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). She has exhibited nationally and been featured in Maine Home + Design, Decor, and Downeast magazines. Vander Schaaf is a Core Instructor for R&F Handmade Paints and the former president of New England Wax. She has taught at Haystack, Castle Hill, Penland, Snow Farm, South Shore Art Center, New Hampshire Institute of Art, Maine College of Art, R&F, The Encaustic Center, and internationally at Zijdelings in The Netherlands. Vander Schaaf is 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. She is represented by Portland Art Gallery in Portland, Maine and Salon Design in Boston, Massachusetts.
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 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 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 beauty, 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 inner landscapes that, when placed together in multiples, engage in a form of communion with one another.