When Diana Gamerman was little, she wanted to do exactly what her older sister did.
The Arlington resident has a studio in Alexandria called DianaArt, where she sells her work, but it’s on Nextdoor where she have been gaining a degree of local fame.
Gamerman has been painting professionally since she was 22 years old, she told ARLnow. While she owes her initial interest in art to her sister, the now 80-year-old has continued her passion, specializing in watercolor, oil painting and sculpture work. Her work has even been featured in the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.
“[I’ve] done it all,” Gamerman joyfully said.
Gamerman’s inspiration comes from everyday life experiences. What she chooses to paint is influenced by things she likes — if she sees a beautiful landscape, she’ll create art from it. She also takes her inspiration from Wayne Thiebaud, a California artist who specialized in landscapes and cars.
She said watercolor is more convenient to use but she opts for oil pastel when the weather is good — “don’t have to worry about things flying away.”
One painting, of her music teacher, took three years to complete, she said.
Gamerman posts to Nextdoor, the social media website for neighbors, photos of her paintings, which are most often pictures of homes in the neighborhood. From time to time, she posts sketches of people sitting at Compass Coffee or pictures of her sculptures.
The posts have become something of a fixture of the local social network.
One post she made on Nextdoor, of a home in her neighborhood, garnered hundreds of likes and dozens of comments on her talent. Her feed shows dozens of paintings of “what is happening” in her neighborhood, at a development project, at her studio, at a coffee shop.
In another painting, vivid yellows and oranges mesh together to show scenes of workers at a construction site and another with workers doing road work.
“I can show you what is happening in my neighborhood because I love [to] paint the work men because they wear such bright colors,” she wrote with the post.
She called Nextdoor a “wonderful” platform where she can share her work and people reach out to her to commission paintings. Her posts are a way to make extra money and enjoy her time — another hobby of sorts, in addition to playing the banjo and mandolin, she said.
The site is also a place to find a sense of community that transcends the local and national controversies that prompt less neighborly discussions.
“Everybody makes nice comments on Nextdoor,” Gamerman said.