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Style Magazine

Jerianne Van Dijk

Feb 05, 2014 06:47AM ● By Style

Photography by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.

Local artist Jerianne Van Dijk—

whose paintings, illustrations and murals range from whimsical impressionistic works to detailed realism—has created original artwork for many businesses and companies, from restaurant murals to product labels (Lost Coast Brewery, Indian Springs Vineyards, and Tomaso’s Dressings, to name a few). Recently she was invited as one of 26 artists around the world to celebrate the “25th Year of Arts” at El Minia University in Egypt. Below she tells us how she came to achieve such great success in the competitive art world.

AB: Was art always a part of your life? How did you know you wanted to make a career of it?

JVD: I always drew my world—the stories in my head, and the world I wished I had. It was a form of escape from the life [my family] lived. Art itself was not a part of my life growing up—all we had on our wall was a really cheap print of some grapes and fruit. I never went to art school or college, and married and had my first child before realizing I really needed to [pursue art]. I then began teaching myself to watercolor and giving myself tough goals. Career still hasn’t entered my mind—I do it because I need to.

AB: How do you know when a piece is finished?

JVD: It’s usually before I realize it. This is age-old for any work. I am not one to want to noodle at the end. A good piece for me, as Robert Frost said of any poem, should have a delicious vagueness; if I can have that and an amount of detail, I’m done. With that said, I might do the same subject many more times…just to stretch the idea.


AB: You’ve made artwork for many products and companies. Is there a piece of work you’re most proud of? Why?

JVD: I did a label for Indian Springs Vineyards that came about in a flash, and though it has a funny story about how long it took to make the owner happy, it turned out to be a winner in many competitions. I still get people asking if I have poster art of it—though they’re no longer making the wine.

AB: You work in watercolor, gouache, ink and crayon. Do you have a preference for one in particular? Why?  

JVD:  I still love watercolor. It has an element of [unpredictability]—not knowing what the water will do—and I like that. I count on the quirky value of water and paint. With oils you have to make everything happen. Though, I still like adding crayon in the end.

AB: What advice would you give young, budding artists?

JVD: Go to school—get the papers. I teach watercolor, yet, because I don’t have a B.A. or other letters, I’m not qualified to teach college courses. Also, practice. The part you do well at the beginning is good, yet not that good. One needs to hone that. A lot of work gets put out for sale that hasn’t been cured by practice. The essence and talent is there, yet the practice and the experience will bring you the home run at the right time. •

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