Andrea Van Wyk
February 24 - March 30
I am a lifelong learner, continuously discovering and exploring to develop my artistic skills and to enrich my teaching. I believe as Austin Kleon does in his book, Steal Like an Artist, that we are a combination of our experiences. I am a synthesis of many things. Family, traveling, teaching, and reading have all impacted my artwork. My current paintings are an exploration of organic subjects from gardens as close as the Des Moines Art Center rose garden and as far away as Australia. The flower compositions are a way for me to explore the work of Georgia O'Keefe who declared, “I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty." The golden ratio properties of harmony and proportion captivate me in flowers as well as spiral staircases. The architectural details that I discover may be from the Louvre or Bunratty Castle in Ireland. The spiral stair compositions are a personal metaphor for overcoming fear and taking steps of faith to grow and experience life to its fullest. Taking a step into the unknown as many of these staircase paintings depict, led to a deeper level of knowledge. If I hadn't taken a step forward, I would have never experienced the adventure, joy, and fulfillment that was there.
Jeff Olson reminds me in his book, The Slight Edge, that, "Simple daily disciplines - little productive actions, repeated consistently over time - add up to the difference between failure and success." I take small steps toward my goals every day by being productive in creative ways. I may do that by painting on a canvas, doodling in a devotional journal, teaching students, researching a new artist, traveling, or reading. Most recently I have been trying the stain techniques of Helen Frankenthaler and combining magnified florals and architectural details into one composition on raw canvas. I continue to be intentional at expanding my knowledge about artists and media, engaging my mind by exploring the world through travel and books, to experience the adventure, joy and fulfillment of life that ultimately reflects in my paintings.