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Monthly Archives: August 2017

  • Meet Heather Gauthier

    “If you dream it, you can do it.” That’s a saying that could apply to Heather Gauthier’s path to becoming a full-time artist. It helps to have tons of talent like she does, of course, but the way Heather tells it, her art career is a dream come true.

    “After I had kids a few years ago,” she remembers, “I was at home thinking ‘I’ve got to do something.’ I decided, ‘I’m going to be an artist.’ It’s exploded. I mean, I have an assistant, I paint about ten hours a day; it’s crazy.”

    Art is something that Heather’s always done, but she doesn’t have formal training. “I was homeschooled through junior high,” she says. “My parents were kinda hippies—we didn’t have a TV, not a lot of toys, that kind of stuff. So I just drew.” Her brother did too, and now he’s a professional artist as well.

    Heather’s interest in painting animals was sparked during her years living in South Africa, where her first child was born. She experienced an entirely different type of animal life there from what she’d known in the US. And now that her repertoire of animals is wide, her particular strengths are more what one might expect from a world traveler than a Texas resident, which is where she now lives. “A llama I can just whip out with my eyes closed,” she explains with a laugh. “I’ve figured out the fur, the basic shape. But some things, like dogs with short hair, those things take me forever.” Gauthier generally works with around five photos of a particular type of animal in order to capture it with acrylics on canvas.

    Heather Gauthier is known for her intriguing combination of realism and fantasy, with meticulously detailed animals and objects interacting in unusual ways, like a cat with a bonsai tree on its head or a hippo balancing a bowl of ice cream. Heather explains, “I love all things vintage. Old vintage photos are serious, with a beautiful backdrop and a serious person. I like the serious classic portrait but I’m not a serious person. So my still lifes are portraits, but they’re not people, they’re animals. I like the realism but I like to have something crazy.”

    She says of her life-like subjects, “The animals are taking themselves seriously at their task. I enjoy the tedious detail, but I still want it to be fun and modern.”

    Heather works in her home studio, generally taking a break to pick her kids up at school and then working after they go to bed at 8 pm. In addition to GreenBox, she sells through galleries. She generally has about ten paintings going at once, she says, and even though things are getting very busy for her professionally (she’s recently begun having to turn down commissions), it never gets old. “I remember every painting I’ve ever done,” she says. “I get people all over the country tagging me [on social media, showing her paintings in their homes]. it’s just so exciting. I could just shriek. I absolutely love it.”

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