A brief interview with Heather Day

Cobalt: Where does your work originate? (Tools, inspiration, etc.) Are there any central themes?

Heather Day: My work mostly originates from the environment around me. I have lived in Baltimore for four years now. The most interesting part about living in the city is the raw history that is still relevant in the buildings, sidewalks, billboards and walls. These facades of urban architecture function like skin, exterior surfaces that inevitably fall victim to the natural elements of decay and human destruction.  The relationships between these surfaces and their environments run parallel to family and people close to me. Both instances require constant upkeep.  Upkeep is a reoccurring theme through my paintings.  Each piece is the product of layering decay and resolutions, leaving behind a history of these relationships through mark making, texture, and an assemblage of found materials.  Each piece portrays an individual relationship and the constant struggle to repair its shortcomings.

Cobalt: Who or what are some of your key influences?

Day: I really appreciate the gutsy painters such as Joan Mitchell, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Cy Twombly and Richard Diebenkorn. They are the real masters of painting because of their confidence, willingness to break the rules and ability to create space with simple gestures.

Cobalt: The piece selected for the third issue banner was created when you were in high school. Since, your work has changed dramatically. Could you tell us a little bit about the transformation of your work over the years?

Day: When I was in high school, I was pretty much obsessed with de Kooning’s paintings. I thought if I looked at his paintings enough that I, too, would become a master painter! At one point, I realized I needed to close the de Kooning books and think about my own interests as an artist. This is when I began painting dancers. After school, I used to spend my afternoons drawing the dancers in motion. For the piece that is used for the issue, I was attempting the capture the negative space around the figure in motion. Since then I have moved away from the figure. However, I think the energy, color and line relationships are still prevalent in my current works.

Cobalt: Where can our readers learn more about you and your work? (Websites, shows you have coming up, etc.)

Day: In August I will be showing my current paintings at Artisphere in Arlington, VA. Rather than curating an exhibition, I will turn the space into my studio creating a public window into my process as an artist. I will be showing the paintings and working on them for the duration of the show. I will also have a solo show at Hillyer Art Space in Washington, DC in April 2013. You can view my website at www.heatherdayart.com.

About Heather: Heather Day is currently living in Baltimore, Maryland where she is creating work that focuses on abstractions of line and form that is deeply rooted in the walls of the city. Having lived all over the United States, the work reflects many different surroundings. She usually works in a variety of mediums such as varnish, wood, thread, dirt, rust and paint. Come see her work in progress at Artisphere in Arlington, VA this August in the WIP gallery and her solo show in April 2013 at Hillyer Art Space in Washington DC.

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1 Comment

  1. Eileen Valentin

    Hello Heather
    Very clear,excellent interpretation of your work. The interview also adds understading of your Baltimore exhibit on racism in the area of housing.

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