Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

Hello, I'm Dr. Lisa Belislel and you are listening to, or watching, Radio Maine.  Today, I have with me in the studio for the first time artist Dietlind Vander Schaff, and it's wonderful to have her here because she was one of our earliest guests and we did it remotely because of the global pandemic we were all going through. But today you're here. So, yay.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf 

I know it's really exciting to be here.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Thanks for coming in today.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

My pleasure.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

We had so much to talk about the last time that we could have done four or five different episodes.  Today I’m interested in all of the teaching and the workshops and all of the stuff that you're doing in addition to being an artist. So tell me about that evolution that continues to occur for you.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

You know, I actually think of teaching as kind of a spiritual practice too, in addition to sort of being another job that I do. I remember years ago I had this teacher at the Maine College of Art, Dana Sawyer. He came and taught a class at USM and he was talking about how I think it was in Hindu or in Sanskrit that the word for teacher grew at one of the translations is one who helps another to see. And I love that. And I've, I've really thought about that a lot with my teaching over the years, that that is the essence of teaching. I think that applies to art at large as well. Like it instructs us in how to look at things, but when I'm teaching, I'm always trying to keep that at the center of my teaching. So yes I've taught for about 12 years.  it wasn't en caustic to be in, I taught collage and took it into all different kinds of non-traditional venues as well, and then began teaching in caustic about 10 years ago. And now I do quite a bit of traveling to teach as well. yes. So next year I'll be in the Netherlands teaching again, which I'm really looking forward to.  and this summer found me in Wisconsin, Vermont, Massachusetts, and then next month I'll be running my retreats in Kennebunk port.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

So, tell  me about that. That's a lot of being out and about in different places and, and how did that happen for you?

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf

Well, it started slowly when I took over running the retreat in Kennebunk port, which would've been, I think, seven or eight years ago.  I started teaching in caustic and I really just taught it locally in the beginning at Maine College of Art through the continuing studies program. But then I started moving out from there and teaching in other places in New England. And then in 2018 I started working for R and F remotely.  and then I started getting different kinds of teaching opportunities. And so it's a juggling act because when you're gone for a week, like in July, I was hardly in my studio at all because of traveling for teaching. And but I really, I love it. I love the balance of being with students and then, you know, pulling back and being completely alone in my studio. And I, I also think that I actually learn as much from watching my students work as I impart knowledge to them. You know, too, like one of my favorite stories is I was really struggling with this 36 by 36 inch painting years ago. And I was watching one of my students paint and she's not a traditional painter. She's actually more of a graphic designer. So she was approaching the material in a completely different way than how I work with it. And there was a looseness to it. And that's what I realized was missing from my work. So sometimes you get those sorts of non-linear learning opportunities, even as a teacher.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So in, in helping others to see you're also seeing in a different way yourself.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

Exactly. I mean, I think it's really important as hard as it is to take time away from the studio, I think is really important to step away from it and, and have those other kinds of experiences, but also teaching and going outside of Maine to teach, especially helps to scratch the traveling itch for me too. I love seeing new places. And so I get to do that a little bit. Like when I was at a wild rice retreat for two weeks in Wisconsin this summer, I mean, it was just so beautiful up there on like superior. And then I was like, wow, this is like, and I'm getting paid to teach. This is pretty awesome. So, so it

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

Was a situation where you teach over in one place and somebody takes your workshop and they say, oh, you know what? I had this person delin. And she was a great teacher and I want her to come and teach where I am. And, and so how does that typically

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

What Happened? You mean in terms of like, are the opportunities to teach coming to me or am I pursuing them? yes. How,

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

How, how are these occurring?

