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As a young child, I always loved to paint. Whether it was a "Paint by Numbers" gift that I received for my birthday or crafting homemade cards for my parents, I painted whenever the opportunity arose. When my mum went to the parent/teacher interview with my kindergarten teacher, she told me many years later that my teacher declared emphatically, "All Heather wants to do is paint!". My mum has since passed but this story she shared is a true treasure.
Over the last 17 years, I have been working hard to establish a strong body of work as an artist and specifically, as a painter. I have been trained, coached and mentored by talented artists and teachers. My journey back to painting started with a class at Art Works Art School: 238 Jane St. Toronto. Danica Loncar and Marija Barac-Jandric shared their artistic knowledge and provided their guidance and encouragement. More recently, I have received mentoring from Nada S. Raffey, who has pushed and encouraged me to reach for my highest artistic level; she has encouraged me to reach beyond good.
I continue to work with Marija Barac-Jandric whose voice has always been present whenever I paint. Marija has the ability to describe with precision what step a painting needs to take without jeopardizing the individual style of the artist. Marija understands the power that words can have on the progress of a painting.
I am indebted to these three women.
I studied at Georgian College of Applied Arts and Technology graduating with a diploma in Design Arts-Graphic Design in June 1988. I continued my education at the University of British Columbia graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in May 1992. After graduation, I had a successful career working with York Region Social Services from 1992 to 2007, working with a strong dedicated group of people, some of whom have remained close friends to this day. While I was working at York Region Social Services , I completed the Human Resource Certificate program at Seneca College.
In 2007, I left my employment to care for an ill family member. In the process of this change, I rediscovered painting and had the opportunity to return to the art community and develop my artistic abilities.
I paint with acrylic on board, using rich pigmented colours and bold strokes to develop my images and convey my message to you, the viewer. I am inspired by events in my life which affect how I feel and see the world around me. I use images from my home in Bloor West Village and from my travels.
When painting the human form, I strive to capture the essence of the individual, creating a connection between the sitter and the viewer. When you view my portraits, my hope is that you sense the personality of the sitter and feel that you know a little bit about them, not just what they look like.
Life can be surprising; I am so glad it gave me the opportunity to come full circle and to return to painting.