Learn more about Heather LaRue, winner of the Mayor’s Choice Award for the 2019 Adult Juried Exhibit:
1. When did you become interested in art and how did you start?
When I was six years old, my parents had a friend, Langley Donges who lived on our street. Mr. Donges had an adorable dog and a beautiful garden. I would play with his dog and make him laugh. He was an artist and I remember one day asking him to teach me how to draw and he showed me how to draw a pear. I still have those sketches and I remember it being so amazing at that age that just two circles connected by two lines became a pear. Mr. Donges gave me my very first set of water colours and from then on I was just so interested in the way lines and shapes on a page could come together as something greater than the sum of it’s parts.
2. What type of art do you most identify with?
I most identify with art that sparks an emotional response. Whether it’s the story behind the subject, the way the light is captured or even just the use of colour, I’m drawn to any style of art that connects with me on an emotional level.
3. What is your most important art tool, something you can’t live without?
I cannot live without a sketchbook, especially I’m travelling. I feel like you really see something when you sketch it. I feel that by drawing something, you see it in a way that isn’t possible if you’re just taking a photo. It allows you to capture not only what you see, but the way you see it, and the way things are in that moment. To me, it doesn’t matter what medium you use, whether it is pencil, paint or even a ballpoint pen, but having the sketchbook is key.
4. How do you know when a piece is done?
When I have been working on a piece for a length of time and feel like it is almost finished, I like to leave it for a few days. Then I check back on it in the studio, early in the morning, to see it with fresh eyes. If nothing jumps out at me that needs to be worked on, I put my signature on it. Once it is signed, I don’t work on it again and it’s finished in my mind.
5. Do you have a favourite piece, if so, why?
My favourite piece is a charcoal drawing I did in art school of a man’s face. I remember my teacher walking me through drawing the eyes and showing me how a combination of shading and erasing really brings the face to life. It honestly looked like the eyes on the page just opened up in front of me! It was an amazing moment and it was through that piece that I realized what could be done with just a pencil and an eraser.
Want to see more of Heather LaRue’s work? Here’s how!