Shirin is pronounced ‘Sure-reen’- it is Persian meaning “sweet, gentle and kind”... it is Heather’s middle name.
Heather was born in Minneapolis, MN in 1975, and currently resides outside of Asheville, NC.
Heather works out of her home studio having attained her BFA with honors in oil painting in 1997, from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She went on to take additional design courses from the Museum School of Fine Arts, Boston. She teaches Art Nouveau Portraiture & Mixed Media Classes at the River’s Edge and 301 Art Gallery, in the River Arts District in Asheville NC.
Her art nouveau portraits of women are done with acrylic, painted directly on ungessoed birch panels, purposely allowing the natural beauty of the wood grain to shine thru in the female figure’s skin. Her current series focuses on using fine art papers, metallic paints and gold leaf to create their hair, clothing and the background designs. Heather’s mixed media paintings are large scale, on deep birch panels - and are quite luminous with metallic and other reflective materials. The artists that have influenced her recent work include Mia Bergeron, Felix Mas, Audrey Kawasaki, Manuel Nuñez, Steven Daluz and Joan Dumouchel.
“I am interested in the relationships that women have with other women - the closeness between sisters, mothers, lovers and best friends. I capture the vulnerability, strength and romance that women share when together - using materials that define their beauty and presence...”.
Heather’s work is represented by The Updraft Gallery and The 310 Art Gallery in Asheville NC. She has also been represented by Gallery Asheville, Desert Moon Designs Studios and Gallery, The Night Gallery, Seven Sisters Gallery, the Kress Emporium and Woolworths Walk Fine Art Gallery. She is also an active volunteer at the Asheville Area Arts Council and the Artery Gallery. One of Heather’s paintings was auctioned for the Arts Council’s annual fundraiser The Tangerine Ball in 2012, to help support the local art community. She currently works for Artetude Gallery, working with many renowned international artists. Heather is a juried member of the National Association of Women Artists and is getting ready for her next solo show.
My current series focuses on portraits of women, featured in a quiet and reflective way. I am exploring
relationships that women have with other women - the closeness between sisters, mothers, lovers and
best friends. I capture the vulnerability, strength and romance that women share when together - using
materials that define their beauty and presence.
I start with a reference photoshoot using models and friends. Then I paint directly onto the raw wood of the solid birch panels. I use acrylic paints much like a watercolors - soaking right into the wood itself to bring the women to life. The wood grain shines through their thinly painted skin tones, adding visual interest. Various fine art papers are used to depict clothing, and elements such as gold leaf and metallic paint are incorporated. Many of my pieces are highly reflective and have a very rich appearance. These intricate designs add texture and depth to the work, creating an exquisite modern Art Nouveau portrait.