Medical Art School

medical art school 01

I ran across these images from the LIFE Archives via Miss Moss's (another Diana!) lovely blog. People often suggest that I become either a medical illustrator or an art therapist as a way of resolving my career crisis, er, conflict, but those specific careers aren't particularly interesting to me.

However, I am always looking for ways to combine my artistic and scientific interests, and the idea of a medical school for artists made me smile. Plus, that giant magnifying glass

medical art school 02

medical art school 03

These are just a couple of my favorites, but you can see some more of them at Miss Moss's post.

Have a lovely day,

xo Diana

Topics: inspiration
WEEKLY WISHES 03 // crunch time

work table, Diana Willard

This weekend was full of family, food, and enjoying San Francisco's parks. It was so nice to have my parents visit -- they live in Iowa, and this was the first time they’ve gotten to see our new apartment. I'll be sad to see them go on Tuesday, but fortunately we've already planned their next visit!

I have to admit, keeping track of my weekly goals via Melyssa's Weekly Wishes link-up has been great! It definitely keeps me more honest!


1. Organize my fellow Open Studios artists and order new business cards.

Yes! I think we'll have twelve artists collaborating on our Open Studios event -- now I just need to create an Art Walk map for us to distribute. Plus. . . my business cards are in the mail! I tried out something a bit different this time, so I'm excited to see how they turn out.

2. Make art for at least 20 hours.

Welp, I got 16 hours in. Not bad for a short week -- my parents arrived Thursday night and I took Friday off to show them around, which was great!

3. Exercise for 30 minutes a day.

I managed this for four days last week, which wasn't the best, but also wasn't the worst. Onwards to the next week!

4. Practice Hindi daily and get through six new levels on Memrise.

Done! I think the fact that our trip is coming up is finally starting to motivate me. . . Also, if any of you are hoping to learn a new language, I've really been enjoying Memrise. I've also heard really good things about Duolingo, but unfortunately, they don't have quite as many languages available.


  1. Get myself in shape for upcoming art shows! I need to do a lot of painting, a lot of planning which paintings should go where, and a lot of deliveries and meetings this week. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed on this one, but I'm planning on taking it a day at a time.

  2. Write and send out my first studio newsletter! Of course I would try to do this on such a crazy week, but I really want to send it out on the first of the month so this little freebie I've been working on will make sense. . . If you're interested, you can sign up for the newsletter here!

  3. Exercise for 30 minutes each day. I can easily predict that this will be my biggest challenge given how much work I have this week. Must. Stay. Strong.

  4. Practice Hindi daily and get through at least 5 new levels on Memrise.

What are your big goals for the week? And do you have any exciting new plans for the October and the autumn weather?

xo Diana

Topics: weekly wishes
Little bits // 04

reflections i, diana willard

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
~ Rabindranath Tagore, "Stray Birds"

reflections sketches, diana willard

Just a little hint of my process lately, which often begins by creating these fun and freeing mini-paintings. You can find the original (and its sister painting) in my Etsy shop and prints on Society6.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

xo Diana

My favorite San Francisco hikes

Mount Davidson

As part of a semi-successful campaign to get more exercise, S and I have been exploring some of San Francisco's gorgeous parks, guided by the Bold Italic's very helpful list.

My parents are visiting us in San Francisco (yay!) for the first time since we moved here and I'm hoping to drag them to at least a couple of these. I thought I'd share a few of our favorites for those of you in the area or who may travel to the Bay Area (come visit!).


Mount Davidson

This is my favorite hike so far -- possibly because the day we did it was so fantastically foggy and misty that it felt like we were in a rain forest. This also happens to be the hike (and the photo, above), that inspired my Mount Davidson painting series.

The park is a densely wooded hill with narrow trails winding around it to the top. At the top is a massive concrete cross, now a memorial for the Armenian genocide.

When we went, it was so foggy that looking out from the view points was a bit tough, but I'm guessing there are some fantastic views. :)

Mount Davidson


Fort Funston

This is a sandy ocean-side walk great for dog-watching (please tell me I'm not the only one who does that) and exploring the dunes. You can wander around on the cliffs above the sea or headed on down to the beach.

Fort Funston


Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach is a long stretch of sandy beach, just north of Fort Funston. It's really popular with surfers, but also great for jogging along the shore or biking along the boardwalk.

I don't want this to be too deceptive, as I took this photo on a beautiful sunny day, but this beach is usually great for hoodied emo walks in the fog. :)


Inspiration Point

The Presido is large forested area just south of the Golden Gate Bridge. It has some beautiful wide trails through the Eucalyptus forest and little pockets of old army barracks -- now converted into cute cottages and apartments.

Inspiration Point is a nice place to start the hike. It has a small parking lot with maps of the area and a great view of the Bay, Alcatraz, and downtown San Francisco. Across the street near the golf course driveway is a trail that winds past an Andy Goldsworthy sculpture, through the forests, and eventually emerges at the Golden Gate Bridge viewing point.


Land's End

Contrary to what my New England upbringing would led me to believe, this is not an outlet store of plaid and work boots. Instead, it's a beautiful hike along the Northwest corner of the city, beginning at the Pacific and meandering around to views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Near the start of the trail, you can hike down to Sutro Baths -- the eerie ruins of a 20th century bath house. I haven't actually made it down to the sea level, but it's definitely on my list!

Land's End

For those of you in San Francisco, do you have any other hikes to recommend? I'd love some more recommendations for places to explore!

xo Diana

Topics: travels
WEEKLY WISHES 02 // time to step up

pastels, Diana Willard

To be honest, I'd completely forgotten about this post until I saw Melyssa's new Weekly Wishes link-up. And I definitely hesitated -- was this really something I had time for today? Was this helpful?

But since I couldn't even remember what my wishes last week were, I thought it was at least worth checking back on them. . . and boy am I glad I did! It wasn't the most uplifting moment to see what I'd accomplished last week, but it was an important one.


1. Create a plan for my San Francisco Open Studios event, and start working on it!

Um sort of. I contacted a bunch of other artists in the area who I hope to collaborate with on promoting our studios -- we aren't just in a quiet, residential neighborhood of San Francisco, we're in a quiet, residential neighborhood on top of a hill. To say we don't get much foot traffic is putting it mildly.

So now I've roped some other people in, but other than that, I haven't done any planning. Oops!

2. Get back to spending lots of time making art -- at least 20 hours this week.

This week, I spent just 13 hours making art. You might remember that I began tracking my hours spent on improving my art skills about two months ago, and this is why: for the harsh and unavoidable truth.

Must step up my game on this one, especially since my long-term goal is 30 hours a week.

3. Keep on exercising, 30 minutes a day minimum.

Eh, sort of. I did exercise daily, but I was down to more like 20 minutes each day. Can I just blame it on the head cold?

4. Practice Hindi daily.

I think I practiced half of the days, and most was reviewing old vocabulary, instead of teaching myself new words. And we only have three weeks left before we leave for India!

Overall, I didn't do that great on my wishes, but I have high hopes for this coming week. These goals might look a little familiar, since I clearly haven't quite succeeded at these yet. . .


  1. Organize my fellow Open Studios artists, make a plan with them, and order new business cards.

  2. Make art for at least 20 hours this week! It'll be a challenge, since I have a short week with my parents flying in Thursday night, but I desperately need to finish up some pieces for upcoming shows!

  3. Exercise for 30 minutes each day.

  4. Practice Hindi daily and get through at least 6 new levels on Memrise.

What are your big goals for the week? And what ways have you found to stay on track with them?

xo Diana

Topics: weekly wishes
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