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

Yes, so mostly in the beginning it was me being more proactive, reaching out to different art centers and saying you know, I'd like to teach here. I had a proposal sometime, maybe four or five years ago, that kind of flipped. And so for example, wild rice, they, they came to me and asked me if I would teach. I'd never heard of them before. So that was really fun. And, also I have family up in that area too. So it was great to be able to see some of them.  yes so it's, it's been a mix, but I say over the last few years, it's been more people coming in and asking me, and then me actually having to say, no, it's just not easy too. Sometimes that's, you know, drawing that boundary and saying, no, I, my schedule's full, like next year's completely booked. I can't add anything more to it, even though I wanna wanna keep sneaking things in.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So how long has that taken you to get to the place where you moved from being the person going out there and saying, this is who I am, and I can do this for you to the place where people know who you are and they come to you.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

I think it was, you know, so it's been about 12 years and I'd say like the first five to seven was me being more active in pursuing places. And then over the last five to six years, that turnaround happened.  and I think some of it was just being really active on, you know, promoting classes and, you know, really pursuing those teaching opportunities and also being willing to take ones that were further away that didn't pay to travel, to teach where I had to bring all the equipment, cuz they didn't have anything like just doing the work, you know, to make it happen. So, but I've really enjoyed doing it. Like I taught at a snow farm for a number of years. Are you familiar with that? It's in Williamsburg, mass. It's just a beautiful campus.  all different kinds of other kinds of teaching opportunities happening there as well. So people do glassblowing and jewelry making and flame throwing. I mean, it's just crazy stuff. So it's fun to walk around the campus. It's like like adult art camp, you know.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

Well, I asked this question because I, I know that being entrepreneurial and, and kind of designing your own life, it requires a different set of skills a little bit, probably more faith in the process and certainly a lot of hard work and many people who go into kind of go on an entrepreneurial journey after a couple, three years, they'll say, no, I don't wanna do this anymore. It's not working, but what you're saying is, you know, it's, it's a good solid five to seven years. It took you before things actually kind of started to catch and you were able to move more in the direction that you wanted to go in.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

And I also think that I didn't have a very strong vision when I started. So when I first started teaching and I was teaching collage, I was just happy to be teaching it. And, and I loved going in, you know, I worked in vet centers and I worked with immigrant and refugee populations and with adult learners and I just really enjoyed that process of teaching and working with people.  so I think there was one point where I started to get a little bit more ambitious about what I wanted to do, but it wasn't like I had this vision that I was moving toward.  so it really kind of evolved organically. And  I think that helps, you know, because, but then the entrepreneurial piece of it, that's a lot of work, you know, there's the business aspect, but I, I used to teach professional development for artists too for a while.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

And I still kind of weave it into some of my classes where it's appropriate, cuz not everybody wants to be a professional artist. Some people just wanna be creative and enjoy that experience in a workshop setting. But I, I think that if you do wanna be a professional artist, you do you spend, I think it's almost like 50% of your time in the professional piece of it, the photographing of the work and the promoting of it and the adding it to your website and the connecting with the gallery or galleries and you know, returning emails and it it's work, you know writing your artist statement then rewriting it and being willing to say yes to all those other opportunities that come along with it.  but I enjoy those things. So it just sort of came naturally to me.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

I think people are often surprised to hear the amount of work that goes into the business side of selling one's pieces. I think it's it's we many people have this interesting kind of probably long laid to rest idea of the starving artist in a Garrett, just kind of working away at the palette on the easel and, and that's actually not really the way that it occurs. If you wanna put your things out into the world, you have to put these things in front of people.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

Yes I think that some, well, I think that some people think that too, there's a kind of purity, if you are just sort of removed yourself from the more commercial aspects of selling your work. But maybe because I didn't go to art school and I didn't walk that traditional path and I came from a different, you know, I'd worked in lots of different kinds of careers and from the bottom up and saw what it took to sort of make something and to connect with people and to help them appreciate and understand what your work was about.  I never had that, but I also never had a goal of being a full-time artist, like supporting myself with selling my work. So I've always had a 40 hour work week outside of painting.  four years ago when I started working for R and F, I was able to scale that back to 30 hours a week, but then teaching sometimes takes away from painting too. So I've painted for the last 12 years. Just sometimes it was one day a week. If I was lucky, it was two sometimes in the winter, it's three, but it's still a seven day work week.  I think I'm lucky I have a lot of energy for doing all those things too. So that helps.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

And I think that's, that's another kind of interesting thing that many people believe to be true that, okay, I'm just gonna, I'm gonna throw away my day job and I'm gonna follow my passion and I'm gonna do this thing full time. And in reality, in talking to a lot of different people, I, it, that's not the way that it typically occurs. I mean, very few people are actually able to just commit to being in their studio, you know, 80 hours a week doing nothing else.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

