“If the quality of the artist’s line and form is the hallmark of his level of spiritual consciousness, we are most fortunate to have Glaskin serving as the eyes and ears of nature.” These are the words that Art Historian of the La Pietra School For Girls, Jack Gillmar used to describe Derek Glaskin.
Looking at Derek’s works show that he is influenced by the immediate environment that surrounds him. Going from Australia to Hawaii, he includes the elements of the oldest aboriginal art forms he learned throughout his stay in the island. He includes patterns that reflect Hawaiian symbols such as koru forming in the waters off the islands, Hawaiian palm trees, the sun, the waves of the sea, owl defined as the wise Aumakua (spirit animal) for any great Hawaiian Aliʻi Nui and many more.
His work is mostly composed of a saturated palette of orange and yellow offset with vibrant colors that tell the story of the cosmopolynesian and captures the viewer’s attention. Indeed, there is something about his ceremonial artwork and indigenous pieces that we should all pay attention to.
At ten years old, he found out about his talent in the arts when he saw a tourist fumbling to take a photo of the place with his camera. To his dismay, the camera broke down and couldn’t take any picture. Derek saw the frustration on his face and with his innocence at that time, he offered to draw a quick sketch of the beach and gave it to the tourist. The tourist was in awe and thanked Derek for it. It became his early memory of him drawing. And, little did he know, that was also the beginning of a lifetime journey towards art.
50 years later, he is still not slowing down anytime soon. In fact, he wants to even reach more people than ever before. For him, it is about time for art other than the western visual art to be consumed by the public. Soon enough, the next big thing is an indigenous genre of visual art already staring at people in the face led by Derek himself.
While he is already a renowned artist in his own right, his journey was not always smooth sailing for him. Life had brought him different challenges, but like in surfing, he says, “the trick to pick the right wave is to ride with the right people.”
This year, Derek is set out to produce and exhibit corporate collections of original fine artworks with vertical product marketing and production. Besides his artwork on canvas, he also loves to collaborate with talented designers to put his work in fabric.
Inspired by his stay in Hawaii, Derek lives by the philosophy put together from the Hawaiian phrase, Kūlia i ka nu’u, which means “to strive to reach the summit” and Kū i ka māna “to be like the one from whom you have learned.” He put those together and believes that “To be like the one from whom you have learned, (you have) to strive to reach the summit.”
To learn more about Derek Glaskin and his artwork, follow him on Facebook.