About Patty Heibel

Through paintings I translate the landscape and deep space into scenes that explore new territory. Discoveries in the subject matter, creative process and how they are presented are created on canvas, paper or wood. I have always been fascinated by science, art and technology; my first career was as a chemist and then on to biotechnology. I believe it's important to continually cultivate my sense of wonder and to educate myself on the world we live in, including the spaces currently beyond our reach. Each painting is an experiment, either in the materials, subject, application process or the presentation. I like to call my approach expressive experimentation.

An ongoing series is based on images from the Hubble space telescope and other astrophotography. Through these cosmic paintings you'll visually experience the thought provoking nebulae, galaxies, dark matter, stars and planet systems of our universe.  I'm creating new abstracts and insects with interesting textures of hand-made papers, metal leaf and other mixed media, giving them greater depth and luminescence.  The complex surfaces have considerable tactile qualities and create a greater illusion of color depth than most other paint applications. 

Sculptures of birds, beasts and sometimes objects are made from paper, metal, wood, glass and fiber clay. Fiber clay does not require firing in a kiln so they are either painted realistically with acrylic paint or given an all over bronze look, making them the more affordable bronze.

I'm active with The Prescott Center for the Arts (PCA) and represented by 'Tis Gallery in Prescott, Hart of AZ in Cottonwood, Cactus Wren Artisans in Tuscon, Cactus Wren Gallery in Tubac and Gallery 2622 (web). 

Paintings and sculpture by patty heibel

About the art making process

Working from a combination of plein air, memory and multiple reference photos, I create an image that captures the attributes that initially caught my attention. Using a brush, palette knife, sponge, rag, fingers, sticks and other tools, I apply acrylic mediums, paint, glass, semi-precious metals and stones, papers and other archival materials to hardboard panel (Masonite), paper or stretched canvas. Paintings are created in a variety of sizes and I mostly use acrylic paints when mixing/combining media. However, for most representational works I use oil paints. 

Before calling a painting ready for show or sale, it first needs to be technically sound and most importantly, it needs to engage you, the viewer. Questions I need to answer are; is it something I want to keep looking at and exploring, is it a place I'd like to experience and does it make a strong positive connection? 

The sculpture process begins with a study of the skeleton and muscle structure before building an armature which may include  welded metal, wood and a stone base. I make the eyes with glass and when the materials are dry, I finish it with paint. For my animals, it is all about the face and the expression seen in its eyes.  These animals do not require food or water and will sit quietly on your table or shelf.