DARLENE’s artistic accomplishments over a lifetime cannot be easily categorized as her work and talents are multi-faceted. Before now, none has glimpsed the range of her diversity. During her career, DARLENE has sought to balance right and left brain functions–intuitive expression with the fruits of research and exacting detail. She’s joined together professional training and raw experience, discipline with freedom and invites you to see the fruits of her passion.
DARLENE’s creative disciplines include illustration, the book arts, computer art, photography, painting and writing.
DARLENE was born in 1954 in Wisconsin. Her mother was an artist and there was never any question about following in her mother’s footsteps. In school, DARLENE excelled artistically and became one of the youngest members to join the Geneva Lake Arts Association. Her paintings were exhibited in all the local venues. Before DARLENE turned sixteen, she made her first professional gallery sale, a surrealistic painting of a human in the process of becoming a tree. Darlene graduated salutatorian from Elkhorn High School in 1972. She majored in art when she attended Beloit College and graduated in 1976 with honors.
DARLENE settled in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in 1977 and began doing medieval fantasy illustration for TSR, Inc. and The Dragon Magazine. DARLENE freelanced in the gaming/science fiction/fantasy market for six years and is mostly known for creating the World of Greyhawk map. Gary Gygax still thinks nothing has topped it. During this time, DARLENE also developed the first fantasy role-playing card game in existence, â€œJasmine: The Battle For the Mid-Realm predating WofC’s claim (upon which they base their patent) by 10 years!
The art of calligraphy has also fascinated DARLENE and she spent some time in London pursuing its study. She learned the painstaking techniques of medieval manuscript gilding and illumination, book binding, paper making… also learned to cut her own quills and mix her own ink. DARLENE started teaching the principles of calligraphy at Gateway Technical Institute (and would continue to do so for many years). In 1979, she helped co-found The Wisconsin Calligrapher’s Guild and served as the first editor of its newsletter, Scriptsit.
The many artistic compositions she created at this time using calligraphy were widely exhibited. By 1981, her calligraphy was selected to appear in “International Calligraphy Today,” a traveling Exhibition of the world’s top calligraphers from 21 nations. During this time, DARLENE’s calligraphic work was published in many society journals, exhibition catalogs, and books. She took the summer of 1983 off and studied art in Cortona, Italy then returned to the states with a desire to learn all she could about design and was immediately accepted into the graduate program in graphics at Indiana University.
For several years, DARLENE became immersed in history. She investigated the development of calligraphic writing and alphabetic forms, the history of typography, design of type, bookbinding, the history of design. She also discovered she had a knack for photography. By the time she received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Indiana University in 1987, she was designing typefaces.