An original Tapestry by Dianne McKenzie. This handcrafted tapestry is a reproduction of a painting by Millard Sheets titled Flower Fields.

Millard and Dianne met in the small artist’s community of Gualala on the Mendocino Coast of Northern California, where they were both living in the 1970s. Diane approached Millard with the idea of doing reproductions of two of his watercolor paintings, using her tapestry technique of weaving various yarns to create three-dimensional textured relief tapestries.

They agreed on his paintings titled “Flower Fields” and “French Landscape” to be woven into 6’ X 8’ tapestries. Each one took nearly six months for her to complete. Signatures were woven into them with Millard Sheets on the bottom left, and on the lower right.

The textural effect of her custom dyed, light fast and moth proof yarns is quit spectacular, both to see and to touch. I had the opportunity to visit several times with my Father at her weaving studio in her home at Sea Ranch to view the process as the tapestries developed. He greatly enjoyed seeing his paintings transformed into textural weavings. The French Landscape tapestry was sold shortly after its completion. Flower Fields hung in Millard and Mary’s home of Barking Rocks north of Gualala until Mary’s passing in 2000.

The collaboration of working artists was something that Millard was dedicated to throughout his life, and can be seen in his murals and his architectural design utilizing integral artworks throughout the buildings. Dianne’s tapestry works with several other artists stands out as a wonderful example of the same type of dedication.

Tony Sheets