diana creighton

diana creighton

Artist Profile

I use human and animal figures in my work to tell stories and create a conversation in oil paint. I set up a narrative and see what happens. The painting becomes a kind of magic world in which each character takes a turn on the stage. I use that world to find gesture and expression and to see familiar things in a new way.

Lately, I’ve been using a Jaguar as a stand-in for various human traits. He is powerful, but gets into scrapes, or is trapped, or gets distracted. Sometimes it’s all too much for him.

The wind-up toys are their own little community. The world can turn upside down in a heart beat, and they don’t have much control over it.

In my world, the characters are unconfined, free to explore emotions, relationships and cultural themes with a light heart but a serious purpose.

Writers have influenced the way I think about painting, in particular the novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who says, "All human beings have three lives: public, private and secret."

I paint my secret life.


Diana Creighton grew up in Los Angeles, where telling stories is a major industry. She graduated from Stanford University, where she studied art and story-telling, taking a degree in American Literature. In the summer she studied at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, and after moving to Phoenix, she continued studying art at Arizona State University.

She now lives in Oracle, Arizona, a small town with a big artists' community in the Catalina Mountains northeast of Tucson.

She has participated in numerous individual and regional group shows.