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An artful senior

Jane Dietz fills her life with beauty, joy and humor

Posted: August 6, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 6, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Dietz in front of a "library" she painted in a room of her home. Dietz paints in book titles and authors based on personal experiences of family members and guests.

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Artists are known for offering us their unique views of the world, and you need go no further than Jane Dietz’ front yard in Newhall to see evidence of that. Dietz, 71, is a lifelong artist, and the side fence in her front yard features a tile mosaic with six life-size sheep peering humorously out at you — or offering you their hind parts. It just makes you want to smile when you see it, as do the larger and more abstract mosaics along the back wall of her backyard. And all of these mosaics, she explains, were made with recycled tile.

Though her mosaics are fun, Dietz most often works in acrylic paint and, occasionally, water colors or sculpture. “I used to paint in oil,” she said, but noted that she found acrylics easier to work with.

Art reflects life

Sometimes straightforward, sometimes quirky, Dietz’s works are a reflection of her witty and feisty personality. “I’m always thinking things up,” she said. And she added that art has pretty much been part of her life as long as she can remember. However, it became a focus after she took art classes in college. And her talent is obvious, though she says that wasn’t always true.

“In college I only got C’s in my art classes,” she said. “But perseverance pays off.” And that payoff includes winning several awards over the years.

Art all around

One of Dietz’s favorite ways to work is to create paintings from photographs — particularly photographs of beautiful settings and structures she and her husband John Dietz have observed during their travels. “They remind me of my memories,” she said. These paintings, and others, adorn most of the walls in the Dietz’s home.

Dietz is a longtime member of the Santa Clarita Artists’ Association, and has served on its board. “We host a lot of their board meetings,” she said. She shows her work in the SCAA’s Art Classic every fall and also at their new gallery on Town Center Drive.

Full of family

Dietz has sold a number of her works, “But doing things my children want in their homes makes me feel the best,” she said.

Family is a big thing to her and her husband, both emotionally and literally. They have six children, 17 grandchildren and three great grandchildren, “With another on the way,” John Dietz said. And most of those descendants gather at the Dietz home every Sunday. Thus, the spacious home has a playroom that Dietz painted with appropriately fun images for children.

Another unique room is the former computer room. “Since we moved the computer, I don’t know what to call it,” Jane Dietz said. But the highlight here are large, sliding closet doors on which she has painted a library of books. This impressive display bears close scrutiny, as many of the book titles and authors have special meaning to the couple. For example, since John Dietz is well known to “always be right,” one volume bears the title of “My Opinion (The Truth),” with the author “John Dietz.”

Always active

Jane Dietz said that painting is a wonderful activity, especially as a member of the SCAA. “It’s a social thing, as well as developing what talent you have,” she noted. “It’s good for a person’s mind and body.” But she added that she also plays a lot of tennis and bridge.

“I’m a pretty active person,” she said. “Every now and then I come home to see John.”

She said that she and her husband attend Real Life Church in Valencia and host weekly bible studies. And they will be traveling to Israel next spring with members of Grace Baptist Church.

Dietz said the members of her family often ask for her art for birthdays and Christmas presents, and her works grace the homes of five of her children. She added that three of those homes “have it all over.” But, even so, she agreed that she is running out of space in her own home to hang her paintings. “I might have to start showing, to reduce my inventory,” she quipped.

jwalker@the-signal.com

661-287-5524

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