jackvanderwerf.com

My formal training is in drawing. I have kept a sketchbook and focused on observation, using line to interpret the information as faithfully as possible. Originally, my subjects consisted of everyday objects in my home, table tops, houseplants, windows and light. I approached these as though they were interior landscapes. If there was something that caught my eye, I explored it, trying to find out why I found it interesting at that moment and not at another. I began to use a 35 mm single lens reflex camera to supplement my drawings by documenting the moment of that interest. I liked some of the surprises that occurred, but they weren't good photographs. I had to use them as another tool, another layer of information and utilize the parts that worked and discard the parts that didnít. It allowed me to go outdoors, gather information and explore it in my studio. Unintentionally, I was developing a process approach to making my paintings
The world is thick with imagery that references the nature of photography and photographic images. However, that's not at all what I want to talk about. I want to speak about observing something I stumble upon, seeing something that feels like something else, a transformation of the everyday. A transitory moment of interest involving either light or a particular time of day, a canopy of shadow contrasting an intrusion of light, my placement relative to a space I encounter, at the right moment becomes something so much different. There's color, life and richness in everyday places, usually passed by and often completely disregarded; that's something we've all experienced. I hope it transfers into an image both familiar and new. I think this is really a major component of my work.