COURTNEY VANDER VEUR
The idea for Courtney Vander Veur’s Day One came while she was experimenting painting with a combination of oil paint and turpentine. As she dripped water on the mixture, she noticed it would move around on the canvas and leave lots of circles and paths. “I started to feel like the paintings felt slightly cosmic, like planets or cells dividing,” Vander Veur explains. Seeing some paintings of the creation in the Church museum a short while later confirmed what she wanted to do with her experiment.
The process of creation is important in every aspect of Vander Veur’s painting. Day One took weeks to complete as she waited for layers of color, starting with yellow, to dry before adding others, creating darker parts on the canvas simply by adding more layers. “The thing that I love about it is that it was actually a spiritual experience creating it, because I felt like it kind of created itself as well,” Vander Veur recalls. Often when she would try to control where the paint went, it wouldn’t stay. “So I ended up getting a lot of marks on the painting that I think are really beautiful that I couldn’t have done if I wanted to.”
The amazing spiritual connection Vander Veur found while creating Day One convinced her to include it in her application for the 2014 Deseret Book art scholarship, where it was one of the four scholarship winners.