Heather Foster has always been interested in drawing and painting. Starting at an early age, Foster took after school art classes at a local community center. Throughout high school, Foster attended extracurricular art classes at Moore College of Art, the Philadelphia College of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In 1990 Foster received a BFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art.
Foster worked for several years in the field of painting conservation and restoration: “It is such a fascinating field in which one needs to balance research with science and a talented hand. I love examining the work of famous painters up close and getting the chance to touch and treat paintings that most people can only view from a distance in a museum‚” says Foster.
“My paintings communicate the spirit of those around us; sometimes people on a crowded train and sometimes a beautiful, quirky animal (both of which seem to have a lot in common). I have been working on a cattle series for almost ten years. In order to create this series, I have been visiting ranches and dairy farms, where I thoroughly enjoy meeting the animals. I hope that each painting conveys this affection and tells a different story, perhaps even making the viewer wonder exactly what may be going on in the cattle’s heads. I am very grateful to the caretakers of these animals who have shared their time, their knowledge, and their animals with me. Cattle ranchers and wranglers have treated me with great generosity.”
“I have spent many hours traversing wild terrain, splashing through creeks and climbing hills, often while clinging to back of an ATV while simultaneously trying to absorb a continuous stream of information. I take tons and tons of photos on these excursions. Back in my studio, I attempt to weave together my memories with the portraits of the animals. I also love to hear the stories that collectors who view my paintings will tell me about the memories they have stirred.”
“My newest series involves buses and trains full of commuters and travelers. I find that my interests never really leave me, as this is a subject I investigated a number of years ago.”
“My ideas continue to weave in and out of each other. I have never tired of any particular subject. Every face, every setting and every expression is a fresh thought.”
“I work in acrylic and start each painting with bold blocks of color to work out my composition. I like to see evidence of the thought process, the changes and refinements in drawing and the composition evident on the canvas itself. This under painting sometimes has a complementary color and sometimes an analogous one compared with what I imagine will be the final layer. In order to keep the eye moving across the canvas and to create depth, I like to vary the resolution of the upper layers, sometimes keeping an area loose with the under painting showing through and sometimes bringing out more detail.”
Heather currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico and splits her time between taking care of her young daughter and painting. Her work can be found in private and public collections across the US. Heather’s work has been featured in the American Art Collector and the Western Art Collector.