Darien artist creates book of ‘Darien Days’

Residents can enjoy a trip through “Darien Days” in the new book by artist Diane Weeks.

“As Darien proudly celebrates its 200th anniversary, ‘Darien Days’ commemorates life in our seaside oasis. Our schools and churches, parks and beaches, parades and celebrations, shared holidays and traditions are all a tribute to family and shared community,” Weeks said.

Weeks is an artist in Darien who has lived in town since 1988.

“Art and design has always been my passion. I’ve worked in interior design since the 80’s from Dallas to New York and from Connecticut to South Carolina,” she said.

Weeks said her main medium was printmaking, which she studied at The National Academy after completing my illustration and fine arts major at Parsons School of Design in New York.

“When we moved to Connecticut and there was no printing press available to me, I discovered the rapido-graph pen. It gave me a similar fine line that the etchings allowed,” she said.

Weeks’ first home provided her and her husband inspiration before coming to Darien and starting a family.

“I was just surrounded by things that spoke to me. My subject matter shifted from depicting beach scenes near my home on Long Island to Darien where we have lived since 1988,” she said.

Her process of creating pieces is long and detailed. A piece can take as long as 100 hours. Weeks first makes intricate ink drawings, goes back and draws the same lines again to give “subtle movement and life” to the objects she draws.

“The gift to myself is that if I can survive the painstaking process of working with the unforgiving medium of permanent ink, it is as though I have created a coloring book for me to paint,” Weeks said.

Weeks uses tiny paintbrushes and paint each object as if it’s its own piece. Then she embellish my painting with gouache or water-soluble colored pencils, perhaps even a hint of glitter.

Weeks then started making art about her new home.

“It was really through raising my children. When we had children, I would steal away and do local spots in Darien where we live,” Weeks said.

One thing led to another, she said, and she decided to document life in the whole town not just a little piece of it.”

Since then, Weeks has entered over 60 art shows and developed a line of stationary featuring local spots in Darien. The idea for a book then came about when she noticed people liked her work and started asking for more.

Weeks said as her portfolio of scenes of Darien grew, it became apparent to her that it needed to become a book because each scene is really a piece of a quilt that is bound together by the people in our community.

“Our connectedness gives us unity and strength and carries us through the unprecedented challenges that we’ve had to face individually and collectively. What appears as simple daily life is really a lifeline for us to hold on to,” she said.

Last November, Weeks said she got “serious” about the work. She drove around town and paid attention to “everything that everybody did” to make sure all aspects of Darien were included.

Weeks said that she made sure to include only family and local businesses and no large chains.

“It’s more family businesses that make our town unique that I wanted to give tribute to,” Weeks said.

The book is 84 pages of illustrations of different areas in town and 10 years of work.

“I wanted to just give everybody a break and remember that we’re all connected and we’re all a part of the same place. I feel like the book is way to hold onto that and remember it and feel it,” she said.

She will also have a book signing at the Barrett Bookstore is Saturday, Dec. 5 from 3 to 5 p.m. Weeks will have a book signing at the Darien Sport Shop on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 11 to 4.

Copies of Weeks’ book “Darien Days” can be purchases at Barrett Bookstore and the Darien Sport Shop, as well as on her website. https://www.dianeweeksart.com/