Heatherlee is the talented woman who painted the flowers that you all seem to like on my banner. I’m just in awe every time I look at her work so I thought I could make an article about her. her blog – her etsy shop – her Facebook page
Hi Heatherlee, could you introduce yourself ?
Thank you Candice for doing this interview! I am a Southern California girl that was born in the wrong era. Ideally I would be listening to big band music live on the radio and seeing Doris Day films in the theater. When I was a kid my dream was to be either a teacher, librarian, illustrator, or author. So far I am teaching and creating art, so that is not too bad! I live in a sububan city with my husband and our three kids. They are the light of my life. I am a mommy full-time as well as a teacher and artist on the side.
How long have you been painting ?
My mom is a true artist. She has been my teacher and role model. She was always creating and crafting, so art was always part of my life. I really started to get passionate about it in college after taking some classes. I even debated majoring in it during college, but practicality won over and I decided on English since I planned on being a teacher. In the beginning of 2013 I decided to take a leap and start listing my art in my Etsy shop. I was so used to painting for myself or giving paintings as presents it felt really uncomfortable to accept money for them. My little store has been such a joy! I get to meet wonderful people from all over the world. It has been an honor to send out paintings in the post. I am so thankful to God for this new path and experiences it yields.
When do you feel the most inspired ?
Inspiration is everywhere! In nature, in life, and in daydreams. I also love how the internet can be a flood of inspiration. I am inspired by other artists and photographers. Sites such as Flickr, Pinterest, and Tumblr are a wonderful place to get a spark to start.
How do you organize your workspace ?
My husband is such a sweetheart. We had a boat that took up the whole garage for the last 5 years. He recently sold it and turned a portion of it into a space for me to work and store my supplies. He is a musician and it serves simultaenously as a place to create music. I love that it is starting to cool down and now we can open the door and let the fresh air in. I have big plastic drawer organizers for the odds and ends. My desk is a folding banquet table that is rather large. When I paint large canvases there is a lot of room for all my supplies. On top of the table I have the top half of an antique hutch. That is where I place all the things I need on hand. When I watercolor paint I can go anywhere in the house. I can fit everything into a small basket! Sometimes I paint at the kitchen table, the couch, or even in bed. When I paint with acrylics or oils I work in the garage or at the kitchen table. I have my paints organized in plastic shoe boxes with colored and patterned paper in the front to label which color group is inside. I move these from my outside shelves to my art armoire in the living room depending on where I am working. When my husband is at work I like to be with my children so I can keep an eye on them. That is why I have to be portable!
What inspires you the most ?
Colors and a beautiful image that inspires a little story in my head.
Who are your favorites painters ?
Impressionists such as Degas, Cassatt, Monet, and Renoir have always been my favorite. Lately I have come to appreaciate and admire more abstract work. My style has been more restrained over the years because I like to be in control. I am in a stage in my life where I can see life is messy, but beautiful. I feel like those artworks are saying let go and enjoy what happens. I also love illustrations. I think I enjoy going to the library to pick out picture books more than my children! Some of my favorite illustrators are Teresa Murfin, Erica-Jane Waters and children’s book illustrations from the 1920s especially from the Volland publishing company. Some of my favorite artists that have shops on Etsy are Janet Hill, Oana Befort, and Katie Daisy.
What’s your favorite book ?
My favorite is Jane Eyre! I just adore your photograph of the book, Candice. I also enjoy works from the Regency and Victorian time periods.
Thank you so much for interviewing me and using my watercolor to adorn your site. Your photography is so beautiful and I enjoy reading your blog. I feel so honored! I look forward to watching where your talents take you. I imagine many great things are ahead of you!