Unblocking Your Creativity

Instructor Spotlight: Diana Toma

How long have you been teaching at Spruill?

This September it’s going to be four years, oh how time flies! I still remember vividly my very first workshop at Spruill, some of the students from that class are still taking my classes regularly. Spruill is the first art center where I taught painting in a class format, and for that reason, it’s very dear to my heart.

What classes do you teach?

I now teach watercolor, acrylic and oil painting classes for adults, themed on different subject matters like portraits, wildlife, cityscapes, gardens and also intuitive painting. My classes are centered around fast, free-flowing painting release and creative un-blockage.

Best part about teaching at Spruill?

The people I get to meet. I’ve created out-of-the-classroom friendships with so many of my students and other instructors. My students stay connected with each other after class as well—it’s so beautiful to witness community constantly getting created from our gatherings. The staff at Spruill has been very supportive and generous. They’ve been inviting me to all sorts of side projects, like doing a demo for the Spruill Arts Guild and teaching watercolor at the Georgia World Congress Center on Woman’s Day. It’s just a wonderful place to work and create.

Do you have any pets?

I now have a black Pomeranian mix rescue named Tokyo. Everyone falls in love when they meet him, he looks (and acts!) like a living toy.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in South-East Europe, Romania. My home town Timisoara is famous for being the first city in Europe to have had streets illuminated by public lightning (and second in the world after New York City!). It’s full of picturesque pockets of wonder, rows of restaurants sprinkled by a canal, bustling alleys and cobblestone lanes.

Favorite Artist? Or biggest inspiration?

There are so many AMAZING artists out there that I follow! Right now I’m into Joseph Zbukvic for watercolor and Dennis Perrin for oils.

Guilty pleasure?

Borrowing my daughter’s boots. We’re now the same shoe size!

If you could be any age for a week, what age would that be and why?

I pick 100! I’d love to see how my kids are doing when they’re old and wrinkly. We’d revisit our favorite places from our lives together. That would be so endearing and filled with laughter!

What is the last picture you took with your phone?

It’s a photo of the demo I painted this morning for a class of my student Victor. I met him in the very first class I ever taught at Spruill!

Find your inner artist at Spruill.org.

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