Diane Feree

Diane Feree has taken her art seriously since she retired six years ago. Her work is on display on the Whatcom Artists Studio Tour. (Elisa Claassen for the Lynden Tribune)

Diane Feree shows work in Whatcom Artists Studio Tour 

WHATCOM — Diane Feree is on the Whatcom Artists Studio Tour for the first time.

Down a tree-lined driveway off Noon Road near Smith Road is a shop building transformed into a studio. Glass walls give lots of light and views of a garden and Mount Baker. The space is filled with immensely colorful paintings – birds, flowers, young girls and foxes. 

Feree has been painting for six years, but didn’t start painting full time until after she had retired. 

“I’m pretty much self-taught” Feree said. “I took a couple of workshops but didn’t feel like they offered me much.” 

Feree said she’s not limited to one painting style.

“I like to mix it up to keep from getting bored,” she said. “Sometimes my work is very representational and sometimes it’s more abstracted. I do utilize oil, acrylic, collage, and sometimes encaustic.”

In her working years, Feree owned a women’s clothing and gift boutique, Lulu’s, in downtown Bellingham’s Parkade building. For a year, she had a second location in Fairhaven but decided to focus on the central site, which she had open for 12 years. 

Before moving to Bellingham, Feree owned a number of retail stores, mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area. She had a wholesale craft supply company and did product development and sourcing in the craft industry. 

Feree said her two daughters are also entrepreneurial and creative. One is the founder of Erin Baker’s Breakfast cookies. 

Feree moved into the county onto Noon Road within the past two years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she built her studio space, remodeled the downstairs of the house she shares with her daughter’s family, and did a major landscaping project with a pond and sculptures.

“It is never too late to do what you really want to do,” Feree said. Visit studiotour.net for more on the Whatcom Artists Studio Tour.