Dietlind Vander Schaaf

I create pieces that embody the dynamic interplay between chaos and order; that convey an emotional tone through texture and pattern; and that use mark making as a way to communicate what I find most lovely, haunting, and curious about the human condition. 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 quiet by authors Pico Iyer, Jon Kabat-Zinn, David Hinton, and Gordon Hessler, as well as the minimal work of artists Agnes Martin, Zarina Hashmi, and Hiroyuki.

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 beauty, balance, and stillness visible. Some of the 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. All of them represent the ethereal beauty and complexity of our inner human landscapes. I tend to think of my work less as paintings and more as objects that, when 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 in terms of it’s focus on “showcasing the wax itself, encasing objects as if they were ancient artifacts” (Orlando Sentinel) and as the transformation of “disparate materials into elegantly simple compositions of pattern and grace” (Artscope magazine). She has exhibited her paintings nationally and was recently featured in Maine Home + Design magazine’s “One to Watch” profile on standout artists in Maine. The recipient of a Maine Arts Commission Artist Project Grant and the Juror’s Award in association with the 10th Annual International Encaustic Conference, Vander Schaaf currently serves as president elect of New England WAX. She teaches workshops throughout New England.