Sure. And I think that there's probably a point where you, me, if you have somebody else who helps support you and that maybe you could walk that pathway.  I think for me, I wouldn't wanna be in my studio full-time because like with teaching, just being away from my studio, that's where a lot of that non-linear thinking comes in or ideas come in where that feeds my practice as much as anything else. So even though one way of thinking of it is this is taking me away from painting. Another way is this is also refilling the well. So when I go back to the studio, I have these new ideas or I have this new energy or enthusiasm for it. I've always felt so grateful for all the time in my studio, but it isn't a place where I wanted to be full time, you know, five or six days a week.  so I think that I've never had that idea of like, I'm gonna just be in there all the time. And plus I wouldn't wanna put that pressure on my work. I always wanted to be able to do the kind of work that I wanted to do. So I figured if I made, you know, most of my income in another fashion, then the painting was free to do what it wanted to do or be.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

I actually really like that. I think that, that, that idea that, you know, you create something and it, and it has to, has to immediately be successful. That is extremely stressful. It's a lot of pressure. And then it would, if it's not, then I wonder how much self doubt it creates. Like, well, maybe it's just not good enough and maybe I didn't do it the right way. And, and, and it seems like that would be very paralyzing for a kind of a creative pursuit.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

Totally. And I also think that that just that can happen anyway. I mean, you can be, I'm pretty confident and feel, you know, about myself and my work. And yet even this past winter, I went through a little hard period of pretty intense self doubt.  and you know, I think too sometimes when you're shifting between bodies of work, like I've got a new body that I wanna start working on there, when you're trying out that new work or you're working with a new color palette or new series of marks or whatever it is that you wanna do, that's a little bit different. Often you have to go through a period where you make work that actually isn't any good for a while. And that can be a really tough thing to navigate for anyone I think, but especially for artists, because so often our work is a, we do feel like it's a direct reflection of ourselves.

 

So I don't remember if I told this story the last time we talked, I don't think I did, but one of the times I was teaching, it was a few years ago. It was during the pandemic and it was during the retreat that I ran in Kennebunkport. So I'd moved my teaching table out into this larger sort of outdoor space where I was doing a demo. And at the end of the demo, when the students are going back in to start doing their own work, one of the students kind of tentatively hung out at my table and, and she leaned forward and she said you know, I have to share something with you. She said, when you were doing that demo, it didn't look very good. Like, you know, and she's like, and there was this point where, and then all of a sudden you brought it together and it looked great.

 

And she said it, I realized in watching you that I'm judging my work way too quickly. So I'm expecting it to come out and be a certain way. And if it doesn't look that way, I kind of ruin it or I get discouraged or frustrated. And so that in turn made me reflect that one of the ways I think I've built more grip in my practice is knowing that there's going to be sort of an ugly stage or chaotic stage or that I have to let things get a little bit more wild or a little bit more uncomfortable or jagged or unbalanced and disordered in my work, which isn't the most comfortable place for me before I pull something back together on the surface. And I didn't even really know I was doing that, but I think in the beginning, I was probably closer to her where I wanted my work to look good right away. And I think over time I've realized, no, that's just, it has to go through a lot of stages, like our awkward teenage years. I don't know if you ever went through an awkward teenage stage,

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: Are you kidding me? Of course. Oh yes. There's some pictures out there that make me really glad I grew up before Instagram. Before the internet, right. That you could kind of put them in a drawer. Nobody will ever know exactly.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

I feel exactly the same way. There's a lot of stages of that with my paintings in my studio, but I can just turn them around and, you know, I have patience that I'll be able to do something with them one day.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So it's interesting that you kind of simultaneously had this revelation that you needed to go through the dirtiness and the messiness and the uncomfortability, but also you're describing a period of self doubt last winter. So you kind of intellectually understood that you needed to go through this, but still going through it didn't feel great. It sounds like, yes.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

Oh it, and it, and it's also sometimes can be prolonged. I mean, it can be like you have a bad day or you can have a bad week or you can feel like it's going on for months and you can be your own worst critic of your work. You know, that it's, I think I read this, I think it's in the book, art and fear. I don't know if you've ever read that book as kind of a classic awesome book about art and being an artist. And one of the things that I think there's two authors that co-authored it. And one of the things that that book says that always stayed with me is that vision is always ahead of execution. And so I think if, if we think from that perspective that like, as an artist, my idea for what I wanna create is often and at, at all levels like as a new student, especially I think for students that come in and take my classes that are already very skilled or proficient at photography or jewelry making or graphic design or print making.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

