About Heather Robinson
Heather Robinson began her circuitous journey to the City by the Bay in Ohio, collecting experiences as she went that would directly influence her rich and layered art. At age five, she started school in New Orleans, landing squarely in the gifted-and-talented programs for both arts and drama. It was through these programs, and the field trips they conducted through one of the nation’s most beautiful and storied cities, that Heather found her first inspiration to explore the magnificent field of architecture.
Heather’s next stop was New Jersey for her middle and high school years. Her plans to become an architect didn’t stop her from her other pursuits: singing in the school and regional choirs, editing her high school literary magazine, and continuing her French language education, which she’d been building on since kindergarten. She ended her high school years in Houston, Texas, as a National Merit Scholar and with a full-ride scholarship to Texas A&M in her back pocket.
Landscape architecture was what mainly drew Heather to Texas A&M, which represented the union of her dreams of being an architect as well as her love of nature, but once on the ground, she discovered something that suited her even better: environmental design. From the vantage point of the present, one can see her slow but inexorable path toward the disciplines of design and architecture that would most profoundly influence her work: pattern, textile, ornament.
At university, the full and broad history of art became more than just part of the curriculum for Heather, as can be seen in her work to date: she has incorporated Art Nouveau lines, the ornamentation of rococo, the Bauhaus approach to design -- all these and more; but perhaps most of all, art history granted her for perhaps the first time a sense of unbroken continuity with what had gone before. And just as that feeling began to take hold, Heather spent a semester in Italy, drenching herself in the richness of the Renaissance. She produced innumerable sketches while in Tuscany, drinking it all in and pouring it back into her sketchbook.
It was after three semesters of architecture graduate school at MIT that Heather came to a difficult realization: as inspiring as she found architecture, her true passion was design. Her breakthrough came at a time when both fields were making the transition from analog to digital, so she leveraged her knowledge of computers and, in the mid 1990s, swung into a well-timed web design career. She married and moved to Austin, Texas, where she obtained a job at a firm whose ambition perhaps outstripped its abilities, giving Heather the motivation to teach herself everything they didn’t know. Her career as a designer in web and print blossomed.
By 2001, Heather had moved to San Francisco and become a successful freelance designer. When the dot-com collapse came, it was the opportunity of a lifetime, and she began doing what she most wanted: art, full-time. She began with a focus on collage, which followed naturally from web design -- bringing together existing elements in a pleasing and distinctive way. Slowly, as she grew and changed, she started painting, but she never left the world of mixed media.
Heather still incorporates handwork and other elements of collage into her art. However, she crafts many of the individual elements herself. At a time when our culture is seeing a resurgence of traditional crafts -- lace, crocheting, embroidery and other handwork - Heather is integrating these crafts into her rich and varied canvases. She lives in San Francisco with her family and makes art, every day.
You can find Heather and much of her work at Secession Art and Design, 3361 Mission St @Virginia, San Francisco. Secession is, in addition to my studio, a gallery and boutique that is open to the public Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, noon to 7pm.
I’ve created a Google Calendar called Heather Robinson Fine Art. If you’d like to check it out, subscribe or share it with others, here’s the HTML link. If you use an iCal compatible calendar, here’s the iCal link.
About the nature of my paintings
All my artwork is supported by acid-free panel. I paint with Golden acrylic paints and mediums. When works are framed, they are done so using acid-free and UV-filtering materials to protect the work and ensure its longevity. Some materials used in my older collage works, such as flowers and vintage papers, may not be strictly archival. I have done my best to preserve these objects. As with all paintings, it's important to keep them away from direct sunlight.