Please take a minute to read this article published in Florida Weekly. The article has been written by Emily Leinfuss, and never before has a writer captured who I am as a fine artist better than she has.
The original article can be found HERE.
Born From Beauty
Oil on Canvas-Sold
Victoria Dietz’s paintings are awash in color, yet her artistic palette encompasses more than just paint. It holds elements like evocative storylines from myth and real life and images of people, animals and nature. The work is also steeped in her affinity for certain art movements, namely Surrealism and the Renaissance. “The former for the ideas created/depicted and latter for technical ability,” Ms. Dietz said.
Tying all that together is Ms. Dietz’s vision, which perhaps can be summed up by the title of one of her paintings, “You’re Strange & You’re Beautiful.” Put the emphasis on the beautiful.
You’re Strange and You’re Beautiful
Acrylic on Canvas- Available
This aesthetic began with Salvador Dali prints that hung in her childhood home. The famed surrealist’s art piqued her imagination. “Growing up I would spend hours looking at them, looking for the hidden images,” she said.
The creation of beauty
Oil on Canvas, photograph credit to Francesco Carrozzini- Available
Ask her about her process for making art and Ms. Dietz will use words like “passion” and “joy.” First comes inspiration, however, which she uncovers anywhere or everywhere. For example, when she first saw a photograph of (The Rolling Stones’ guitarist) Keith Richards, taken by Francesco Carrozzini, she sought the Italian photographer’s permission to create a painting based on the picture. Inspiration can also spring from “a bible verse in church that my pastor is speaking about, a sky that presents itself one morning in my backyard, or a song lyric or piece of literature I am reading,” she said. This portrait of Keith Richards was created from a famous photo.
Oil on Canvas- Sold
“Crying Swan” has a surrealistic, impressionistic and even a cubist feel.
After she is inspired her fine-art training takes over. “Once the idea is there, a decision on how to get that feeling/idea presented to others begins,” she said. “Rarely will I do a smaller study. Most of the time I jump right in, drawing out my piece and then deciding what medium will complement the idea best. Oils, watercolors, acrylics and photography are my main mediums; however, I am trying to expand those choices as I get older,” she said.
Ms. Dietz is also inspired every day from the place where she grew up and continues to live as an artist, a business owner, a wife and a mother of two young boys. “Venice is a gorgeous city that surrounds me with beauty. The water, wildlife, and weather create a perfect storm for my soul to feel settled and inspired to create,” Ms. Dietz said. “There is beauty and a love for art seen on almost every Main Street and entrance to the city. There is also a calmness and slow pace that is perfect for an artist to be able to create.”
This love for the city of Venice and for beauty combines in her dedicated community involvement. Ms. Dietz serves on the City of Venice Art Board and the Venice Art Center Board & Exhibition Committee. Also close to her heart is her participation with the Venice Area Beautification’s (VABI) Urban Forest Committee. “I’m excited to see this project grow and add beauty to Venice,” she said. “All of this work allows me to contribute back to the community that has helped to inspire my art for countless years,” she said.
In Due Time
Oil on Canvas- Available
Surrealist elements abound in “In Due Time.”
The multi-talented-and-tasking artist is also a photographer and graphic designer with her own business, called Artistic Solutions (artisticsolutions.business). In that role she uses her talents to create logos and website design for clients, business headshots and more.
Looking back on her art school days — Ms. Dietz graduated from the University of South Florida (USF) in 2009 with a B.A. in Fine/Studio Arts — she (somewhat ironically) calls herself a rebel. But it’s not the kind you are thinking. In no way does she embody those stereotypical characteristics drawn from the tropes of suffering artist or genre painter. Quite the opposite.
Ms. Dietz said in art school at USF, she found that her being a Republican and an artist was oxymoronic in her fellow students’ eyes. “I felt my political views should not be what I was judged on, more so my art,” she said.
She also believed it was rebellious of her to maintain her sense of herself as an artist who is a seeker of change. Her nature was to stay fluid and move with the inspiration and ideas that came to her. This did not conform to her professors’ prevailing attitudes. They believed that artists should stick to one style and one medium. “That confused me because my process is painting what comes to me and what inspires me,” she said.
Working out the past
While she was at school she also allowed anger to take hold in her art. “It was anger towards my birth parents and their lack of ability to step up for their children because of their drug use,” she said. Ms. Dietz explained that her birthplace was a chaotic, addiction fueled home where she, her brother and her sister were removed by social services and put in foster care multiple times.
She was pulled to this subject while creating paintings for her senior thesis. “I did the series on pills and addiction, the problems they cause, and the hardship that places on families,” she said. For example, one painting depicted a mother caressing her baby, giving it a loving kiss, but the baby is a giant red and white pill.
Living in the Studio
Luckily, or more likely, intentionally Ms. Dietz did not stay angry. Later in life, especially after having children — two boys who are still toddlers — she started creating more loving and uplifting pieces. “Now I notice a lot more beauty in my work and I am leaning towards also creating more biblical pieces.” she said.
Today, her art is accomplished in a studio in the garage of the home she shares with her family. “It’s not very glamorous and a tad cramped and hot, but you know what? I’m very thankful I have space to create. So, for me it is a space of comfort — hot comfort,” she said.
She adds a caveat. “An artist’s studio is really inside you. It’s your ideas and your view. That is internal. The exterior studio is just space that allows an artist room to create what is already mixed and created inside.”
When she gets to go into her studio today she feels “like a little kid on Christmas morning, or how I think of heaven, or the complete stillness of meditation,” she said. After all, her life is a bit busy.
“I am constantly thinking, as I assume everyone is: What are my kids doing? What will we have for dinner? Is there a quarterly report I should be typing up? What proposal should I be working on? Do I have enough clients? Are my current clients happy? Do I have a committee or board meeting today and so on.”
But when she is in her studio making art, all the questions and inner chatter fade away, into serenity. ¦