“I always try to portray the soul of everything I paint,” says Utah artist Heather Olsen.
Heather Olsen is a full-time studio Utah artist. She studied art with various professional contemporary artists at the Hein Academy of Art and the Bridge Academy of Art before graduating from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2015. Her paintings have shown in several local museums and are part of many private collections all over the U.S.
Heather’s art style is very unique. She focuses more on meaningfully portraying the soul of everything she paints whether it be a living being or a representation of an emotion/distant memory. She is also versatile with painting technique and medium and has experience with several different styles of painting. These include murals, street art, classical figure, landscape, and set design.
Fun Fact: Heather is an empath (INFP) personality
Utah Artist Sheds Light on Lovely Things in Life
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Capturing that sense of awe and wonder in art
I was amazed at the artist’s ability to make me feel something just by the colors they used and the way it was painted.
– Utah Artist Heather Olsen
As a kid, Heather would go to art galleries and just stare at the paintings, feeling a sense of wonder and awe. Her parents noticed her artistic inclination and put her in art lessons at age 8. It was her goal from there on out to become an artist when she grew up. Everything in Heather’s life was geared towards that goal and she’s been drawing and painting all this time.
“I wanted to become an artist so I could paint images that made people feel and connect the way they did for me as a kid,” she recounts. “Now I have been painting professionally for about 5 years and loving every minute of it! I really try to capture that same emotion in my work and hopefully make the viewer feel something when they see my paintings.”
Fun Fact: Heather has an eidetic memory (a fancy way of saying photographic memory).
A celebration and mourning of the lives lost during the pandemic
Right now, Heather is working on a series relating to the recent Covid-19 epidemic. She recently did a few paintings honoring healthcare heroes who were on the front lines of the battle against Covid-19. She is also doing a series of 100 skulls in bright colors and expressive brushstrokes. Each skull represents someone who lost their life to Covid-19, and the radiant colors show the unique and bright life they lived. It is intended to mourn their death, but also to celebrate their life. “Now that the Covid-19 crisis is over and we are working to get this behind us,” she says, “we are now facing the aftermath and mourning the lives it claimed.”
Falling in love with art
I still have a thirst for learning and I love to constantly be learning new techniques, color theories, tools, and so much more from other artists.
– Heather Olsen
Heather’s first influence was her dad. “I used to look at his drawings and paintings when I was a kid,” she recalls, “and now one of his drawings hangs in my living room where I get to look at it every day. As a busy attorney, he didn’t draw or paint very often, but he always supported my desire to pursue art.” However, growing up, there were also some bad influences on Heather. “A few grade school teachers discouraged my creativity by getting upset when I colored an animal the wrong color (such as a pink bunny) or told me to stop doodling.”
On the bright side, there were a few art teachers that came and taught a few classes in school that made her fall in love with art. They taught that mistakes were an opportunity to make it into something else and to just keep making more art. “My favorite hour every single week was going to that art class and I looked forward to it all week long.”
Fun Fact: Heather is a crazy cat lady – (Her boys are Sam and Milo)
The hidden power of art
“One of my favorite art quotes, ‘Art is not what you see but what you make others see,’ is by Edgar Degas,” says Heather. “I’m fascinated by the power of art to give importance to even something minuscule – people, places, and things that are often overlooked and passed by until someone sees them and gives them the spotlight they deserve. I believe that everything can have importance, and it is
the artist’s job to help us see that. Artists help us to feel, remember, and think about this world
we all share. This is what I strive for.”
To see Heather’s latest paintings, visit Saatchi Art >
What do you think?