Rein Vanderhill was born and raised in Holland, Michigan where he also received his B.A. at Hope College. He is a Professor Emeritus of Art of Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, and has been a faculty member since 1974. Prior to his move to Iowa, Rein was an instructor at Muskegon Community College for three years before earning a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions throughout the Midwest, and his art is part of permanent collections in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Rein’s paintings of natural forms and of the shoreline scenes of Lake Michigan where he grew up and visits often still will sometimes carry titles of names of dance forms or musical notations because my compositions imply motion and rhythm. Even though they can look photographic from a distance when approached show a liquid motion and dancing paint-strokes. The paintings invite touch and intend to stimulate the senses. Rein wishes everyone to have a sensory engagement with the subject in his paintings. His technical craft is also important because it ensures the physical permanence and durability of the art. Rein makes his own canvas stretchers so they are solid and non-warping. The acrylic painting medium is flexible and is impervious to cleaning solvents. The pigments are lightfast and resistant to fading.
I paint greatly enlarged compositions of small natural forms, mostly fruits, and flowers. They then become monumental and dramatic demanding close examination. They refuse to be ignored because I use high contrasts and intense colors and focused on the unusual shapes of the shadows on the leaves and petals. Often I make the deep dark negative shapes between the leaves and petals the most interesting parts of the painting. My paintings hang on the walls of the places people live, work and play, becoming part of their own life and history. My greatest pleasure is talking with someone who has lived with a painting I have made and tells me how they continue to find meaning and enjoyment with the artwork.