And they come in and they're working with this new media and they're not able to make a lot of them really hard on themselves. So it's the same for me. It's the same for, I think all of us that we have maybe a vision that's just ever so slightly ahead of where we're actually at. And so sometimes we can be fine with that. And then other times that can be, I think, a little bit more like a source of tension or challenge.  so yes I think it is a tough thing to go through, but I would go home at the end of the day. I remember going through this, it was probably like three or four months. And I would talk to my partner and she would say, how'd it go? Or, you know, how was your day?

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

And I say I don't wanna talk about it was really frustrating. You know, I was there for seven or eight hours and I didn't feel like anything. She's just like, just go and put in your hours, just go put in your hours. You know, just really simple. It's like the best piece. It's like my little mantra now, just put in your hours, you know, and sometimes it's looking with fresh eyes at the same work as seeing it a little differently and realizing no, I was just being really critical and actually this isn't that bad or there's something good in it. There's something that I can work with here.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

With all of that in mind, I want you to describe this piece that we have with us in the studio today.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

So this piece is one of a variation, I do a lot of this kind of variation of work. So where there's a lot of the same kind of mark making sort of rounded shapes and repeated hatch marks. And the gold leaf is in there as well. So I've been working with this sort of design and its own evolution for about five or six years. It started with a painting that I did as a commission for someone I went to graduate school with, and she'd given me real free license to do sort of what I wanted after we had looked at a few pieces that she really liked.  and so this is a variation on that, that original piece, which was called the summoning world and which is from it's a line from an essay by Mary Oliver, which is, it's a beautiful essay.

It's from upstream. If, if anyone's interested what I'm trying to do with this work and all of its different iterations is to convey a sort of felt sense of being in the world, being in the, both, it could be an urban landscape, or it could be the natural world, there's things dissolving and emerging.  there's something that could be referenced to birds, windows, squares, you have loose spaces, you have open spaces. It's not anything specific because it's more about creating a felt sense of something in the person who's looking at it that they might feel expansive, calmed, uplifted you know, sort of steeped in beauty.  that's probably, is that, does that help explain it a little bit?  the repeated marks that are in the work, this is something I've been working with for almost 10 years. They evolve and they are for me a kind of language, but they can also become just a pattern in the landscape very easily as well.  they can signify movement too, within the piece. There's sort of an organizing principle as well as sort of a signature of my work.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

I'm enjoying hearing you talk about this because as you know, I have one of your pieces in, in my home and I think I'm gonna go back and now I'm gonna look at these, these marks that I'm gonna see what the language is that she was talking about. And, and I, I often will walk past the piece, you know, I'll walk past it, you know, multiple times a day, but then every, so often the light will hit the gold leaf and then I actually stop and look at it. And I do think that is the interesting thing about your work in particular, but about art just overall is that you actually do have the opportunity to look at it with fresh eyes. And particularly as you're describing this and, and you're kind of putting a little different context around it, it, it, it enables things to emerge in a way

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

Yes I think for me, for the art that I find that I wanna have in my home, I want it to be work that I wanna continue to engage with. I never get bored of looking at, you know, I could look at it again and again and again, and kind of get lost in it, whether it's representational or abstract. You also notice in this particular piece, there's a lot of squares. I tend toward that. And I think it's, it's like it, it's a kind of a form of order in the work for me too. You know, I have to fight that tendency. I mean, probably if I could just let it, if I let it rip, the whole thing would be squares because I love to have everything be really neat and tidy and sort of, you know, me and plus, or however you say that.

