24 x 30 in.
oil on cradled wood
Available in the ‘Fresh Impressions’ Show opening Dec. 6th at Reinert Fine Art, Charleston, SC.
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 my recent work, 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.
WAOW Fall Online 2019, Left Turn, Clyde, Best of Show
Identity Portrait Competition September 2019, I’ve Got This!, Grand Prize
WAOW National Juried Exhibition 2019, Blush, Pursuit of Beauty award
Finalist Gateway Intl, June 2019, Moth-Winged Thoughts Carry Me Away
Master Signature artist Women Artists of the West
Signature artist American Women Artists
To see more of my work, visit www.heatherarenas.com