Angel of the Resistance 

Art, becoming, Figure, Oil, Painting

20×20 oil on canvas painting. An angel for our times… Based on “The Fall of the Rebel Angles” by Giordano from the time of the counter reformation in the 1600’s. My angel is a female warrior of light. This painting symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness.

It’s probably almost done.

image (c) 2017 AMDietrich

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Fourth piece in series completed!

Art, becoming, Figure, Oil, Painting

This is Catherine in Green. 28×22 oil on canvas. 

This is the fourth piece from my current series which focuses on the female nude and richly colored monochromatic backgrounds. The female figures in this series are seated in poses that demonstrate their strength and empowerment. I’m calling the series “Stripped Down” because I’ve taken everything except the figure, light and space out of the pieces.

This format isolates the figure so that the full force of the image comes through. The image of the female nude is very powerful in terms of content. (I have found this to be even more true than I recognized before beginning this series.)

So often in today’s society the female figure is portrayed almost as if women’s beauty exists for others. The figures I’m portraying are beautiful, certainly, but on their own terms. We may appreciate their beauty and strength, but it belongs to them. 

image (c) 2017 AMDietrich

Morning self portrait oil sketch

Art, becoming, Figure, Oil, Painting, Sketches

Self portraits can be quite amusing! I’m really enjoying having this one around. 

I did this oil sketch this morning from the mirror in my tiny studio. There was cool light coming from the open window on one side and warm light from the other. I thought that was an interesting challenge because I’m working a lot with warm and cool right now.

We think it’s funny when one of our pets has a serious expression but is obviously content. We say, “This IS my happy face.” Well, this IS my painting painting face. I’m not sad, just totally concentrating on line, stucture, tone and color. 

4th piece in the series is coming along…

Art, Figure, Oil, Painting, Work in progress

I just started dropping in a Prussian green wash over the warm ground under my grisaille. I was surprised at how the warm green wash made the grisaille appear. The warm ground is working. There will still be a couple of layers of color after this. 


I’m working a bit slowly lately. It doesn’t look like I’ll finish 7 pieces in the series before fall starts. I’m going to push myself to complete 5 though.

8/22 Here it is with a color layer on top of the grisaille. I still think she needs a bit more red tone in her skin particularly on the bottom half. I may do more there than on top in the next color painting. But it is almost done. It’ll probably be finished in the next few days depending on my other commitments…

Animal project

becoming, biology, Oil, Painting

The next show at the art society is a collaborative one. Members need to ask a non-member to either do a collaboration or to hang their pieces side by side.

I asked a woman that teaches on my team at the school because I know she’s an artist too. It turned out that her daughter is also an artist so we are all working on a piece together. 

She picked animals/kindness and animal rights as the topic. I don’t frequently paint animals except for my dogs, but I thought it would be fun to try. I had the idea that we should work on individual canvases and fasten then together at the end because it would allow us to each work at our own pace. 

At this point, I have 4 6×6 paintings of animals that are either being farmed or losing habitat. I also have a heart canvas to go in the middle. The other artists should each be supplying 2 6×6 animal paintings for a total of 9 canvases. They will be fastened into a 3 canvas by 3canvas square. The final dimensions should be 18×18. 

Here are my paintings. 




I’m excited to see this thing come together!

Tulips, lilies and a banana 

becoming, biology, Oil, Painting, Still Life

I’ve been working on a more subtle color palette. Purples and yellows are difficult.

I went to the store and was able to get reduced price tulips. The clerk told me she couldn’t sell them for someone as a gift, but since they were for artwork she could give me a really good deal. I wanted yellow so that was great. The white lilies make the yellow pop a bit sound got those too…

First I did a 5×7 black and white study.

Then a color one. I completely lost the color in the background. It is the right tone, but too grey.


Then I scaled it up paying special attention to the background colors. The size is 11×17. 

My work has been taking longer due to the new process, but the pieces are more fleshed out. It’s a lot less stressful to know what I’m doing when I’m looking at  the bigger the blank canvas. I’m able to be freer with the work because I am more confident in my vision too.

This isn’t quite done yet. The background darks need to be deepened and the lights need more brushwork. I don’t want to over cook it, but it’s pretty far along… I’ll repost when it’s finished.

Three flowers 

becoming, biology, Oil, Painting, Still Life

This piece is close to finished. I have been working on studies from thumbnails in order to get the composition and colors the way I wanted them.

This piece was really designed to test the process. I found that I got to paint almost as much. I have several small studies and a large finished piece as a result. I think the finished piece is stronger than it would have been otherwise. The studies allowed me to try different things with minimal risk. This allowed me to be bolder in the finished piece. 

I still might like to sit down and paint from scratch, but this process is valuable and I’m glad to be using it again.