But I also want some looseness in the work and I think that's actually where my work is going, is even dissolving more and more of those boundaries around those squares.  You know, and it's interesting when I traveled to the Netherlands a few years ago to teach, I noticed that everyone, like their yards, people's yards were very tidy and neat and ordered too. And my family being Dutch on my father's side, I thought, oh, I wonder if there's a little bit of that in there, you know? And that's what's showing up in the work too, but yes I love to organize things in little squares too. So you'll see that the squares of gold and the squares of the sections that are sort of marked off and carved in the work as well.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

I mean that, description provides such an interesting kind of tension to your personality.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

Yes I think it's, that's very true. yes. I can, I love things to be really ordered and organized, but then I know that's not how life shows up all the time and we have to let there be more looseness. That's why there's a few paintings that will be in my October show that are a little bit more organic, more flowing. They have some more rounded shapes in them. There's more looseness. And I think that's the direction I'm going in.  I wanna do a really big version of one of the pond paintings. I can sort of feel it and I'm just waiting until I have that time in my studio to go there.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Well, one of the things I'm noticing about this piece for me is the lines that are more towards your side, they almost look like, like pilings in, and I think of lake Champlain and running along the waterfront and the pilings that emerge, especially in the wintertime and even the fact that they're set upon this, the, the blues of what could be water, and that may not be your intention, but that's also the interesting thing for me about art is particularly in the abstract, you're able to look at something and bring your own context to it as well.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

Absolutely. And though, I mean, that could be there for sure. You know, for me, it's also grass. I love tall, you know, grasses sort of, I remember seeing some, these photographs years ago, it was a Korean photographer out in the bay area that had done just these incredible black and white photographs of I think they were like from Lily pads that were coming up out of the water or anyway, they were just the, the lines themselves were just so beautiful. And so I find line to just be something I can lose myself in, you know I don't know if I told you this story the last time we talked too, but when I taught at haystack years ago I had seen when I was in Stonington a big, beautiful piece of art that I loved that had just horizontal lines going across it.  it was almost like complexity, I think. And I just realized how much I loved the line, you know, just how soothing it was. And when I was teaching, it turned out that the gentleman who made that piece was the father of one of my students. And he also worked for a haystack too, which I didn't know.  so that was kind of a fun little story.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So it shouldn't really be that surprising given that you like things to be neat and ordered and lined up that when you're going through the messy stage, doesn't  that feel great.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

Right? Exactly. yes. It's, it's challenging, you know, and, encaustic is messy. It's almost impossible to keep, you know, there was a period where my studio was really tidy. And then as I started working larger things, got messier, wax got on the table, it got on the floor, it got on my heat. Good, it gets under my nails. And I don't like that part of it. So I have to keep stopping and cleaning periodically too, and reorganizing everything in the studio, but it's just part of the process, you know, and it's probably good for me to be uncomfortable sometimes in my studio and then have to bring it back to a place of comfort.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So, one of the things that I noticed about this piece was a different color and it was something that you and I discussed very briefly before we started talking on air.  you do have a lot of blue in your work and I know that I believe there was a famous artist that was known for his blue phase.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

I think it was Picasso.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

yes I think, I think you're right. So I'm now conflating you with Picasso, so, oh, well yes. So you're welcome. And now it sounds like maybe you're emerging from your blue phase and you're moving into a different phase.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

I think. So I was talking to Nikki at the gallery the other day when I was dropping off a painting. And I said, I just wanna paint with earth tones and we know warmer colors too.  This is a comfort zone for me to work with blues. I love them. They're very soothing. They feel like me, but I've been wanting to sneak in some other things. So I've started to do it a little bit over the past year. So yes the color that you're bringing a little bit of soft pink in there, or some sepia different kinds of, you know more transparent greens just bringing in some of those other, even noticing that, like, for example, the more muddy colors that are in this particular painting are part of what make the prettier colors work. If it was all just pretty colors, the, the more sort of lighter pastel colors, it would be one thing. But when you add in those little sections of kind of like green gray, that's what makes the rest of it sing for me, it makes the other colors prettier and makes them richer.  it shows off their saturation as well.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

