Worlds within a world on Dietland's desktop
Photo: Anne Stuer
Photo: Anne Stuer
Dietland Vander Schaaf's studio is located in downtown Portland on the fifth floor of the State Theatre building. This brick building used to house more artist studios, says Dietland, but it is primarily small businesses now with a handful of artists on each floor. "The space is sunny and warm with high ceilings, wood floors, and two enormous windows. I appreciate the urban feel of the location—being able to hear street noise below and look out my windows to the roofs and chimneys of other buildings. My home is in a residential neighborhood on the outskirts of the city, so this downtown space reminds me a bit of my years in San Francisco."
Exterior rooftop view of downtown Portland
A well-lit pristine workspace
“Of course, I'd like an even bigger studio (who wouldn't?)," says Dietland, "but at this point I am grateful for the solitude this space affords me. I primarily work on weekends and prefer to paint in silence, as it gives me the opportunity to focus exclusively on what I am doing. Occasionally, when I am sanding or varnishing work, I listen to a podcast or music. My ventilation system is a Vent-A-Fume unit.
“I am a little bit of a junkie when it comes to cleaning. My studio is shoe-free and I prefer to keep it as decluttered as possible, which requires regular organization and letting go. However, I did treat myself to a mid-century modern chair and magazine rack and am really appreciating just sitting and looking or reading in my studio. I also have a mini fridge stocked with beer, wine, and champagne for when friends or collectors visit and some cool glassware including some vintage crystal my mom passed along to me."
A corner for reading and thinking: mid-century magazine rack and Bertoia chair
Below: Vintage crystal for studio visitors
Photos: Anne Stuer
“I work pretty exclusively with encaustic at this point, but just set up a desk for sketching and drawing to test out designs and encourage myself to take risks and become looser with my line work. My go to tool is a simple potter's needle. I use it for everything from making marks to removing brush hairs from my paintings.”
Dietlind in front of Worlds Within II, encaustic and oil on panel, 2017
Photo: Jesika Theos