Artist Interviews Artist
Highlighting RAA Member Heather Eiden
As Interviewed by Board Member Sue Pezanoski Browne
I am working on a show, called "The Art of Flow", that will be exhibited at Danceworks in April 2010. I have been teaching watercolor privately. My grandma was a master watercolorist and she tried to teach me what she knew. I love seeing my students grow and gain confidence in their style.
What influences do you see in your own art?
I work with color, pattern, and nature for inspiration.
The practice of yoga is an important part of your life. How do your yoga and art practices relate to one another?
I feel the relation between art and yoga is sculptural. Often when I teach yoga, I see the human body as a living sculpture moving through space with grace. I enjoy hands on adjustments and helping people with correct alignment in the poses. I use my training as a visual artist to see forms correctly. The negative space is as important as the positive. There is a Yin and Yang in yoga that works with this duality for the mind, body and spirit connection. Yoga means Union and, at the deepest level, I hope for people to experience this through my art.
You have had opportunities to travel to many interesting places. How have your specific travels influenced your artmaking?
I have been fortunate with travel. In South America, I was inspired by the fabric art. I was inspired by tile work while traveling through Mexico, and in Spain by the mosaics of Antonio Gaudi. While on a scholarship from UWM, I studied the woodcarving and batik in Indonesia. While touring with my students in France, I was inspired by the intense light that made objects seem to dance. Whenever I am traveling, I work daily in my sketchbook.
Where did you study art?
I studied at UWM, and I feel it was a classical training. I have taken many outreach courses at MIAD. I attended Anderson Ranch Art School and had a scholarship for Arrowmont. I am now working on a master’s degree in Art Education at Concordia.
Do you experience any particular obstacles in maintaining the time and space in your life as a practicing artist?
Not in the past, but now that I’m in graduate school, I do find it more challenging. I would say my current studio practice is in transition. I would like to work with other artists in a studio setting. I imagine that we would have common interests, but ideally different styles.
How did you first become involved with The Riverwest Artists Association?
RAA was introduced to me by friends. I lived across the street from RAA when it was located on Fratney St. The center was vibrant, exciting and social. Darlene Hagopian invited me to be a board member, as I remember.
What is your earliest experience in which you saw yourself as an artist?
I felt I was an artist around age ten but rejected it. I told my friend I would never be an artist because I didn’t want to starve to death.
What do you hope people see in your art?
I would like my art to be a balancing agent.