Heather Day

Where are you from and where do you reside?
I’m originally from Hawaii. I’ve moved around quite a bit, from Arlington, VA to Chicago, IL and Baltimore, MD for college. I currently live in San Francisco and work in my studio in Oakland, CA.
San Francisco is a creative mecca filled with varying architectural structures and bright colors. How does this environment influence the work you create?
I’m using more pops of color and definitely obsessed with indigo. I love the fact that I’m surrounded by water in the bay area. Architecture has played as subtle role in my work with geometric shapes in contrast with organic mark-making.

Listen Up

When painting, you often start with raw pieces of canvas sewn together, with the seams left exposed. When did you first discover this textural technique?
I used to work for a furniture store in Baltimore while I was in college. One of my favorite parts about the store was the endless supply of textile samples. When the samples were discontinued, I would take them back to my studio. For a while they were just collecting in a box while I was still figuring out what I was going to do with them. My paintings at the time were directly related to the process of layering in urban decay. These textiles were the perfect addition to the paintings because it allowed me to slow down and create a composition before paint is involved. I still stitch the canvas, however recently I started using the stitching as a method of mark making.
We love the layers of paint you use in your work and the varying mediums. Could you describe your creative process?
My painting starts with a few quick marks. A blank canvas can be daunting so making a mark without much thought is the easiest way for me to begin painting. I usually have 5-10 paintings in progress at any given time. This allows me to carry ideas from one piece to another- similar to pages in a book. Working on several pieces also helps prevent me from overworking a painting.
When you’re talking to someone, you’re making a decision on how much attention to give. Sometimes, nothing else matters and everything around you is background noise. — Heather Day
Why is the series titled “Portrait of You”, and what do these portraits evoke for you?
These paintings all have central compositions similar to a portrait. Conversations are coming up a lot in this series. When you’re talking to someone, you’re making a decision on how much attention to give. Sometimes, nothing else matters and everything around you is background noise. That’s what I’m really excited about. How can a painting translate this energy?
You recently had a solo show, “Things We Hold” in San Francisco. What themes were you exploring in that specific body of work?
Things We Hold is also about objects and places. Some of the paintings were quite large and energetic while others appeared more flat. Ultimately, these works are an exploration of process. What happens when I slow down the process with a stitch and speed it up with a paint roller? Usually, time effects the depth of the paint and depicts whether it translate as a place, object or portrait.

Up Keep #4

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