Ethan Diehl

Hometown: Austin, TX

When I started painting, I was frustrated by my inability to paint realistic images. Painting with squares allows me to paint realistically, as my images are based off of my photographs...I love the meditative state I fall into when painting one square at a time.

Artist Ethan Diehl’s childhood passion for visual arts eventually led him to Stanford University where he met Nathan Oliveira, a painter, sculptor, and master print-maker, who helped show Ethan how to turn his color- blindness into striking expressionistic images.

After graduation from Stanford in 1994, Diehl aspired to integrate more realism in his work. Interested in Chuck Close’s artistic theory of rendering photorealistic imagery through a grid system, Diehl found his more realistic style. The squares within each of Diehl’s canvases contain an average shade that actually exists, thus resulting in a dynamically realistic whole.

Ethan Diehl currently lives, works, and paints in Palm Springs, California, where he continues to use photographs, computers, and grid systems to create paintings. Each year, the squares in the grid grow smaller, the canvas grows larger, and Diehl continues to produce the unreal realism of emotionally and visually complex images.

Photo by Justus Flair

Posted on 2/21/11