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Vander Esch

The blank canvas is not always my friend… it stares at me, taunting me to make a move. Ah, where to start? I have found the answer with texture. I apply crinkled paper, a basket weave of upholstery webbing or some random packing materials and suddenly there’s a place to go.


I spent my childhood in a television-free farm house in Northwest Iowa.

Indoor recreational activities were mostly art projects. I took to it right away, creating masterpieces daily. One of my earliest memories was winning an elementary school art contest as a kindergartner. It was a brilliant rendering of “Snowmen Melting” and was very much refrigerator worthy. This small recognition and achievement sparked something within me. And I was hooked on art and design forever.

Art was always my best subject.

In High School, I had a great teacher⏤ Marlin Hansen. Mr Hansen was so nurturing and encouraging that I dared to DREAM that I could become an ARTIST.

In college at South Dakota State University, I continued to develop and fine tune my skills.

I worked under the guidance of many professors; most notably Dennis Guastella and Signe Sturat. But it became clear that making a living as an ARTIST was going be hard.

After college, I worked in design related positions mostly as a retail visual merchandiser. I was successful as a designer, by successful I mean made a livable wage. I worked in this field for a couple of decades however I was designer, not an artist. It appeared my DREAM was put on hold.

In 1997, I was diagnosed with a serious illness and did a six month cycle of chemotherapy. Uncertain of my future, this event gave me lots of time to reflect on life, love, and art. I remembered the joy creating art gave me and knew I had get back to it. Life is hard, art is not.

I survived, as did the DREAM. I continue to work as a retail professional (pays the bills), but I am an ARTIST. I paint every day. I occasionally make an exhibit, have pieces hanging in businesses and even sell them. I am an ARTIST⏤ the DREAM lives!!!


I don’t really have any formula, but there are consistencies in all my art.

I tend to work on the same size canvas (30X40), use a similar color palette and have texture. It’s mostly about preferences I suppose. Subject and composition are all so random… they never end up like I think they will go, even when I think I have a clear, concise idea, there’s always a left turn somewhere during the process. The end result is usually serendipitous (hopefully… fingers crossed).

I like the 30X40 canvas.

It’s like the Goldilocks of canvases… not too big, not too small. Although I often work in series so pieces can be hung together or least in the same room.

I paint mostly with primary colors.

…Reds yellows and blues, lots of black and white. Also with earth tones and lately with touches of metallics. When I step outside this color box with something new and fresh like apricot, coral etc, I usually end up painting over it with the tried and true colors.

Frequently found objects are added after the application of paint is finished.

I am a pet parent of English Bulldog named Spencer. During our walks I find things on the ground that just speak to me. These objects add surprising interest and texture to complete the work.

Art is personal and subjective.

See something you like?…But it’s sold or the wrong size or color?
I can customize art to suit your style.
I will not copy or reproduce existing pieces…but I can recreate its essence or spirit. Tell me what you like.

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I currently live and work in Dallas, Texas. I am a pet parent to a lovable lump of fur⏤ Spencer, an English Bulldog.
Loving life… living the DREAM.