Heather Arenas: Keeping It Loose – November 3-4, 2023
This workshop is no longer available. Please consider registering for another workshop.
Heather will demo in bite sized chunks to present progressive concepts in building a painting. We will discuss choosing good photos and designing a composition that includes figures.
There will be a lot of information. A notebook, sketchpad, drawing supplies and painting supplies are all required.. Hours: 9am – 4pm
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When Heather Arenas began her professional career, she decided there was no need for formal study because she had many opportunities to paint alongside some world class artists like Kim English and Daniel Sprick in Denver, Colorado. After several years of live study painting figures and landscapes in Colorado, Heather started to incorporate travel to find new subjects to paint such as the rainy streets of Barcelona, the gorse and sheep in Scotland and the colorful people and landscapes in Curacao. After a trip, she would return and paint a series to commemorate the experience.
Heather’s most recent series stems from a trip to see the museums in New York City. Since then she has been exploring the gestures of people viewing the exhibits and how expressive they can be to tell a narrative that goes beyond the walls of the museum. This series changed her attitude toward painting from just representing a subject to also incorporating less tangible ideas into her work. The woman in the yellow dress that appears in many pieces in this series represents her grandmother and other family members who supported her in her artistic career.
Heather’s style is recognizable by her high contrast, extensive use of grays, and bold brush work. She uses a combination of realism and impressionism to illustrate her story. Her goal is for her work to stand out from the crowd.
“My purpose as an artist is to create work that goes beyond ‘That’s nice’ to creating stories with paint. I’m involving the viewer in the scene through experiences and memories of places they’ve been and people they know. I create multi-figure works that are expressive through gesture and a sense of place.”
Heather will demo in bite sized chunks to present progressive concepts in building a painting. We will discuss choosing good photos and designing a composition that includes figures. Students will bring 3 or 4 photos of their own choosing (working from an IPad or tablet is acceptable. Phones are not.) We will work as a group to look at each person’s photos to help them workout the best composition on paper which the students will paint in the PM and may finish at a later time.
There will be a lot of information. A notebook, sketchpad, drawing supplies and painting supplies are all required.