Hike Like A Woman Ambassador Article

I climb mountains, I make fires, I travel, I sleep under the stars, I laugh a lot, I pretend I’m spiderman, I find meaning in small things, I DRAW

My love for mountains has always found its way onto a page. My work is driven by a desire to share the visual stories I collect as I hike, climb and run in the beautiful mountains of South Africa and beyond. It’s great to go out and find inspiration in small details like the texture of the rock, the patterns in the sky and shadows in the desert, and then be able to take that inspiration back home and create something beautiful that fellow nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts can relate to and enjoy.

I am inspired by mountains! I am always in constant awe as I discover more of this beautiful country. I love spending time in the outdoors and have been hiking, camping and climbing things since I was a kid. I love the beautiful mountain peaks, surrounded by white fluffy clouds. There is nothing like being in the mountains, in the middle of nowhere, enjoying the peaceful serenity. I love the patterns and colours that nature brings out. It is strange how not everyone sees those beautiful patterns and colours but I have been given the gift of an artist’s eye. It is my job to draw you in and let you relive that experience, and maybe give you the opportunity to see what I see by capturing energy, light, weather and movement in my drawings. I love to combine pattern, vibrant color, and energetic lines as well as contrasting black and white line art with bright energetic backgrounds.

For me, drawing is as essential as breathing air and the urge to run down a trail. It is equally as powerful and even more meaningful than one may think.

Drawing allows me to enter the flow state I find when winding through trees on my mountain bike, hearing my heartbeat as I swim through a narrow gorge or feeling the wind while hanging on the side of a cliff. I am constantly drawn to explore places that make me feel alive. My work transports me to those overwhelmingly wild and beautiful places. It is an expression of my obsession and emotions associated with my connection to these landscapes. When I look at my drawings I remember that time the mountain tested me, brought out the best and the worst in me, and how completely unforgiving they are. I remember the thrill of reaching the top after pushing my limits and looking down as the ground suddenly drops away into the valley below. It reminds me how much I love the stillness and calmness of an empty trail and that opportunity to slow down and disconnect. I look at my drawings and remember that sunset, that smile, that tear, that uncontrollable laughter, the relief, the struggle, the fear and the best day of my life. But most importantly they remind me why I love the mountains and adventure.

“Mountains are magnetic, and we are drawn to them. Maybe it’s because of what they force us to do, or become. We gaze upon them, we exalt them, then we climb them. On their paths we face hardship, but these we welcome because hardship helps us discover things we didn’t know or understand before, about ourselves” – Will Cooper

While on a mountain there is always an element of the unknown that will test your physical and mental skills. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing, but what you take away from the mountain goes well beyond the satisfaction of pushing your limits. No matter how much the mountains test you, they drive your adrenaline that keeps you coming back for more. After all if I had a good experience with good conditions I will have no stories to tell people and no artwork to show off. There is always a sense of curiosity of what is around the next bend; That horrifying exciting sight of a higher mountain than the one you just climbed, a beautiful clear rock pool sparkling in the sunlight, walk out of a forest into a completely open landscape with not a tree in sight or a small secluded village. What you see around that next bend will often be unknown, a surprise, bring a sense of excitement, fear or all three. The best part is even if you have been there a million times, it’s never the same, and you rarely have the same experience.

So here I am sharing moments from my adventures recreated as art so that I can share my excitement for the outdoors. Maybe you look at my drawings and remember the time the mountain tested you or that happy sunset dance. I hope it brings out those memories that are tucked away and gives you the urge to get out and play.

Diane Shearer

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