Paintings by Heather Martindale
August 6-September 23
Reception for the Artist: Saturday, August 6, 5-7 PM
Photorealistic, oil paintings depicting movement of the human body by Idaho based artist, Heather Martindale. Martindale, formerly known as Heather Larson, found her creative direction while working toward her Bachelor of Fine Arts culminating exhibition at CSU, Chico in 2012. The iconic modern dance pioneer, Martha Graham, and her performance ‘Lamentation’ was a major influence to her BFA show titled ‘Incandescent’. She has since evolved from painting statuesque drapery to fabric in motion while developing her oil painting studio practice from the comfort and distraction of her home, filled with her husband, pets and two, ever growing daughters.
As humans, we force what cannot be controlled and resist what comes naturally. We are conditioned to feel and to act certain ways, creating the layers that humanity needs in order to cope with the circumstances of life. The fabrics in my work represent the complexities of human emotion. The weight, transparency, and trajectory of each layer provoke feelings and questions from the viewer, much like the stimuli of our lives.
While investigating my own mental state as I created each piece, I saw many parallels and contradictions between the natural world and the human way of being. Perceptions of simple necessities like clean air have become polluted by the intricacies and controversies of a pandemic. As a result, a simple fabric mask has become an emotionally charged layer in our society. Water, fluid and full of movement, mimics the effortless path of least resistance available to us. Yet we find every way to create barriers. The result feels like the weight of the world resting on our shoulders. Similar to the seductive nature of a Summer campfire, we are captivated by social media rivalry. Both have the power to destroy communities and connection.
Introspection presents the opportunity to take a moment to stop, breathe, and observe what feelings come up. Peeling back the layers of conditioned responses allows us to be fully self expressed.