“I’ve been doing it most of my life,” shared Millville’s Diane Bennett about her artwork, which includes painting, basket-weaving and photography. “The kids used to steal my stuff from art class, so I figured I was pretty good — although I didn’t go to a very nice school,” she added with a chuckle.
After being told that her scenic photographs were some of her best works, Bennett entered her photograph, “A New Day,” into the Millsboro Art League’s contest, eventually winning first place and $100.
Bennett primarily photographs scenery, wildlife and the beautiful sunsets of coastal Delaware. Although she doesn’t do portraits, Bennett enjoys taking candid shots. Her artwork is displayed throughout her home and business.
“I always carry my camera with me,” said Bennett. “Working in Lewes, I go over the inlet bridge at beautiful times of day, and I just always carry it because you never know.”
“I got some great shots of Matthew McConaughey when they were in Lewes filming a while back. I noticed that he was coming off the boat, and no one was going up to him, so I just went on up to him,” Bennett confided. “I got a great shot of him coming out of the water, and we got some really hokey shots of us together,” she gushed. “Apparently, right before I got there, there was an announcement that no one was to approach him, but I didn’t get the memo.”
A letter carrier by trade for 17 years, Bennett has found a surrogate family in the various clubs and organizations to which she belongs. “I’m probably the youngest by a good amount of years in the Bethany Beach Water Color Society. The members are great — they’re like moms and grandmoms to me.”
With both of her parents now gone and her siblings spread from Arizona to Wisconsin to New Jersey, Bennett has found a home with the local art community. “I don’t really have my extended family around here, so the people on my route and the people in my art clubs are like family to me.”
When son Justin was asked about his mom and her art, he concluded, “I’m proud of her. She’s having fun with her life.”
Every year, on the first Friday in December, Bennett attends the Children’s Beach House Art Show. “It’s a great event. Everyone gets dressed up. There is a beautiful Christmas tree, and it’s all for a great cause,” she said. “One year, a doctor bought one of my paintings because he said it was ‘very calming,’ which was pretty neat.”
Originally from New Jersey, Bennett met her husband of 22 years, Franklin, in Atlantic City, and they married six months later. “He hit the jackpot,” she said, laughing.
Franklin is the owner of Bennett’s Towing, a third-generation towing company in the heart of Millville.
For more information on Bennett and her artwork or to purchase some of her art, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 369, Ocean View, DE 19930.