In the studio with Heather Day

You know that situation when you're in mid- conversation with a friend and you pause to think of the perfect word? And your friend with the kindest intentions makes a suggestion and it totally throws you off? That's what painting can feel like. 

I'm at a point where I have a mental recipe book of colors, thicknesses and opacity of paint. I don't have plans for paintings but I do have an idea of energy and movement I want portrayed as I move from one piece to the next. This movement often gets interrupted and that's what I'm getting at. Not all of the paintings turn out. It can be frustrating, especially when it's a large piece. I've realized that a failed painting is so important to my process. (even if I don't share it with you!)

In my recent work, I'm embracing the accident. To do this, the process involves something to the degree of : pouring paint directly onto the canvas, pushing it across with a squeegee, spraying water, scooping up some of the left over paint, scribbling with graphite or spray paint and then maybe pouring a bucket of water on top of the entire piece. 

You Were Saying #2 by Heather Day

That's a lot of work with a huge risk. I always feel like my best paintings have that factor. There's usually something drastic that happens at the end and and then it's either done or a throwaway. 

Aside from focusing on the physical act of painting, I'm also thinking about nature. In particular, I'm still drawn to those boulders off the coast of San Francisco at Lands End. There's something about the energy - the way the water strikes them over and over. There's movement in all directions. This new series has brought up so many questions. How can nature relate to a conversation? What kind of dialogue is happening and is it simply aesthetic? I want to learn how to be more articulate about something as simple as a sunset. Why are we drawn to it and can we analyze the qualities like we would a rothko painting? What's the difference? 

Sketchbook by Heather Day
Standing Still #1 by Heather Day
Standing Still #2 by Heather Day

View more new paintings here. Purchase small drawings here.