A Tribute To Joe T. Verdoorn

June 9, 1945 – June 11, 2016.

Joe, the Artist

A Texas artist by choice, Joe was born in Southern California during its rapid growth in the 1950’s. His earliest impressions of landscapes were formed by the transformation of California’s idyllic landscape to accommodate the rapid population growth. In the early 60’s, Joe’s family moved to Tyler, Texas where he was exposed to a completely different reality of unspoiled pastures, lush vegetation and acres of forest to explore.

During Joe’s college career, he was introduced to free hand drawings and watercolor painting as part of his landscape architecture studies. This ability to express landscape artistically struck a chord with Joe and sparked a lifelong interest in painting. Following graduation, Joe joined the faculty of Texas Tech University where he pursued his interests in both landscape architecture and visual arts, teaching advanced landscape architectural design courses, freehand drawing and graphic communications.

His work was substantially influenced by his early boyhood observations, formal education and professional experiences as well as a profound interest on the interaction of perspective, light and color. Joe described his work as a process of “chaotic evolution”. Or as he explains it,

“Usually, my paintings take on a life of their own, leading me in unanticipated directions and conclusions to a final product which bears little resemblance to the initial concept.”

The diversity of Joe’s subjects and the varied techniques used to express his vision never ceased to surprise first time visitors to his studio. However, the underlying theme remained the same; the landscape and man’s influence upon it. Joe painted everyday scenes, documenting those visual stories by tapping into his understanding of design. His paintings depicted everyday landscape subjects and the effect of man’s influence, without imposing his judgment on the forces that shape the landscape. He left judgment to the viewer.

Joe, the Registered Landscape Architect

His work was substantially influenced by his early boyhood observations, formal education and professional experiences as well as a profound interest on the interaction of perspective, light and color. Joe described his work as a process of “chaotic evolution”. Or as he explains it,

“Usually, my paintings take on a life of their own, leading me in unanticipated directions and conclusions to a final product which bears little resemblance to the initial concept.”

The diversity of Joe’s subjects and the varied techniques used to express his vision never ceased to surprise first time visitors to his studio. However, the underlying theme remained the same; the landscape and man’s influence upon it. Joe painted everyday scenes, documenting those visual stories by tapping into his understanding of design. His paintings depicted everyday landscape subjects and the effect of man’s influence, without imposing his judgment on the forces that shape the landscape. He left judgment to the viewer.