Darlene Graeser (Venice High School grad Summer 1963) is a clinical psychologist by day, prolific painter by night. The hyperactive Darlene has little need or use for sleep. While her family dozed away like normal people, Darlene spent her nights wandering around the house and pondering her day, until she discovered that she could ponder just as well with paint and canvas.
After one of her early paintings was featured on the cover of The American Psychologist, a one-woman show mounted in Santa Barbara sold out on the first night and the large colorful canvases she favors were stacked three deep in her studio. Darlene finally accepted the inevitable hyphen and is now Darlene Graeser, Psychologist-Artist or Artist-Psychologist, depending on the time of day.
For 32 years she has born witness as people shared their stories in an effort to understand how to put meaning to their suffering. Her flamboyance, humor, empathy, and wisdom have guided many towards transformation. Certainly, her art is a reflection of the lessons that she has learned from these courageous people.
Over and over again wings appear in her art — her way of expressing the eternal mystery of life and death. Her newest work is a culmination of many years of working in the field of Death and Dying. Her wonderment is reflected in massive and unusual angels who are privy to a distant view of earth. Loss, Disappointment, Love, Joy, Shock, Longing, and brazen sexuality are all part of these images from the “other side.”
“View life from a distance with honor and a sense of wonderment.”
After seeing Darlene’s art, one might be compelled to exclaim, “What the hell was she thinking?” This would constitute a win for Darlene.
Darlene has been married for 40 years, has two daughters and two grandchildren. She’s lived in the same house for 37 years. Her artwork includes paintings (for which she’s had numerous shows), tile mosaics throughout her house and backyard (HGTV recently run a segment of “Look What I Did” focusing on Darlene’s mosaic work), posters and cards.
Darlene reports that she’s devastated by the state of our country/world/humanity.
Darlene’s art can be seen at her site Darlenegraeser.com.