Brett Heidi of Olds, Alberta, Canada is a contemporary painter of North American wildlife & western themes.
Coming from a family immersed in art, she had early exposure to painting, sketching and the study of colour and light. As a youth she participated in local and international art contests, eventually taking on custom people and pet portraits as well as book illustrations.
Early adulthood found her employed in office admin and production scheduling, however she usually had art requests happening on the side. In time she switched to working remotely and part-time doing different occupations while living on and off in Mexico. She's now solely working creatively.
Growing up in a quaint farming community, Brett developed respect for animals, appreciation for a simple life, and an awe for nature's unchanging beauty. She and her husband continue to soak in the vistas that Alberta is abundant in. The incredible view of the Rocky Mountains that are preceded by farm fields and rolling foothills, the charm of their neighboring city Calgary with the unique skyline back dropped by the Rockies and hosts the winding Bow River and just an hour west is a mountainous oasis, Banff National Park where she finds inspiration for her forest animal pieces and mountain scenes. Having had the opportunity to live in Mexico for 6 years and absorb some it's culture and colour has also influenced her artistic perspective.
Since 2014 Brett has developed an individual style that has been by identified by large loose brushstrokes and the use of undermixed luminous colour.
"My current technique evolved when I attempted my first large scale acrylic painting. Something I had loved about watercolor was the freedom of pure juicy color spreading across a simple white textured paper, planned but uninhibited. There is a sense of simplicity yet a vivid brilliance to it. The techniques I learned in oil also influence how I paint in acrylic. I am fascinated by how the perception of color is affected or even created by light, therefore driving my choice of pigment."
She approaches a painting with more in mind than just "to paint a subject", but to discover the story in a subject or the feeling of an occasion and convey it visually.
"From the beginning stages of planning and composition to the very last touch of paint, I have a story in my mind for each piece. This will dictate how much I might focus on such things as an animal's eyes or some other feature, amount of detail, movement, mood, or colour intensity. Although I have my own story behind each piece, I hope that each viewer may be evoked to have their own story or recall a treasured memory."
Brett continues to paint and sell out of her home studio while being inspired by local farm animals, her two huskies, nature, music, and the "everyday".
Inspiration comes from almost anything at any moment. Colour schemes are really inspired by atmospheric light.
The colours perceived in light can be subtle but pure and pristine, like those reflected in a diamond. Everyday presents an unrepeated ambience so I rarely lack ideas. For example, it could be the contrast in a shadow of a tree backlit by a cotton candy sky. It doesn’t mean I will copy that exact scenario, but it may inspire a colour pallet and mood for any other subject.
Subject choices are inspired by the surroundings I grew up with of living in a small farming community backdropped by the rolling foothills and of course our Rocky Mountains. I have an appreciation for the simplicity of country living so you’ll see that reflected in my western ranch themed paintings. Love for animals and horses is the most common denominator that is weaved throughout my body of work.
Once I've begun a painting, I get absorbed in music. The songs that I hear while I’m painting have an impact on the flow of how the piece comes to together.
Some of my pieces take advantage of negative space lending to a more simplistic vibe while others are full of paint. In both cases, I use a limited palette which maintains harmony while giving me freedom to apply the paint loosely and at different viscosities.