Heather Patterson

Heather Patterson



Pattersons imagery stems from her fascination with the environment. She is interested in the fact that we are continually building bigger and better structures yet craving the natural world at the same time. The constant overlapping of patterns and forms interests her. Her work becomes an overlapping of these patterns and forms from both the natural and built environment meshed into one to make up new landscapes. The work is all mixed media on panel. “I use a combination of inks, acrylic, graphite, and colored pencil as first layer for each painting,” says Patterson. “The panels are then coated with a very thin layer of archival, UV protectant, non-yellowing clear resin. I sand that layer and coat with an acrylic medium to give a very Matte (almost waxy or encaustic) type of look. Then, I continue working on top of that layer with various inks and acrylic paint and mediums to create layered textures with both shiny and matt finishes on top. Some areas get muted and fade back almost behind the look of foggy glass while other areas have a more stenciled feel and pop out from the surface.”

My work is an intuitive gathering of imagery stemming from both the natural and built environments. I recreate geographic patterns and forms that I find, and then layer them to make up a new series of systemic landscapes. This morphing of forms combines imagery such as computer generated weather charts, topographic maps, pixelated natural landscapes, cellular structures, networking graphs, and blueprints of structural elements. I am interested in the constant overlap of these forms and find similarities in their elements. The imperfections and complete randomness in nature are in direct contrast with the stenciled man-made environment and often mutate into one. The intertwining of the geometric and organic forms becomes an important part of my process.

By layering varied imagery through drawing, painting, and collaging sheets of acrylic paint a sense of fragmented time emerges. I use a variety of media to create a multi-sensory experience. The interaction of the materials allows me to control the contrasting substances letting some areas mix randomly while manipulating other areas by carving, dripping, collaging, taping, or spraying the surface. This system of addition and reduction allows me to magnify the unexpected, creating an imaginary subsurface or documentation of scientific events.”

Patterson holds an MFA from University of California, Berkeley. She was awarded a Denver International Airport Permanent Public Art Installation for the Westin Hotel, an art department grant from the Berkeley Art Museum, and was a finalist for the Marin Headlands Center for the Arts MFA Residency. She has taught painting in colleges across the west, and participates in projects including a collaboration with artist Elaine Coombs–“Second State”, and has created work for products from snowboard decks to wine labels.



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