teacher today - & that's godda be good :-)

bottom of page