Heather Blanchard

Heather was born and spent her childhood in the West Midlands. After attending Wolverhampton and Chelsea Schools of Art, she spent her early career as a successful textile designer, living and working in London but also liaising with companies based in America and Japan.  She spent some time working  as a visiting art school lecturer and tutor.

In addition in the 1980’s she worked on  exhibition designs and also illustrated several countryside and educational publications.

She has been a professional fine art painter for over 25 years. Having led a fairly nomadic life, she has at last settled having moved to Scotland fourteen years ago.

Artists Statement

I’m a painter, I work primarily in oils.  I hold my dog Bess responsible for a lot of my work. When you share your life with a dog a daily walk is compulsory no matter what the weather. Each morning she shadows my every move and there is no peace until I reach for boots and lead. We walk about three miles every day alternating our rambles from a choice of about a dozen walks.

Dumfries and Galloway is a wonderful region and I’m fortunate enough to live in a lovely part of it myself with beautiful woodlands, rivers and coast. There are many fabulous walks right on my doorstep. Walking the same route often, one gets to know a place really well, it’s trees, gates hedges and tracks. If it’s a bright Spring morning I know just where to go to check if the bluebells are glowing in the woods, if it’s blazing autumn where to find horse chestnuts in their full golden splendour and if it’s quiet with snow where there might be an interesting tree to cast a vivid blue shadow. There are always surprises. On occasion the weather or season will transform a little considered place into something magical. Every day and every season has something to offer.

Of course this is only the beginning, the spark of an idea to be stored away and mulled over until it shapes into something that feels right. Having an idea for a painting is like learning a new word, once its established similar images seem to pop up which can result in a series of work based around the same subject.

This  is the foundation stone of the process. The initial drawings, the stretching and priming of the canvas, the composition, the applying of paint, the failures, the alterations and the successes all stem from a walk. I like to think that I would walk just as regularly if I didn’t have the obligation of exercising a dog but probably not in all weathers. So I thank Bess and all her predecessors for their input into my work.

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