Heather Robinson Appreciates the Beauty of Imperfection

Like a lot of artists, Heather Robinson doesn't remember a time in her life when she wasn't doing something creative. Art has given her a sense of identity and a means to connect with others. 

Her love of structure led Robinson to architecture school, which fueled a fascination with how people choose to decorate the spaces around them. Her passion evolved to pattern and color and the beauty of accidents and imperfections in handmade things.

Heather says that imperfection is what makes us human, and she wants to “celebrate the best parts of being human."

We asked Heather a few questions about her work, which is available on Artfinder, and here's what she had to say:

1. Why do you make your work? 

I think for the same reasons a lot of artists are - I've always felt the need to express myself visually. I see a lot of beauty in the world and I'm compelled to add to that in some way. But at a certain level, I create because creating is fun. I'm pretty process driven. I get to play with all kinds of materials and bend them to my will. I get to experiment and be surprised by what my materials do. 

2. How did you choose or land on the mediums you use now?

My studio is located within a gallery space, right in the open, so that limits my materials to some degree. I can't use anything with solvents, or anything too messy or smelly. I love the look of encaustic, but don't have the space to do it, so I figured out how to emulate the look with acrylic mediums. I like the quick drying aspects of acrylic paint, and the layering possibilities. There's so many things you can do with acrylic medium - I like learning techniques for different effects, and knowing how a certain medium will behave. I work on panel because I really push and scrub my paint into the surface, and wood stands up to that.

3. What are you presently inspired by?

Wallpaper and textile patterns that evoke a certain age (1940s and 50s) - I've recently acquired some wallpaper from that period and I'm working on incorporating that kind of printed pattern into my painting. Stripes and simple patterns in general, worked out into complexity.

4. Other than your art practice, what other work do you do?

I work at the gallery where my studio is located, doing graphic design, marketing and other computer work.

5. What are your current artistic influences?

Gustav Klimt and his unabashed use of decorative pattern. Applied art, textile art, and the Pattern and Decoration movement of the 70s.

6. And finally, what's your least favorite color?

Oh man, I like them all. How can I pick a least favorite?? I guess one that I find difficult to incorporate into my paintings is gray-green. Certain oranges can be a little difficult, too - they can come off as clownish to me.

7. Do you have any upcoming events?


I have a show through the end of the month with Josh Coffy called Civilizations.

Secession Art & Design

3235 Mission St

San Francisco, CA 94110

We created work to highlight many of the creatures that are considered endangered or threatened. I added my flare for pattern, design, and color, then Josh added the "actors" - the animals. We're hoping to give voice to the many creatures that are facing this challenge.


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Find Heather on Instagram: @hnrfineart



Q&A by Content Curator Mica England