“inconvenient spots along rivers”

*photo by Margaret Austin

A few months ago, I put up an Instagram post asking who you might want to hear from in Season Two of Art For Your Ear. Well, I got a lot of great suggestions. I also got “HEATHER DAY!” about a zillion times. Ok, ok! I heard you, and I got her … San Francisco based painter, traveler, nature-lover Heather Day is on the podcast!

First things first, I suggest pausing the podcast, watching this video from the home page of Heather’s site, then coming back to hear the rest. This one minute and nineteen seconds gives such insight into the way Heather works. Now, do your best to only watch once or twice, because you have a podcast to listen to!

Isn’t that mesmerizing? And doesn’t it make you want to pour paint on something right now!? Yeah, me too.

Up next, the insane augmented reality project Heather just did with Facebook:

Ah-mazing … the work, not to mention her story about the letter she had written, but not sent, to Mark Zuckerberg! Oh Universe, you’re so crazy.

Now, when her paintings aren’t on a bare wall at Facebook HQ, they are on both canvas and paper. Here are a few of my faves from Heather’s beautiful portfolio:

Gorgeous! Speaking of which, brace yourself for these images of her travels. Sketchbooks filled with abstract inspiration, and even full size pieces that she paints outside … sometimes in “inconvenient spots along rivers”:

Oh, so inspiring {ps. Some of these photos are from her Instagram feed, and the two sunny photographs of Heather were shot by Kat Borchart}.

And finally, you have to see her studio:

I know, right? I’d pour paint {or draw with smelly markers} in there anytime! And that’s that… such an amazing hour filled with so many topics. Thanks so much to all of you who asked me to reach out to Heather, and thanks to Heather for saying YES; as always a big thank you to Saatchi Art for supporting the podcast, and of course, thanks to you for showing up and listening! There will be more Art For Your Ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. MICA
  2. Helen Frankenthaler, Artist
  3. Heather’s show at Athen B. Gallery, opens Oct 5th, 2017
  4. Chase McBride
  5. Mr.Sketch Markers!
  6. Limited by Saatchi Art


comments (17)

  1. Gayle Howard /// 09.30.2017 /// 9:02am

    I absolutely love what you are doing with your website and I am so glad that I follow you on facebook….so cool and unbelievable inspiration for me. This artist Heather Day is also tremendous.


  2. marina /// 09.30.2017 /// 12:01pm

    beautiful work!

  3. Amelia /// 09.30.2017 /// 3:01pm

    I’m curious to hear her talk about working only with companies that align with her values and she recently got money from Uber and talked about enjoying working and using them. So does this mean that she supports Uber’s values?

  4. Hilda /// 09.30.2017 /// 5:50pm

    Enjoyed the interview today, Danielle! I don’t think you talked too much about money and sponsorships at all. It’s a crucial part of the process, and I think the more we talk about it the easier it can be to make clear decisions about money. Hooray for season two!

  5. the jealous curator /// 09.30.2017 /// 8:49pm

    oh good, thanks hilda! yep, i agree… glad i left it all in : )

  6. Julie /// 10.01.2017 /// 12:51am

    No too much of anything! All Good!

  7. Caren /// 10.01.2017 /// 8:04am

    I loved the bit on color selections whether conscious or not & then digging in to the reasons began it. What a great story about you incorporating pink, Danielle! It was amazing too to hear Heather’s story about wanting to work with FB and the they reached out to her! Cosmic alignment!

