Dietlind Vander Schaaf
Zondag I, 2018
Encaustic, oil, 23 karat gold leaf
Encaustic: Layers, Translucency and See Throughs / November 14 – 19, 2021
My ongoing interest lies in capturing both motion and stillness, as well as celebrating
the beauty I find everywhere – from dense urban cityscapes to quiet forest paths and
bodies of water that reflect an ever changing sky. I create pieces that convey an
emotional tone through texture and pattern and use mark making as a way to
communicate what I find most lovely, haunting, and curious about the human
My work references teachings from Zen Buddhism, Christian mysticism, the poetic
traditions, and contemplative practices including yoga and meditation. I am influenced
by writings on meditation and quiet by Pico Iyer, Jon Kabat-Zinn, David Hinton, and
Gordon Hessler, as well as the minimal work of artists Agnes Martin, Hiroyuki Hamada,
and Zarina Hashmi.
The Japanese word jikan refers to the silence between two thoughts. In this vein, my
work is an attempt to render temporary, fleeting moments of balance and stillness
visible. Some of my paintings rely on forms observable in the natural world, which I
have distilled to geometric patterns and then further deconstructed. Others are
responses to field studies involving physical experiences and sound recordings.
I think of my work as visual poems in which repeated lines, brushstrokes, and marks
signify breath, light, reflection, movement, change, and thought, and that placed
together in multiples, engage in a form of communion with one another.
Dietlind Vander Schaaf holds an MFA from the University of San Francisco and
an MA from the University of Southern Maine. Her work has been described as
the transformation of “disparate objects into elegantly simple compositions of
pattern and grace” ( Artscope ). Vander Schaaf has exhibited at the Cape Cod
Museum of Art, Conrad Wilde Gallery, The Fuller Craft Museum, Kolman &
Pryor, and On Center Gallery, among others, and been featured in Maine Home
+ Design , Decor Maine , Downeast Magazine , UPPERCASE , and Artscope.
Vander Schaaf is a Core Instructor for R&F Handmade Paints, an Ampersand
Ambassador, and the former president of New England Wax. She is an annual
presenter at the International Encaustic Conference and the recipient of grants
from the Maine Arts Commission and International Encaustic Artists, as well as a
Tending Space Artist Fellowship from the Hemera Foundation. Vander Schaaf
teaches workshops throughout the country, including Haystack, Maine College
of Art, Penland, Arrowmont, Castle Hill Center for the Arts, Snow Farm, Rhode
Island School of Design, and internationally at Zijdelings in The Netherlands. She
is represented by Portland Art Gallery and Artemis Gallery in Maine, and Salon
Design in Boston.