It's always interesting to me that in looking at a piece and looking at a color, I have just a visceral response to it and you know, and I was telling you earlier, there's a, there's a teal on this piece. That for me is just, it's just always, it's just a, it's always been there. It's the color. It's one of my kind of foundational life colors. And I can't really explain to you why, but it just speaks to me in a way. And it's interesting that I'm, I'm certain that many other people feel this way as well. And that we're all kind of walking around in this world of colors and these things that kind of grab us and that we resonate with, and it creates this whole other level of living that we have the ability to connect to.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

yes. I think that's one of the wonderful aspects of owning original art, having it in your home and getting to engage with it.  but what's funny is that my color, the way that teal is for you, would be like light gray . And I have, I remember shopping recently and I came home and everything I bought was light gray. I was like, Dietland, you have to buy something with color in it at some point, you know, but I just love light gray. Well, my walls are light gray at home, and, but nobody wants light gray paintings all the time. So you have to work with some color. yes. I think everybody has that something, the colors there's certain colors that just, you know, they have different effects on us, you know, they can drive the aesthetic of your work too.  like red you'll almost never see me work with red or even orange for some reason, but I want to work with a little bit of orange. So who knows maybe that will show up in something in the coming year. 

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Well, especially if you're talking about working with warmer tones. Exactly. It may be that this is part of your brain's longer term strategy.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

Yes. You'll sneak it in just a little bit.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Yes. well, you know, and as I talk about teal, I mean, for me also, red is great, it's such a great example of a stage in my life. I remember going through where I, it was just something that I, I needed to have, I needed to, I needed to wear my red coat. I mean, I needed to kind of make this statement to the world and probably more to myself than to the world that there's this, this other element, there's this something that made me hadn't been emerging and needed to emerge at that time. So I think it's also interesting that over the course of one's life you can be like, oh, today is actually an orange day, or, you know, I'm going into my yellow phase. yes. That colors really do mean a lot to.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

Us. yes. I, when I went through my yoga teacher training, the 200 hour training when I was 40, before that, I only really worked with black and white and like just the clear medium and some objects, maybe a little tiny bit of like green gold might be in there or something, but it was pretty, it was pretty much black and white, but when I went through that, and I also, I noticed one time when I was teaching in the group, there were about 60 students in my pod. And I'm looking around and everyone has these cool yoga clothes on and everything I own is like gray or black and white. And I was like, I'm gonna go down and buy the wildest yoga pants. I can find it in the store. I need something with pink in it or something that just isn't gray.

 

You know, it was a challenge, but I did find a really fun pair of yoga pants, which I hardly ever wear, but still I own them. And it was after I came back from that teacher training that I started working with more color in my paintings. And that's when the gold came in as well too. So I think those things were all tied together with that desire to have more color and, and just the beauty that you got from bringing together all these different kinds of hues and the shades and the tents that are in the work.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

You're also describing something that I think is very real. And that is that the group that you're with, at any given time in your life or the culture that you're a part of, there's almost a palette that's associated with that. And so sometimes pulling yourself out and being willing to be the orange or being willing to resonate with a new group. yes. I mean, that actually can be both exciting and a little

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf :

Scary. Yes. Yes, I agree. yes. And then I think that, like, you know, as artists, we also get kind of defined by the color palette that we work with too, so that people are drawn to our work because they're really drawn to those colors. They even think of them. I've heard people say, oh, these are your colors too. You know, like they associate colors with me as an artist too.  and these do feel like they reflect me even, you know, wearing grays and blacks. They're very grounded colors. And, you know, I realized, especially going through that yoga teacher training, it was like, you try out different kinds of parts of yourself. You're like admiring that person who teaches from a really energetic place or who smiles the whole time or whatever. And then I realized that's not how I teach. I like the kind of slow, deep, thoughtful, calming process. It's the same thing with my artwork. It's just, it's an extension of who I am.  so the merging into new colors will have to happen gradually. I think it is like, you'll see a big orange painting next year, but you'll see some orange maybe in some work.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

 Well, I'm really looking forward to it now. I mean, it's so intriguing. I, I have to kind of see where the vision eventually takes us because I mean, I, I do agree with you that blue is a, I, that it is something, I mean, obviously my piece in my house is blue, but the interesting thing is when I talk to you, I don't necessarily think blue.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

I can't really tell you exactly what color it is that I feel. And I certainly wouldn't wanna label you with a color that does work for your life, but, it isn't necessarily blue. yes. So it'll be, I'll really be fascinating to see where that kind of goes next. yes.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

Yes. That will be interesting. yes. The piece that you have is definitely akin to this, this whole series it's called drama. And it's like it's a dream, it's about what, what that dreamlike state is, and that space between waking and sleeping. And I think a lot of my landscapes, whether they are urban landscapes or more about the natural world, have that kind of aspect. It's sort of like dream like and soft and things are fading and emerging, like in this piece too, there's a lot of reference to the landscape, if you're in an airplane and you're looking down and you're seeing how, you know, if, especially if you're flying over fields and farming areas, you see these sort of ordered areas.  I think yours even has more white in it too. There's a lot of like white expansive space in that piece.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Do you think that this piece, as a result of all of your traveling and all the time spent in airplanes, yes. I'm sure it has been influenced in any way. 

