Heather V McLeod Artist

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Heather V McLeod Artist Painter interested primarily in portraiture and representative work, creating pieces with the intent of capturing the character of the figure portrayed.
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RISD / NYAA

It all started with a painting of jasmine flowers falling in deep space. The soft cascade of petals from an artist known...
26/04/2024

It all started with a painting of jasmine flowers falling in deep space. The soft cascade of petals from an artist known for pushing the boundaries of reality. These though, felt real.

I pulled a lot of inspiration from this Salvador Dalí painting, but tied it into an investigation of youth and nostalgia. Relying on the symbolism of jasmine flowers and tying it to a fleeting sense of time, she speaks to a youthful, budding love. In the end I’ve referenced a master and hopefully created something new and exciting.

It’s currently titled “Jasmine” and measures 30”x40.” As always, until sold, everything remains subject to change.

“Happy Tears” measuring 30x40 inches. It’s revisiting the idea of the first flower face painting I made two years ago bu...
26/02/2024

“Happy Tears” measuring 30x40 inches. It’s revisiting the idea of the first flower face painting I made two years ago but this time with an extra figure and about three and a half times the size.
It’s hard to scale up when I’m naturally more comfortable working at a smaller scale but you’re not improving if you’re not moving outside your comfort zone.

Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️🐳
14/02/2024

Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️🐳

Some quiet moments in a new studio space and a new city- Providence. It’s not exactly a new city for me, with four years...
29/01/2024

Some quiet moments in a new studio space and a new city- Providence.

It’s not exactly a new city for me, with four years at RISD, but with so many years in between it feels new and exciting all the same.

I’ve been slow moving the past few months. Moving is draining and painting requires a very specific mindset that’s both alert and quiet. It’s not so easy to get there at times but a new, quiet space helps.

I need to desperately catch up on some projects but I’m also looking to explore the art scene in and around Providence. If you are in the area or have any good recommendations please reach out!

I’ve always started with a red ground on the foliage paintings and leave the smallest bit peaking through. This time I l...
03/11/2023

I’ve always started with a red ground on the foliage paintings and leave the smallest bit peaking through. This time I left a lot.

I’m heading back in the figurative direction for a little bit but this was a nice note to end on.

Wishbone
24” x 20”
Oil on canvas

A little over two weeks from start to finish “Beach Roses” is my Nantucket inspired departure from the apple tree foliag...
08/10/2023

A little over two weeks from start to finish “Beach Roses” is my Nantucket inspired departure from the apple tree foliage. Rosa Ragusa grows everywhere around the island and it’s so beautiful spread across the sand mounds. More than the roses though, I love the odd little colorful rose hips I focused on here. Painting a rose bush without the roses feels oddly satisfying somehow.

The painting is currently being installed for the Wet Paint Live Auction today. If you’re in Nantucket, the preview starts at 3:30 at the Nantucket Yacht Club and the live auction starts at 5. Fingers crossed it finds a good home!

“Beach Roses”
30” x30”
Oil on canvas

Surviving as an artist is a juggling act of painting, exhibiting, photo editing, marketing, grant writing and networking...
29/09/2023

Surviving as an artist is a juggling act of painting, exhibiting, photo editing, marketing, grant writing and networking. It’s endless and I’ve made more mistakes than I can count but every year I feel like I’m getting closer to finding that balance and making it all work.

I’ve been exhibiting with in Nantucket for over a year now and it’s been a really wonderful experience. I’ve been showing mostly landscape work but it’s one of those artist relationships that just prove how easy it should be. I’m looking forward to many more years and many more returns to this magical place.

Thanks for capturing the plein air moments!

I may be going a little leaf crazy but there’s too much painting left to admit that right now. Some deadlines got pushed...
30/06/2023

I may be going a little leaf crazy but there’s too much painting left to admit that right now.

Some deadlines got pushed back so I have a little extra time to work on these pieces. It gives me the time to step back and take a look at what I’m working on.

For my greenery paintings I’ve been starting with an earth red background which is completely in contrast to how I typically start. I like to use a lot of transparency when I paint so I usually rely on a lighter ground color. Here, the red forces me to use more paint but I love how even in the end you see little bits and pieces of it peaking through.

