Off The Wall Magazine Q&A with Dietlind Vander Schaaf



Maine.    My family moved to Brunswick in 1980. We spent our summers sailing and exploring the coastline. My deep connection to Maine brought me back home after many years in San Francisco. 

Inspiration.   I have had dual interest in contemplative practice and poetry since I was a teenager. My process references both the inner and outer landscapes. I might be drawn to the pattern of light moving across the surface of a lake and will spend time in my studio attempting to recreate that pattern, and perhaps the translucency of the water, as well as trying to capture the felt sensation of calm centeredness that the moment invoked in me.

Medium.   I have been working with encaustic for nine years. I was drawn to it immediately when I saw work where sacred objects were embedded and the surface was written upon. I appreciate that the medium involves both painting and sculpting. 

Artist Hero.   When I was in graduate school for creative writing, I took a collage workshop from a painter in San Francisco. I was really interested in storytelling and collage offered me a way to explore this using both text and images. Eventually, I used fewer words, then began to work abstractly, but I this narrative quality still underpins my work.

Studio.   I moved from my State Theatre studio in 2019 to a 1,200 sq ft studio in Westbrook. I don't look down over the city rooftops anymore, but rather over the Presumpscot River from my 4th floor studio in the historic Dana Warp Mill.

Where in Maine. I bought a house in Portland with my partner. We’re a couple of blocks from the Riverton trail; part of the Portland Trails. I love to go out in the woods with my dog.

Fun Fact.  I have been known to have spontaneous dance parties in my studio by myself.

Study.   I took a workshop from artist Kim Bernard and served as her assistant for several years at her encaustic retreat. Aside from that, I am primarily self-taught. 





Learn more about this artist:


Available artwork


Radio Maine podcast interview #5


Radio Maine podcast interview #81


Art Matters blog article


Off The Wall  magazine Q&A


Micro-documentary film