Family and nature sustain artist Diane Christiansen Uke

Diane Christiansen Uke has lived in Del Mar for more than 17 years, where she helped raise her three children and stepson. She received her B.S.B.A. from the University of Arizona, and she worked as a CPA for several years in San Diego. Uke has always been active in the community, doing everything from coaching soccer and being a Girl Scout leader to serving as vice president of National Charity League and president of the Del Mar Garden Club.

She spent the summers of her youth in Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon, Ariz., where she developed a love for painting amid the natural beauty of the red rocks. When her children were all in school, she was able to pursue a career in art.

Uke was recently named a “Featured Artist” in the Mission Federal Credit Union ArtWalk in Little Italy set for April 24-25. Her work can be seen inside this paper on page B4 and at


What brought you to Del Mar?

I was a “Zonie” and vacationed with my family in San Diego. The day after I graduated from college, I packed all my belongings in my car and drove to San Diego — no job and no place to live! I’ve never regretted it for one minute.

What makes this town special to you?

Del Mar has practically everything in a community that’s important to me — passionate residents, great weather, beaches, a charming town, and a rural feel close to a large city.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

I would love to see a system whereby neighbors are not pitted against neighbors.

Who or what inspires you?

I’m inspired by quiet, reflective time in nature.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

The guest list would include Chef Thomas Keller, artist Richard Diebenkorn, Benjamin Franklin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Paul McCartney, Martha Stewart, Thich Nhat Hanh and my brother (deceased).

Tell us about what you are currently reading.

It’s “Spark Your Dream” by Candelaria and Herman Zapp, a true-life story of a young couple who drove from Argentina to Alaska.

What is your most-prized possession?

Besides my health, it would be my art supplies.

What do you do for fun?

I like to infuse joy in everything I do, be it exploring new places, hosting themed dinner parties with friends, teaching art, and continually learning and creating.

Please describe your greatest accomplishment.

Definitely raising my amazingly wonderful children.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Give more than you take, be grateful each day for all the gifts given you, and, of course, practice The Golden Rule.