Red and green vibrate visually when viewed next to one another and I love the energy that creates in the painting. The whole series is also about some of the luring aspects of relationships so the bright and enticing red color coming through also works well in that sense.
And if you hate art talk, I also think it looks really interesting visually.

If you haven’t seen this painting in person now is your chance! “Happiness” will be on view in NYC as part of the Summer...
03/06/2023

If you haven’t seen this painting in person now is your chance! “Happiness” will be on view in NYC as part of the Summer Exhibition from June 7 -July 9 at 111 Franklin Street in Tribeca. Thank you to the jury including gallerists Eden Deering of , Anna Christina Furney of and Olivia Smith of for including my painting!

Opening reception June 7 6-8pm.

A very concentrated painting face for my week of portrait painting with  and . I think the most important part of growin...
15/05/2023

A very concentrated painting face for my week of portrait painting with and .

I think the most important part of growing up is realizing that you can never stop learning. I tried to use the week to work in a different manner than I’m used to. I used a whole palette full of bright colors, reworked areas multiple times and used the smallest hash marks to build up form. It’s a fun challenge to try to fight your natural instincts as a painter and copy another artists way of seeing. In the end you can never fully mimic someone else but you can still try… hence the concentrated face.

It was in part due to incredible demos, amazing teachers and a terrific model but I learned so much in the past two weeks. Thank you . I’m so grateful for the experience. ❤️

Does anyone else feel like the holidays just wouldn’t be complete without an annual screening of It’s a Wonderful Life? ...
04/11/2022

Does anyone else feel like the holidays just wouldn’t be complete without an annual screening of It’s a Wonderful Life? I’ve watched it too many times to count but I love it equally every time.

I was thinking about Zuzu’s petals here. I love the idea that this flower, this idea of innocence and purity, is dying and the petals are beginning to fall. But just like George tucking them away to keep the flower alive, the figure in the painting can tuck them in her pocket to keep this outlook alive. It’s sweet and simple but sometimes that’s the best.

It’s even sweeter because of the very special model. My mom modeled for this one long before she could have ever suspected.

The whole painting was painted with a limited palette of titanium white, yellow ochre, flesh ochre and blue black. Just a few colors but unlimited possibilities.

I had a special request to revisit my wreath paintings for a feather centric show with Robert Lange Studios. It was so u...
12/10/2022

I had a special request to revisit my wreath paintings for a feather centric show with Robert Lange Studios. It was so unexpectedly fun to take the wreaths to a whole new level with a different texture. So for all those people telling me I should move on from ears to eyes or noses, here are your eyes.

“The Birds and the Bees” will be on view until the end of the month so check it out if you’re in the area!

Robert Lange Gallery
2 Queen Street
Charleston, SC 29401

Mon-Sun 11am-5pm

I’m so pleased to see the installation images for “Head to Head.” It’s a beautiful celebration of portraiture co-curated...
01/10/2022

I’m so pleased to see the installation images for “Head to Head.” It’s a beautiful celebration of portraiture co-curated by Giles Baker-Smith and Cedric Christie.

Special thanks to for connecting me to . I just love it when life works out this way. 🌸

“Clouded Vision”
12”x12”
Oil on Canvas

On view until August 28th! If you’re in NYC don’t miss the chance to see what Galerie magazine calls an “exciting new ex...
03/08/2022

On view until August 28th! If you’re in NYC don’t miss the chance to see what Galerie magazine calls an “exciting new exhibition” at The World Trade Center Oculus C1 Level.

Curated by and “Welcome Back” features a handful of thoughtfully curated works by some incredible talent:

.metaferia

I’ve fallen into the habit lately of letting paintings sit unshared for extended periods of time. It’s a nice feeling to...
21/07/2022

I’ve fallen into the habit lately of letting paintings sit unshared for extended periods of time. It’s a nice feeling to have them belong only to me for a short while. Their value isn’t determined by how people react to them or how they might not react at all but rather the experience of making them.

This is “Prom” and that thing you can’t quite discern is a corsage.

48”x36”
Oil on canvas

“Temptation” is moving to a very exciting new venue with  from July 21st through August 28th. It will be on view at The ...
18/07/2022

“Temptation” is moving to a very exciting new venue with from July 21st through August 28th. It will be on view at The World Trade Center Oculus C1 Level with works from a great group of artists.