  8. Lexie /// 10.01.2017 /// 8:43am

    Wow, very interesting podcast. I almost clicked away like 4 times, but I am a big Heather Day fan so I wanted to listen. I’ve followed her for years, and know a good amount about her. Just from following her on instagram and reading her blog ect. But this podcast was not what I expected. It seemed very amateur, and unprofessional. It really didn’t seem like you researched her enough to really get into the important parts of a podcast/interview. I listen to a lot of art podcasts.. but this was kind of disappointing. I really was looking forward to listening to Heather more, but got to learn a lot you instead. Heather Day has such a huge instagram following, she’s sponsored by TONS of sponsors, which is such a new thing for artists. Since when are artist sponsored by American eagle, lulu lemon, and banana republic, or SUBURU!! Heather is involved in so much, theres so much to talk about. You didn’t even know that she plein air painted?? Or about her studio table? Or when you talked about music, like duh she listens to a lot of music, her boyfriend is a musical?
    Sorry, I have never ever written a comment on anything I listen to. But this was really disappointing..

  9. Leah /// 10.03.2017 /// 8:42am

    Wow Lexie, what a negative comment. Big deal you listen to a lot of art podcasts and so you know loads about Heather Day, are you looking for some recognition for that?? Danielle’s podcast is great to listen to because it’s so relaxed. They are casual chats with the artist and that’s what makes them so lovely. Does she really need to have a huge pile of research done? It’s not supposed to be Nixon/Frost for god’s sake!! And if you had really listened to what Heather was saying about the sponsorship, it allows her the financial freedom to make more work. It didn’t bother the Renaissance masters to get sponsored did it??! You can’t fit everything into one podcast, and I’m quite sure if people want to find out more about Heather they can go look it up. …..in other news.. Danielle you rock!

  10. the jealous curator /// 10.03.2017 /// 5:24pm

    thanks, leah ; )

  11. Kim /// 10.04.2017 /// 10:49am

    Hi… wow, another great episode! There was so much interesting stuff in here, I think I need to listen to it again. I guess I must be living under a rock as I’ve only discovered Heather recently, and I really like her work. Surprisingly for me, I love the augmented reality FB piece (I’m not a big technology or FB fan). I love that she goes out to paint beside rivers, and what she had to say about blue, and also what you had to say about your list about colours. So much inspiration! And about sponsorships for artists… it makes me a little sad that more painters aren’t getting in more on that game. Just imagine what amazing work could be done by so many people with easier access to funding on the level that you see in music and film.
    I enjoy every episode of Art for Your Ear so much, I can’t even begin to tell you. Every one feels like I’m listening to two artists just chatting away in my living room. I only listen to a few podcasts per month, yours are always first and I’m never disappointed. Thanks for doing them!

  12. the jealous curator /// 10.04.2017 /// 12:40pm

    thank you kim! : )

  13. Carlos Rancano /// 12.21.2017 /// 1:07pm

    This was one of my favorite episodes for sure. I loved her sincerity. Thanks a lot for this one.

  14. the jealous curator /// 12.21.2017 /// 4:35pm

    my pleasure! (one of my faves too!)

  15. Elyse Dodge /// 02.27.2018 /// 5:00pm

    I have loved following Heather’s art online but it added another layer of complexity after learning about her process and how she focuses on the negative space in her work. I too have a fascination with how art and environmental design could overlap and the possibility of immersing viewings into the art. It’s so cool to see some of the ways that Heather has thought about turning her art into something more 3 dimensional. Thank you for sharing!

  16. WIP Wednesday 2 – Pia paints /// 02.27.2018 /// 10:03pm

    […] rush my ideas, and luckily for my self esteem it seems I’m not alone in this. In a podcast Heather Day tells us how she’s working on up to 50 paintings at a time, “not counting the small […]

  17. Jennifer Rapp Peterson /// 06.06.2018 /// 8:56am

    Excellent podcast. Danielle, thanks for leading an examined art life. I really appreciate learning about Heather’s process and materials.Thank you for reminding me 1) we cannot treat our canvases or materials preciously and 2) doing the work you want to be doing (not just flash-based bank websites ;)) begets more of the work you want to be doing.

    Funny, I have done podcasts, videos, etc. and you cannot rehearse the kind of authenticity between the two of you – it was lovely. Sponsorship and patronage are the way of a successful art career, so I applaud your frank conversation.


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