“Rise and Fall” by Diana Milia

I am here in a garden on the verge of suburbia and rural America in Oregon City, Oregon. There are roses that climb high in the trees (see photo). The air is warm and summery, full of the scent of flowers. The bees buzz and hum and birds chirp. To top off all of this quaint charm there are baby chickadees in a bird house that hangs on the front porch. Sure, I miss the gritty muscle and drive of New York City with its high high blue sky where there’s no limit to dreams and ambitions.

Me and Lily Pads

I left the city after twenty years to take care of my mom when my dad died, and came home to familiar surroundings with trees and snowcapped mountains. The landscape is embedded in my psyche. It travels with me everywhere I go and appears here and there in my artwork too.

It was sad to leave my studio on the river beside the Manhattan Bridge, to leave my teaching job at NYU, the students, and all of the bright eyed children from the inner city that came to my art therapy sessions.

Self Portrait of Diana Milia

Self Portrait of Diana Milia

I came to New York for art and discovered my humanity. I believe being an artist means making the most of creative choices and taking risks for the right reasons. Being with a dependent parent who faces the end of life is a lot like being a painter that faces a blank surface and the unknown abyss of uncertainty.