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Heather Brunetti

‘Artists can break all the rules’

Heather Brunetti is an American Figurative Painter working from Louisville, Kentucky. She chooses to depict people who come from all walks of everyday life, thereby evoking a sense of familiarity and communicating relatable moods and feelings, The paintings are highly detailed with a sense of realism, depth and intimacy. Heather employs a technique which she describes as 'scrubbing and scribbling’, rather than brushstrokes, in realising her pieces.

Do you prefer to work in silence or does certain music inspire you?

Music is a huge part of my life. Having spent a great number of years creating, performing, and recording music, it is completely intertwined with my art. It’s rare that I paint in complete silence. It happens, but not often. Typically I curate the music to match the moment I am painting. Most of my paintings have a set of songs or albums that can directly be linked to my memory of creating that painting. I am very deliberate with the music I listen to while painting. I use it to further immerse myself in the moment. How has your style evolved and what contributed to the changes?

My style is at this moment going through an evolution. In the beginning my focus was on the technical aspects of form and shape and learning classic painting techniques. This year I’m focusing on pushing it a little further, challenging myself to grow. The outcome is yet to be seen as I work on a new handful of paintings. The catalyst for evolution in my work has always been my fascination with experimentation and challenge. If I feel too comfortable, it’s uncomfortable, and signals it’s time to try something new.

'Burn (Man with Cigarette)'

Is there something you regard as essential to your preparation or process?

I think the most essential component to my creativity is time. In order to really develop ideas it takes dedicated time and focus for me. I like to plan my steps and really have 90% of the problems a piece might present solved ahead of time. Or at least have a plan on how to tackle them. Time comes in play when executing a piece as well. If I don’t have the time I need, I find ways to free up time. I like to work meticulously and carefully and there’s just no way to do that without an abundance of time. Detail a moment which was the highlight for you, thus far.

Some of my favorite times come from the moments my work is on display for public viewing. A big part of why I make art is to communicate and whenever there is an event that facilitates that communication in person I get excited because the painting comes full circle. It fulfills its purpose. For me, experiencing art in person and viewing it physically really is the epitome of my visual communication.

'Specter (Woman at Window)'

If you could time travel, what advice would you give the younger you, regarding pursuing your art making?

Honestly I have no regrets in my artistic journey. After starting a painting practice at a young age I consciously held off from following it, in a scholastic sense, in order to pursue other things. I knew I would come back to painting and I felt there was more out there artistically that I wanted to do and experience. All the things I have done and accomplished in that time I now have to inform my painting practice. I also have the maturity and experience to solve problems in a more effective way. I guess the advice I would give my younger self would be to listen to your gut and fail often. What do you hope to convey through your work?

I see artwork the same way I see movies, literature, and music. It in itself is a form of communication that has endless dialects and nuances. My greatest hope is for my paintings to find their audience. No matter how small or large that audience might be. Sometimes a painting will strike a chord with only one other person and that’s fine by me.

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