Rein Vanderhill was born and raised in Holland, Michigan. He received his B.A. at Hope College and continued his studies at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit, Michigan, where he received his M.F.A. He is currently a Professor of Art at Northwestern University in Orange City, Iowa.
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 continue to find meaning and enjoyment with the art work.
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.
The paintings of these natural forms and paintings of the shoreline scenes of Lake Michigan where I grew up and visit 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 because intend them to stimulate the senses. I wish everyone to have a sensory engagement with the subject in my painting.
My technical craft is also important to me because it ensures physical permanence and durability of the art. I make my 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 light fast and resistant to fading.