Can I just tell you how incredible giddy I was to be able to interview one of my favorite artists, Heather Chontos? I am in love with her bold, colorful, expressive works. Here are some of my favorite pieces and Heather's wisdom on what it means to be an artist, what inspires her and how the everyday inspires new color in her work...
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I knew I wanted to be an artist when I was in University in London, studying art history. I had a lot of friends going to the Slade school of art and was quite jealous that they all got to e in their studios. I was studying art,but from a different perspective. I wanted to make it, not examine it.
The unexpected art supply you can’t live without…
Ha, ha.... plastic cards, for example: old credit cards, gifts cards from Starbucks, hotel key cards, etc... I use them to paint with. I am useless without one!
Dream dinner party... (4-5 guests, living or dead...)
Such a great question!! painter Helen Frankenthaler, artist ( I met him this summer, he says he is not a painter) Alfons Borrel, fashion designer - Issey Miyake, Nina Simone, Jackson Pollock and artist/designer - Sonia Delaunay.
Favorite contemporary artist/s
I am more inspired by artists from before.
How do you feed your head? (What inspires you?)
SO many things inspire me/ Traveling is a big one, colors,meeting new people, falling in love, falling out of love, brilliant moments of quiet and serenity, chaos, basically life and its grand roller coaster.
What's inspiring you at the moment?
I am inspired right now by different shades of pink, and how I see shades of pink everywhere. This morning through the fog, riding my bike with my daughter to her school, we noticed that the sky was the faintest shade of portrait pink, gleaming through the thick fog. It was kind of the perfect color, so I came home afterwards and tried to replicate it. I think I've got it!
(photo from Maine Today)
Fear in art, how do you fight it?
I don’t have any fear in art, its what I am meant to do. I strongly believe that, and so there is nothing to be afraid of...
My very heavy, paint soaked apron, a vintage striped brooks brothers shirt from the Goodwill, black jeans and my wellies.
What you wish you had known when you were just starting out:
That... its ok if everybody doesn't love what you are doing, just as long as you do.
On the nightstand... (What are you reading?)
The Goldfinch. Such a great book...