In her lively paintings of the natural world, Colorado native, Rita Salazar Dickerson produces painterly renderings of the subjects she encounters in her everyday experiences. Often using thick layers of colorful paint with brush and palette knife, she allows the gradual forming shapes and images to guide her compositions resulting in exuberant oil portraits full of depth, texture and movement. As she explains: “Everyone and everything has a story. My desire is to share a portion of that story in each painting I create. Light, color, beauty and design all play a valuable part as I focus on the nuances which make every subject unique.”

The opportunity to express herself creatively came as soon as she could hold a pencil. The middle of seven children, Salazar Dickerson was born and raised in Grand Junction with her father, Joseph Salazar, as her first art teacher. Rita’s achievements as a young artist led to her first commissioned portrait while still in high school. Her professional career began as the in-house artist for a large savings and loan, creating pen and ink illustrations and writing text for their weekly newspaper ads — but her desire to create fine art never left her. She began painting in earnest in 1997 and has been doing commissioned work ever since.

Her formal art training began at Colorado State University, and more recently she has studied under Master Painters, David Leffel and Rose Frantzen. She has completed hundreds of commissions. Her work is in private and corporate collections throughout the US as well as in Europe. Rita lives in Colorado Springs and works in her studio at home. She is an Associate Member of the Oil Painters of America, a Copyist at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., a member of the Portrait Society of America and is represented by G44 Gallery, Colorado Springs.


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— Rita Salazar Dickerson
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