Heather Day | Studio Visit
San Francisco, CA
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Tell us a little bit about what you're doing in your work now.
I am exploring ways to break the average rectangular composition of a painting. Why not let the painting become its own shape? I figured since my work tends to be rather organic, I shouldn’t let the framework of the paintings be so confined in a solid shape. With this concept in mind, I’m also building larger paintings where it feels like the edge of the painting doesn’t really matter. Jackson Pollack explored this idea in his work a lot. He rarely touched the edges of the paintings because it was more about the fluidity of his body. If he was standing in the middle of the painting then the paint only went as far as his arms could reach.
Why do you create?
I've been painting since I was a kid. I never really had a reason I did it besides the fact that it made me feel good. Painting is a vehicle for me to express myself differently. We live in such a concrete world, it's refreshing to take a break from it all and make something that isn't so defined.
Describe your creative process.
Once the stretcher bars are built and the canvas is stretched, the painting starts with a few quick marks. A blank canvas can be daunting so making a mark without much thought is the easiest way for me to begin painting. At this point, every decision is a reaction to a mark that was previously made. These reactions are made through various methods of painting such as pouring, scraping, drawing, dripping etc. I usually have 5-10 paintings in progress at any given time. This allows me to carry ideas from one piece to another- similar to pages in a book. Working on several pieces also helps prevent me from overworking a painting. The amount of layers of paint and marks depends on each specific piece. Some paintings are complex with 10-15 layers of paint while others are quick. The quick gestural paintings are usually reactions to paintings that had more invested time.
What is something people would be surprised to discover about you?
I'm also a lifestyle blogger. I love art directing and working with designers to create compelling content. Aside from contributing to other blogs, I'm also Co-founder of Taupe & Birch (taupeandbirch.com)
What is your favorite quote?
“And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth, "You owe me." Look what happens with love like that. It lights up the sky.” -Hafiz
When do you make your best work?
After a long vacation at about 9pm at night.
What is your favorite color?
What is your favorite instrument?
What is your least favorite sound?
The sound of someone else's ring tone that sounds like my alarm clock.
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
What is the one thing you wouldn't eat?
What is your biggest demon?
Not being able to pay rent. I've been very fortunate to live off of my paintings for the past year. It's a very exciting but scary business to go into.
What is your happy place?
Spending a full day in the studio and completely losing track of time.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
What puts you to sleep at night?
I'm a heavy sleeper. No matter what is going on in my life, I still have the knack to fall asleep instantly.
Who are some of favorite artists?
Cy Twombly, Willem De Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Jackson Pollack, and Helen Frankenthaler. As far as music, I can't get enough of Bon Iver and Macklemore.