By Abbey Snow

Diane Graebner’s Artistic Journey

Diane Graebner started her artistic journey at the age of nine when her parents gifted her a set of oil paint for Christmas. Since then, she has expanded in multiple directions with her art focusing on nature and the Amish people.   

Graebner was born and raised in Ohio. Her love for nature was a big part of her art journey. When she was 16 years old, she worked as a swimming and canoeing counselor at a girls camp in Ontario, Canada. 

“Creating my landscapes gives me a feeling of peace,”Graebner said. “I love water, waterfalls, trees and mountains. While creating these, I feel like I am a part of the whole.”  



Graebner graduated in 1958 from Rocky River High school in Cleveland, Ohio. She dated her high school sweetheart, Ted Graebner, for five years and they got married on April 19, 1962 in Indianapolis, Indiana where Ted was teaching finance at Ft.Benjamin Harrison. She also graduated from Kent State University, Ohio that year. 



Ted was in the US Army and they were stationed at Elmendorf Airforce base in Anchorage Alaska for three years, where she was a teacher. They intended to stay,but the great Alaska earthquake changed their minds (9.3 on the Richter scale).They returned to Ohio where she taught health and physical education at Rocky River High School for two years. Their two sons, Tom and Dale, were born in 1968 and 1970. 


“We moved to Amish country in Ohio in 1976,” Graebner said. “I began teaching high school art in 1977 at Black River High School in Medina county, Ohio. That year, (after the principal was surprised I wanted the job) I needed to take additional subjects to get my teaching certificate for art.  I was also coaching gymnastics and track at school and took courses at four different colleges to complete in time. My husband was such a dear helping with the kids and dinner.”

Graebner is best known for her artwork that depicts the lifestyle of the Amish people in Ohio.  

“The influence of being in Amish country had turned my landscapes to include vistas of Amish working and playing,” Graebner said. “ As this developed, the landscapes disappeared and my simple Amish statement became a part of my new statement. I respect the Amish and their religion and do not paint their faces or take photos of them.”

The Amish believe in practicing humility. It is a violation of the Second Commandment to have any physical representation of themselves (whether a photograph, a painting, or film) because it promotes individualism and vanity and takes away from the values of community by which they govern their lives.(‘The Amish and Photography,PBS.Org)

“Creating Amish art makes me feel like reading a good book,” Graebner explained. “I love creating the images of children and their innocents. I try to be like a child doing or seeing something for the first time. I want the freshness to come out. In doing so, it makes me feel new again.”  

Graebner and her husband opened a gallery In Lodi, Ohio, and then a gallery in Millersburg, Ohio in 1987. She taught high school art for 16 years until her art career took off.   

“My art took off and I could not keep up with originals so I made limited edition prints,” Graebner said. “My prints were sold world-wide in hundreds of galleries.It was like a dream.” 


Grabener accomplished many things during her life including: 

Being a graduate of Kent State University, Kent, Ohio (1962), and Idraetshojskolen, in Sonderborg, Denmark.  

Being featured in and on the front cover of many arts magazines including:  INFORMART, COLLECTORS NEWS, COLLECTORS EDITIONS, U.S. ART, and others.

Represented in galleries throughout the United States.  Among them are Gallery One in Mentor, Ohio, Galarina Arts in Shipshewana, Indiana, and Berlin Creek Gallery in Berlin, Ohio…..and more

Having her paintings in public and private collections throughout the United States and Canada including: Old Phoenix National Banks in Ohio, and the Ohio State Teachers retirement building in Columbus, Ohio.  

Other notable awards and citations include:  

St.George, Utah, first place in their Watercolor Society Show, 2005

Voted one of the top 10 Americana Artists in the United States in 1989 by Collectors Mart Magazine

Cited as emerging new U.S. artist by Virginian Magazine in 1989

Arts for the Parks National Competition, chosen in the top 200

Awarded a Jennings Scholar in 1982,  



Additionally, Graebner has designed over 160 cross stitch designs which are sold world-wide

Graebner moved to St.George, Utah in 2003 and joined the Virgin Valley Artists Association shortly thereafter. After moving to Southern Utah, she continued her acrylic paintings and taught Visual Arts art at Tuacahn High school for two years. She also taught watercolor at Dixie State College for two years.

“Being here in the west, with such beauty, I got back to my landscapes,”Graebner said.  

Local awards at the Mesquite Fine Arts Center include: People’s Choice award at the Spring Salon show in 2004; Best of Show award in Mesquite Fine Arts drawing show in 2005; Best of Show in 2015 in Mesquite Fine Arts show. She was also invited to show her work at Dixie State University in 2018.  

“The Virgin Valley Artists Association is a very well run group,” Grabener said. “In fact, of all the artist groups, it is the best. It is well run and well oiled. I have really appreciated all they have done for me and other artists. I hope people in Mesquite will also take advantage of the great classes which are offered there.It is a great place.”  

Presently Graebner’ son Tom is a retired Commander from the US Navy and works in Washington State.Her other son, Dale, makes his living on Ebay. She has four grandchildren and enjoys painting her greeting cards which are on sale at the gift shop at the Mesquite Fine Arts Center. 


You can view Diane Graebner’s art on her website at She can be reached at or 740-398-3495.  






Diane Graebner


           Artwork by Diane Graebner with acrylic paintings and magazine cover artwork

( art photos submitted by Diane Graebner)