Art in the Library

About the Artist: Diana Roberts

Diana RobertsDiana Roberts chauffeurs her dog and cat to visit hospice patients – and then paints watercolors which depict the human‐animal bond between them… Roberts (PhD ’88 and Regional Specialist with WSU Extension) was born in Zimbabwe – formerly Rhodesia ‐ and raised on the timber plantation that her father managed in the mountains bordering Mozambique. In that remote, but exquisitely beautiful environment, she developed a connection with animals and the outdoors that became a lifelong passion.

After obtaining a degree in agriculture from the University of Natal in South Africa, Roberts planned never to go back to college unless it was to study Fine Art. Politics and expediency interfered with that idea, however, and 8 years later she earned a PhD in Agronomy from WSU.

“The artistic side of my brain suffocated in grad school,” recalled Roberts. But on joining WSU Extension in 1991, she started using cartoons as an educational medium in her work with farmers. She studied painting under Stan Miller, a Spokane artist and a charter member of the American Watercolor Society.

“I started volunteering with my previous dog and cat 17 years ago,” said Roberts. “Four of my animals have been certified with Pet Partners (formerly the Delta Society). My pet therapy watercolors depict the restorative energy of therapy animals and the comforting relationships they build with their human clients. On a personal level these paintings are a tribute to my own pet partners, past and present.”

Diana Roberts also paints custom portraits and landscapes where she hikes, bikes, and skis. She welcomes
questions about her art, and may be reached at 

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Washington State University