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

Oh, I love that there, like, I'm definitely that person on the airplane just can't get enough pictures of clouds and, and fields. And of course they don't look as good on my phone cuz I, you know, as they do looking out the window of the airplane, but I'm endlessly fascinated when you are above the earth, looking down at the way that we've carved out this space and  and the different colors that emerge from that from rivers and roads and and fields and trees and houses too, even the, the way we've organized our architecture.  yes.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Well, I'm always most recently when I'm watching shows on Netflix or, or whatever, the thing I really enjoy is seeing the, the drone sequences know where I love that they're showing the, you know, there's the cars that are driving along the winding snowy roads with the trees that are coming up, and it's just this sense that, I mean, we really have the ability now to look at things from so many different angles that maybe we didn't have quite as much access to as before.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

Yes, I agree. I know when I do my Peloton, I love, I just do the scenic rides and I turn the music off cuz I just love kind of floating through, you know, Scotland on my bicycle.  so yes I feel, I feel that same way. There's a Instagram site that I follow called, I think it's the daily overview or just maybe over, I don't know if you've seen it, but they do a lot of pictures of the earth, satellite pictures of different parts of the earth and also show how they've changed over time and then tell you what you're looking at.  and even ones that are actually very, very sad. What, what we're looking at can be incredibly beautiful in a weird way too, when viewed from a great distance. 

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

yes. Well I'll have to look it up. yes

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

That's cool.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So I know that people will of course wanna buy your art because I mean, clearly we did at our house and I know they can go to the Portland art gallery for that. But for people who are interested in learning about the workshops that you give or the teaching that you do, how would they access or how would they find you? yes.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

So it's all on my website. If you go Dietlind Vander Schaaf.com. There's a teaching tab right on there where you can find out about workshops.  I have, I think pretty much everything for next year is listed. There's a few things that haven't registration hasn't registered.  I'm really excited because Emma, who works at the gallery, is gonna be one of my work study assistants next year for two of my workshops. So she'll be with me when I teach at Penland and she's also gonna come down to Kennebunk port with me next September for the last session of my retreat. So I'm gonna do this next year. It will be my last time running it.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Oh boy. yes. That's that'll be, you'll do the grand finale.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

Exactly. Yep. yes. Got a year to plan that.

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Good. And you are very fortunate to work with Emma 

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Yes, we all are. Yes, we all are. We all, are anybody who's watched? The show has met Emma, so obviously I don't have to tell you, but yes, it's a great group of people.

 

Dietlind Vander Schaaf:

I think seriously, everybody who's associated with Portland, art gallery F is fabulous. I love going in to deliver a painting cause I'll just end up talking to Nikki or, you know, just any one of the people working there. It's just, it's always a treat.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

I feel the same way. It's a wonderful thing to be a part of. And  it's actually a wonderful thing to spend time with you today because it's, I, I kind of, I think of the time that you and I talked together and the, the artist gathering, but I also think of the time where you are the, you were just the head on the other side of the camera and one of our early podcasts, which had its own kind of sense of fun and hope in the midst of this weirdness that the world has been over the last three years. So, I appreciate your willingness to step toward that uncertainty at that point, but I really appreciate your kind of coming back into the circle and being present with me here today. Thanks Lisa. It's it's pleasure. Always wonderful. I've been speaking with artist Dietland Vander Shaaf, and you may go to the Portland art gallery to see her wonderful work or go to her website to learn more about her teaching.  I really do encourage you to kind of, I want you to see where her vision is leading her. It'll be interesting to see how things emerge. So perhaps show up at the October show and  see what you think. And  I appreciate your joining us here today. I am Dr. Lisa Belisle. This has been radio Maine. Thank you