Diane Ibbotson attended the University of Reading and studied Fine Art from 1964 to 1968, before moving on to the Royal Academy Schools. She taught at Blackpool College of Art in 1971, and at the Falmouth School of Arts between 1974 and 1981. Ibbotson won the annual Newcomer prize from the Royal Academy in 2007.
Ibbotson’s style is a rule-governed process of painting, based on close observation and meticulous recording of scenes charged with personal meaning. She often works directly from life whilst questioning the illusory nature of both representation and experience. Typically Ibbotson works slowly, making sure to finish one artwork before starting another piece.
In August 2020, Diane Ibbotson donated the series Earth, Water, Fire, Air to the University Art Collection. An example of her student work is also in the collection.