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With over thirty years of experience in art and twelve in painting, my preferred medium is acrylics expressed through abstraction and more present in modern figurative. I paint with a vibrant and strong color palette and semi-bold textures to bring my art to life. My art invokes study, thought and words, a story to breathe momentum into communities and societies. I believe in hosting more than a sense of owning; the life of the art lives beyond the life of its owner. Hosting the Arts brings about cultural healing and therapeutic realities and the ancient truth- wherever the arts go so does influence for a thriving community and the arena of success. I have learned the dedication and weighty value of what it means to be "a finisher", and my art carries this message. My hope is to release the same courage and determination it takes to gain mastery in my craft, into the lives of those who experience my art. My goal is to release all the treasures of art inside of myself, both presently and in the future. My pursuit is to see my art around the world, in homes, offices, hospitals, and the public eye - with the aim of igniting passion in its audience to live out their goals and dreams, and to live life to the fullest.
I am in my forties, married to a supportive hubby, and have three sons who are all young men now. To give you a good view of my journey in the arts I need to take you way back into my early childhood.
From as young as I can remember I loved art, preferably drawing and coloring in every way and on everything. I loved color. All who know me personally know I love community and can talk the hind legs off a mule, oh but get me in my studio and silence is my best friend. These both were extremes throughout my childhood and youth; community and then drawing away for long periods of time in a silent creative process.
I distinctly remember the year and season when I encountered a connection with my future. I know what you're about to read may sound very odd, but I experienced a convergence at the age of six with my future, and in the past several years I'm finally getting it!
A convergence where in 1987, a little golden curly-haired wild child, was taken to a place underground to see and hear something whispering from my future (note: some of this I am writing about is to encourage others that destiny is real and never give up on those hidden treasures on the inside of you).
Up to age nine, my beautiful hard working mama raised me and my two brothers on her own. We lived in Midvale, Utah and though by the standards of society we were considered poor, we never knew it. My mom invited Jesus into all things in our little lives, and He made it simply amazing.
In this old house where we lived, my bedroom closet had no doors, just a top shelf and as usual a clothing rod. My younger brother and I shared a bedroom, and I would hang like some type of acrobat from the clothing rod, doing semi-tricks in its small space. During the summer of 1987, my older brother was with us in the room as we were all playing wildly. My mom had left my brother who was age ten with us, most likely as she was finishing her cleaning jobs for the day. As per usual I was swinging from the clothing rod and lost my grip, landing hard on the closet floor. I had hurt my back with something that was more than carpet. Now to this day, my older brother has no memory of this whatsoever, none of it. After landing hard I stood up and saw the carpet could be lifted, and lift it I did, finding a handle to a trap door that led under the old one-floor house.
Now here's where it gets odd; we, my older and younger brother and myself, went down the wooden steps that led into what reminded me of a root cellar, one like my aunt had on her property. The difference was it was inside the home and had four or five steps down. This distinct memory is stronger than most of my childhood memories. I even remember the smells of dust mixed with old wood and metals. I remember the swirling airflow after lifting the trap door and heading down.
As we began to descend the steps it opened up to a large dirt floor area that we could stand up in, however, an adult would need to crouch down. Lined along these cement walls were ancient paintings and model ships of all kinds. To me, the paintings seemed very intriguing and told stories that are still etched in my mind. I remember some of the paintings were of bodies and faces, while others had oceans and landscapes, and trees. They were set in ornate frames and covered in dust. Some of the model ships reminded me of one that sat in my grandparent's home, made sometime in the sixties or so, the golden and brass model ships.
We kept this place a secret world. I don't recall telling my mom, but I recall going down there often having a sense of grandeur and awe about this dusty old hidden world of art and ships.
Something happened to me after these experiences. A seed of art began to grow, and a desire to touch the nations with my art began to simmer through the following years into youth and young adulthood.
It wasn't until sometime around 2002 that I was at a family gathering and I began reminiscing on the underground world beneath my closet with my mom and brothers, when they all began to laugh saying, "Heather that never happened. You've talked about this before, that didn't exist." My mom was convinced that there never existed a trap door under the carpet of my closet. Her words were, "Trust me I would've known if there was something like that under the house."Well, my younger brother was only four and my older brother seems to always forget things from our childhood, so for me, it was a memory problem with them. But for my mom, it was simply the reality that I kept it secret. When it comes down to who is right or wrong, I have an experiential memory of it all. It is and has been with me throughout my whole life. I remembered it at age seven, age eight, age ten, age thirteen, and so on until now!
That key experience, which I believe was aligned with my future somehow, unlocked a door in me around 2011 and began to blossom outwardly.
So life moves on. I periodically did many forms of visual art through my youth and adulthood, much of which I gave away to friends and family. I began to paint with oils around the age of twenty-five or so and took up acrylics a few years later. I had never "devoted" myself to art, I would sense a drawing to it at certain periods in my life, and would step away for seasons at a time to do pour out what was bottled up. Truthfully I say art, since early on, has always come quite effortlessly for me. Many styles art, whether at home or in school, art has easily flowed from my fingertips. I believe this partly because my mom always taught by action to be uninhibited, and also its DNA (that story is for another time). I can't remember who once said, "Know who you are and do it on purpose." Well, that is sometimes harder than we think. I have found that our future is always speaking on the inside of us, not in the world around us, and we need to silence all distractions to hear it.
It was in 2016 that I found my entrance into the professional world of art, and it was born out of a season of crisis. My husband and I and our three sons moved across the US and began to struggle financially, it was very painful in every sense of the word. We moved once again thinking things would get better, but sadly things got really bad. We couldn't afford our rent, school clothing, groceries, or Christmas for the boys. Growing up with a single mama till the age of nine, I remember standing in the welfare cheese and bread lines with her. So, when I was standing in a free food line and waiting my turn to enter and take 16 items (per person), I realized I had to seriously get something going, and help out my precious husband. It was a couple of voices in my life (the ones who celebrate you) that told me to try and sell my artwork. I thought, "what could I lose". I worked hard and fast. The first Gallery I entered said they'd take a look. I came back two days later, then they had me bring nine of my large-scale pieces for their next exhibit and a few small ones. I, along with my husband, was in tears after opening night. Eight of my nine pieces sold and I was commissioned for a quadriptych. It's amazing what a turn of events can bring in a person's life, with God timing is everything.
That following year and a half I sold many more in other exhibits, and a few more commissions. Going into 2018 my time was not my own, and I had to put many pauses on my brushes for the sake of homeschooling our two youngest sons. I was able to devotedly pick up the brush again in mid 2020, and found a love for modern figurative work. I enjoy my abstract work, but growing in figurative is a determination of mine.
My scope of work is expressed best on large-scale pieces, the bigger the better, while I still work the smaller canvas for my Glass Transfers.
My fingers like the fluidity of oil, but my heart likes the ease and swiftness through acrylics. Much of my abstract art contains full-bodied texture for expression and dry brushing with marked underpaintings for my figurative work. I prefer a vibrant color palette but enjoy muting my colors if the piece I'm working on calls for it.
I believe in working hard from a place of rest. Rest of mind and soul. If you work hard from a place of stress and anxiety you won't live long or enjoy life.
I highly believe in hosting the arts; both for healing and therapeutic realities, and for the ancient truth that wherever the arts go so does influence for a thriving culture and the arena of success.
"Most of the time people go looking outside of themself to find their pursuit, while quietly residing on the inside is your future waiting to come alive" - HEATHER JOY
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