Standing Out in the Crowd
Heather Arenas, oil painter
On display January 3-January 26
Heather’s current project, The Museum Series, revolves around using a Zorn palette of white, yellow, red, and black. This choice of colors not only maintains harmony in my work but also represents the complexities of the world, where situations can be perceived as ‘black and white’, yet answers often lie in the gray areas. The dominant presence of yellow in my pieces symbolizes my belief in the inherent goodness of people and shows my positive outlook and desire to convey optimistic themes through my art. The incorporation of red to represent tension or ‘bad’ aspects in life further highlights my appreciation for the good and contrasts the opposing forces of yin and yang.
Central to The Museum Series is the endearing yellow character, ‘Dot,’ a recurring motif paying homage to my beloved grandmothers. These influential figures played a pivotal role in kindling my artistic passion, not only by providing me with art supplies but also by exposing me to a diverse range of art forms and instilling a profound appreciation for the old masters. I often feature paintings by artists I deeply admire, such as John Singer Sargent and Edgar Degas, presenting them as if exhibited in a museum, garnering significant attention and admiration from viewers.
ArtistStudio with Heather Arenas
Angie Lukas from ArtCenter Manatee sits down with artist, Heather Arenas to answer questions about her solo exhibition and career.
Artist Bio Heather Arenas, born in 1969 in New Jersey, is a multidisciplinary artist currently based in Myakka City, Florida. Arenas began her professional art career by participating in various life drawing and plein air events across the US but primarily in Colorado. She was fortunate to paint alongside several outstanding artists in their fields giving her a sensibility for different techniques. Arenas primarily focuses on the medium of oil paintings on aluminum and wood panels, as well as charcoal drawings on paper. She is best known for her ability to convey stories of the human condition through the use of gesture, employing a limited palette, extensive grays, and expressive brush strokes. One of her most noteworthy projects is “The Museum Series,” which began in 2016 and continues to the present. This series marks a significant breakthrough in her career, as it departs from the confines of realism and ventures into the realm of exaggerated gestures and vibrant colors.
Arenas’s talent and artistic achievements have been showcased in various prestigious exhibitions and have earned her a place in several private national and international art collections. She is a member of several art organizations including the American
Women Artists, the American Impressionist Society and the Bold Brush Inner Circle. Notable exhibitions displaying her works include the American Women Artists National Exhibition 2023 in Charleston, South Carolina, the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art Annual National Juried Exhibition 2023 in Wausau, Wisconsin, and the American Impressionist Society National Exhibition 2022 in Boulder, Colorado, further solidifying her presence and influence within the American art community.
At the core of Arenas’ artistic pursuits lies an aspiration to bestow beauty and radiance upon the world through her evocative creations. Additionally, she remains steadfast in her dedication to supporting fellow artists on their creative journeys. Summing up her life’s mission, Arenas ardently embraces the wisdom of Edward Bok, “Wherever your lives may be cast, make the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it.”