Who Needs Friends When You’ve Got Picasso
Heather Arenas
14 x 18 in.

From the artist:
“This painting arose from a time that I went to an opening of a private collection. There was one woman who was intent on studying every painting closely. The rest of the people seemed to be there to socialize and didn’t appear to care about the work on the walls or this woman. I couldn’t help but connect with her because I have often felt like I was closer to the friends on the walls than the people in the room.

I’m what I would call a contemporary impressionist. I use broken color and strong brushwork but I say contemporary because of the combination of graphic contrast and grays. I try to build a composition that can draw people from across a room. For this exhibit, I’m embracing my inner contemporary artist and applying more techniques that I have only flirted with in the past. In particular, I am emphasizing line and pattern in more direct ways.

I paint from photos that I personally shot because I don’t want to just copy an image. I start with an idea that inspired me to take the picture in the first place. How do I feel in this place? Happiness, excitement, chaos, a somber feeling? Whatever it was, I want to get THAT on to the surface. I don’t worry about whether my subjects match the photo. I often use multiple photos to combine gestures of people to recreate the feeling. Instead of limiting the focus to a recognizable place or person, I’m really trying to create a recognizable feeling with paint. I get the most joy when a collector tells me how my painting makes them feel! That means I have connected with them on a personal level.

I typically work on wood surfaces like cradled birch because I can apply paint then wipe it down or sand it without affecting the surface. I sometimes work alla prima when painting from life but for my studio work, I apply lots of thin layers and finish with thicker brush work in key places. I paint with traditional oil painting techniques but will do whatever is necessary to get the feeling I’m after whether it takes brushes, paper towels, rags, cotton swabs, or even my fingers. Da Vinci’s paintings have been said to contain his fingerprints. Maybe someday my work will be identified by my fingerprints.”

“Heather’s work fascinates viewers of all ages! Her museum paintings depicting famous works of the masters are highly engaging and her loose brushwork is admired by our most sophisticated collectors.” Gallery Director, Jason Stone, Reinert Fine Art

View more of Heather’s work at Reinert Fine Art: in-person in Charleston, South Carolina, or online on her gallery artist page.

Come see Heather’s latest body of work at Reinert’s Fresh Impressions show December 6-16 at Reinert Fine Art & Sculpture Garden Gallery 179 & 181 King Street in Charleston.

See Reiner Fine Art’s full lineup of exceptional artists on their website, Facebook (Reinert Fine Art), and Instagram (@reinertfineart) pages.