The opening for the show will be this Thursday the 21st from 6pm to 8pm.

The show “Welcome Back” features works by .metaferia

Special thanks to who curated the show.

I can’t wait to share more images!

Lilacs symbolize first love marked by emotion and pure feelings. I think his smile says it all. Oil on canvas 24”x20”   ...
08/06/2022

Lilacs symbolize first love marked by emotion and pure feelings. I think his smile says it all.

Oil on canvas
24”x20”

Everyone always says hard work pays off but honestly the paintings that I find the hardest are always the ones I cringe ...
12/05/2022

Everyone always says hard work pays off but honestly the paintings that I find the hardest are always the ones I cringe at when they’re finished.

From the idea to the ex*****on this one was a rare piece of cake and honestly I like it so much more for that fact.

Disclaimer: The detail shots look a little gray but it’s a distinctly purple painting.

Oil on canvas
24” x 20”

Thanks to the generosity of  I’ve spent the past three weeks as an Artist in Residence on Nantucket Island. I’ve weather...
22/02/2022

Thanks to the generosity of I’ve spent the past three weeks as an Artist in Residence on Nantucket Island. I’ve weathered the cold to do some plein air painting, tried bird watching, saw endless sunsets on the beach and still managed to spend time painting in the studio.

Here’s a taste of some of the things I’ve been working on and I can’t wait to share some more. Here’s hoping for a few more winter days that feel like spring and making the rest of my time here count.

I’m not going to say it’s 100% finished but it’s at the point where I need to step back and let it sit for a bit. I feel...
02/02/2022

I’m not going to say it’s 100% finished but it’s at the point where I need to step back and let it sit for a bit. I feel like this one could benefit from another new months of work.. if only we all had that kind of time to work on projects.

So for now, this is Temptation.

Oil on canvas diptych
48” x36” each

Leaf progress on one half of a diptych I’m working on. This time I’m using warmer colors in the leaves and working with ...
18/11/2021

Leaf progress on one half of a diptych I’m working on. This time I’m using warmer colors in the leaves and working with some apple tree reference.

Figures hiding in apple trees… is this making sense to anyone or am I going leaf crazy?

Putting the final layer of varnish on a painting makes it feel like a whole new piece. I’d gotten so used to seeing the ...
12/11/2021

Putting the final layer of varnish on a painting makes it feel like a whole new piece. I’d gotten so used to seeing the faded colors and matte finish that it became a whole new three dimensional piece the other day. How quickly we forget.

This is my working space. I’m always switching up what I’m working on and constantly moving things around but I’m happy ...
25/10/2021

This is my working space. I’m always switching up what I’m working on and constantly moving things around but I’m happy to be able to work in this space everyday. It’s starting to feel like home.

To me this feels both universal and deeply specific. I am not usually interested in painting such a straightforward port...
19/10/2021

To me this feels both universal and deeply specific. I am not usually interested in painting such a straightforward portrait but something about the image made me feel it was specific not because of the faces of the figures, but the emotion they were expressing.

I saw the last image “Old Couple” when I was about halfway through the painting and it solidified what I was going for. It’s a John Currin painting from 1993 and while it’s also specific in its likeness there’s an odd and universal quality to it.

Sometimes I can’t quite explain what draws me to am image but it made me feel something. Hopefully you too.

Oil on panel
36” x 36”

I used to dread painting fabric. I honestly think it’s one of the hardest things to paint. Now I kind of look forward to...
30/09/2021

I used to dread painting fabric. I honestly think it’s one of the hardest things to paint. Now I kind of look forward to it for the constant reminder that paint is a just that, paint. You can’t fight it or try to pretend it’s anything other than a messy, sticky substance. Once you accept that, the fabric just appears.

Detail of a larger work in progress

Around this time last year I was dancing around the room with the news I’d been awarded a prestigious artist grant. Well...
27/09/2021

Around this time last year I was dancing around the room with the news I’d been awarded a prestigious artist grant. Well now I’m able to do that all over again because I’ve just been awarded a second Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant. Their generosity is unparalleled and I’m so honored to be included in the long line of figurative artists who credit the foundation for helping them fulfill their dreams of painting. Here’s to another year of doing what I love most and to the amazing generosity of those who make it happen. ❤️ Thank you

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