Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordpress website revamp, exhibition dates and more...

"Self Portrait With Sasha", oil on canvas, 18"x24", available at Abbozzo Gallery

Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.~Vincent Van Gogh

So I finally did it. I have moved my website over from Flash to Wordpress. I have been dealing with this antiquated Flash site for years and now finally there's an easy-to-navigate site that makes viewing my paintings much easier. Please check it out and let me know what you think if you are inclined. I'm so happy to have a website that you can view on your mobile device now :)

Heather Horton Artwork

This site is a work in progress and I will continue to add new sold paintings to the body of work on the site. The above painting is one of only two remaining paintings that I will be posting before my solo exhibition at Abbozzo Gallery in November 2012. I want to keep some paintings back so there will be a surprise for people to see at the gallery. I have official dates for the show as well!

New Paintings

November 2-17th, 2012

Abbozzo Gallery, Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Opening Reception Friday November 2, 7-10pm
Artist Meet And Greet Sunday November 4, 2-4pm

179 Lakeshore Road East, Oakville, Ontario, Canada
905-844-4481, toll free 1-866-844-4481

I know it is a bit early to post this information but it is also good to plan ahead! In fact two paintings have already pre-sold before the show(!!), thus if you are interested in any pieces please contact the gallery.

The painting you see at the top of this entry, "Self-Portrait With Sasha", oil on canvas, 18"x24", is another painting about self-reflection and a bit of existential pondering. Sasha, my beloved Russian Blue cat, wandered through my composition while I was shooting reference as he likes being near me. I thought I would incorporate his form subtly at the bottom...not immediately evident but there upon closer inspection. 

I have had people tell me that my portraits seem sad. I suppose this could be so, but they are about contemplation and reflection rather than sadness most of the time. How often do we lie and think but have a huge smile on our faces? Not often I believe. I love smiling and to it a lot, but my paintings are about seeing someone in the middle of a moment. My great inspiration, Lucian Freud, and any number of painters over the years have not painted people smiling. But I think that is what distinguishes art from Sears Portraiture. It is not pat. It is not always tidy. It is the beautiful messiness of life that I try to instill into my paintings.

In less than a month I will be off to Western Kentucky University to lecture, critique student work and experience their wonderful art program. I am bringing some paintings down with me for a small exhibition as well. I will write about the experience here and post photos of course.

I hope this post finds you well and happy. Thank-you for following and reading. Thank-you for supporting artists such a myself and investing in our continued pursuits to express with paint what words cannot.


A couple of photographs to share with you...

My 'Alaska Fund'...saving up to return

And finally a photo that makes me very of the most beautiful stretches of road I have ever had the pleasure to drive a number of times, entering into Haines Junction near Kluane National Park, Yukon Territory. This photograph was taken last September...

The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.~Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Painting Commissions: A great reward for practicing artists.

"Jared", oil on panel, 8"x10"

"The artist is the opposite of the politically minded individual, the opposite of the reformer, the opposite of the idealist.  The artist does not tinker with the universe, he recreates it out of his own experience and understanding of life." ~Henry Miller

The only thing as sure as that there are artists out there creating art is that there are people who want to commission them. I am talking, dear friends, about paintings commissions. Commissions have sustained artists for millennia. It is an invaluable method to supplement an artist's typically sporadic income. It also is a very symbiotic relationship and has many many benefits.

I do many painting commissions every year, including the portrait of Jared above and his sister Keira below. Some commissions are for strangers and some are for friends. Many are for strangers who subsequently become friends. I value and enjoy this process. I love working on a piece of art that will be in a collection for many years to come. It is wonderful to do a painting that you know will make someone happy. A loved one, a house, a landscape, whatever resonates with the client/friend, is what I will do. Half the fun is collecting the reference (I often travel to the client to shoot the reference myself). This way I am able to engage with the clients and have developed many good friendships as a result of this. After the photo shoot I travel back to my studio and begin work on their painting. If time and the opportunity permits I deliver the piece to them in person. If not, I carefully wrap it and ship it to them. There are few things as moving as unveiling a commission and having the client become emotional at the site of the piece. That is one of the best feelings as a move someone strongly when they look at your work.

"Keira", oil on panel, 10"x8"

If you are interested in a painting commission please do not hesitate to contact me in the "contact" section of this blog. I will respond to you as soon as I can. Here are a couple of other paintings that I have really enjoyed completing for clients and friends recently...

"Mills", oil on panel, 16"x20"

"Uzes Street", oil on canvas, 40"x60"

"Sneggy", oil on canvas, 16"x20"

Some people have said to me "But when you do commissions you aren't painting what you want to paint!" It is all a matter of perspective. I am painting what will make someone else happy and to also help me continue to be able to paint what I want when I am not working on these commissions! It all works together. I have made some lifelong friends through painting commissions. It is a great benefit of being an artist.

In other news I am starting the process of converting my current, clunky and just generally outdated website to a Wordpress site. I used Flash to make my site years ago and it is time for a change. I want folks to be able to access my paintings on a mobile device, hence the switch. Look for these changes in the coming weeks. My website name will remain the same:

Here is a new painting in progress that will be featured in my upcoming exhibition at Abbozzo Gallery in Oakville, Ontario. This piece is 36"x48", oil on wood panel. It is about 90% complete. Two paintings have already sold for this exhibition so make sure to keep an eye out for new pieces as they are produced! You can purchase paintings in advance through the gallery. They are happy to answer any questions you might have.

Finally, I had the great pleasure of seeing Radiohead recently in Kansas City. Such a fun show! Here are some shots from a spectacular evening...

Behold the coveted wristband indicating general admission access to the concert floor:)

They played a great selection of songs from a variety of different albums.
Most songs were from The King Of Limbs but others were taken from Kid A and

A month today I will be in Kentucky to lecture at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. What an exciting opportunity! I will be participating in critiques, having a small exhibition of paintings and giving a lecture to the Fine Art Department! Any chance to talk to other artists and engage them in the process of creating art is a great thing :) I am very thankful to the university for extending this invitation to me.

Thanks for taking the time to read about these updates and happenings. I hope this entry finds you well and creating new work, words or ways in your life!


"Painting is a strange business."~J. M. W. Turner