My mouth is dry and sweat has begun to bead on my forehead. It’s been two weeks since I finished my last painting. I don’t know why, but for some unknown reason, the sandstorm that has swept great empty dunes over the creative desert of my brain won’t stop blowing. My eyes cringe against the wounding sunshine. In truth, I know what lies buried beneath the sand. There is a great treasure trove of ideas, hints at masterpieces. But no matter how hard I try, all I can do is stare out at the wasteland of sand that turns a brighter and brighter white as the time passes. My fingers grip tight over a quivering pencil.
This is what future faces me. The plain white gritting piece of paper.
Every ounce of effort must be applied just to put the graphite tip to that pristine white sheet. Why, I ask myself, is it so difficult? Then, in a quick, reckless stroke, a single line is applied, spoiling the clean space. A guttural emotion of triumph overwhelms me and with all hesitation abandoned, the pencil takes hold of my senses and releases what has been waiting, caged within.
Blue Ribbon Sketch
Okay, so that’s a little lyrical, but it gets the point across. We’ve all been faced with the struggle of starting something new—and yet all it really takes is simply putting the pencil to the paper and letting it do it’s job. Forget about making the perfect sketch. It will work itself out. It might take one time, it might take twenty. Here are some of the sketches I started out with before they became completed into paintings; some exceptionally simple, some worked out multiple ways, and some fairly fleshed out from the beginning. All of them began the same way—as a ridiculously frustrating plain white piece of paper.
Chuck – 12×12 Oil on Board
Game of Chase sketches
Game of Chase – 48×24 Oil on Canvas
The Insatiable Mr. Toad sketch
The Insatiable Mr. Toad – 18×24 Oil on Board
Etherium – 18×36 Oil on Board
Alice sketches – notice how I ran out of paper
space? I just grabbed another piece of paper
and kept on going…
Alice background sketch
We’re All Mad Here – 24×48 Oil on Board
Crimson Ribbon rough sketch with associated reference file markers
Crimson Ribbon composition sketch compiled in Photoshop
after drawing each element separately.
Heather’s paintings are the product of decades of observation of people, environments, animals and textiles. Although she was not able to obtain a formal education in art, all her studies of the natural world in addition to the works of great artists including the renaissance masters, the pre-raphaelites of the late 19th century and modern masters have influenced her work in a way she couldn’t imagine getting in a classroom.
Themes in her work include religious symbolism, fantasy realism, equine and wildlife, and bold reworking of Disney characters. Her process in painting is constantly morphing as she applies new techniques, but most often consist of a multitude layers of paint and glazes (as many as 20 or so in some cases) to reach the desired depth and detail that dominates her work.
Shared and collected around the world, Heather Theurer’s paintings are constructed in the midst of a bustling family with five children in Las Vegas, Nevada. Regardless of the challenges, her art has gone on to get the attention of USA Today and the LA Times, garnered contracts with Disney Fine Art and Fantasy Con, and received recognition and awards from respected organizations such as Art Renewal Center, Artist’s Magazine and Spectrum, among others.