ArtsTalk Blog - Q & A with photographer, Diana Harding Tucker

Diana Harding Tucker is a professional photographer and multimedia artist. She has been a member of SSAC for 14 years and is located in Cookstown, ON.

Q. As an artist what is the medium you use? Do you ever combine mediums? Describe how or why you might do so.

Yes, I combine photography with painting. I also create sculptures with various materials. Often my work involves music. I make monochromatic Silver Gelatin Prints (made on cotton with real silver crystals in a gelatin surface). I also make Archival Pigment prints (100 cotton rag paper with archival pigment dyes). Both media are archival and last at least 70-100 years; however they should last indefinitely if properly maintained. Sometimes I paint on them using conte, charcoal, colour pencil, water colours and pastels. Some remain the original black and white. I also make chromogenic photographic prints. I create drawings as well. I also make musical instruments or use music in my artwork.

Q. when did you become an artist? Have you found this easy to say,"I am an artist"?

I have been an artist since childhood. I started with piano, voice and guitar. As a young adult, inspired by the incredible beauty while living in the mountains of California, I took up photography – although I had done some darkroom work at University.

Q. Do you have a mentor or some special influence that has contributed to your artistic growth? How has this influenced your art? If this is a person also an artist?

My first foray into visual art was monochromatic photography and Ansel Adams was my photography guru. I bought all his books – the 3 bibles of black and white photography and several books of images, and I devoured them. Once I started to paint, my influences were Picasso and Renoir and others.

Q. When you begin a new work do you have a set routine or some specific steps to start the process?

I set my mind. Ansel Adams taught that you should previsualize your image before you start creating and once you start creating, you do not think about it, just do it.

Q. Do you have a favourite subject that you are drawn too? What do you think is the reason for this?

I grew up on a farm in Quebec and I have climbed some of the highest mountains in North America; My first love is nature. I am presently very fascinated by birds.

Q. Do you have you own studio or specific place that you are able to work in.

The outdoors is my studio. I also work with colours in the sunniest room in my house. I do not use artificial light for any aspect of my work.

Q. Does your art require specific tools, supports, time requirements that would add to your ability to successfully complete a piece?

For photography, a camera, big lenses now that I photograph a lot of birds, a tripod and various colouring tools. Since dark room chemicals spoil the environment and my health, I have given up dark room work. I use conte, colour pastels and watercolour in my work.

Q. What would you suggest as a way to begin, to assist someone interested in learning your art?

I strongly believe that only if a person is driven to create art, will they succeed. Pursue what inspires you – nothing else – not what people say you would be good at – follow your heart. Find out who creates the type of art that inspires you and learn from that person any way you can. I also suggest starting by learning how to draw – whatever your medium.

Q. What are some challenges you have faced as an artist and what helped you overcome them?

Trekking up Mt Whitney, California with over 12 kilos of camera equipment was a challenge but when I reached 10,000 feet, the beauty of such a pristine environment unspoiled by man and the incredible light - Nature in all her naked splendor - overcame any and all hardships instantaneously!!

Q. When you have dry spells or blanks in the creative process how do you deal with it?

I take a holiday!

Q. What is one of your memorable successes in relationship to your work?

Submitting my work to the Ontario Society of Artists and being accepted as the first photographer to be juried into the Society.

Q. Do you accept commissions?

If someone would like me to create a piece for them, I would happily take on the commission.

Q. If our readers are interested to know or see more of your work how would you like them to contact you?

I welcome their emailing me at

Q. when do you know a piece is finished?

When it sings to me.

Q. Do you have a particular quote or a special phrase you use generally in your life?

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions." 
― Albert Einstein

"There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun" 
― Pablo Picasso

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