Heather Day

Chance encounters of line, colour and form on canvas.

Heather Day was born in 1989 in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, and now lives and works in San Francisco, California.

Collaborations

She has collaborated with tech companies including Dropbox, Facebook and Google, working on projects that help to bridge the gap between art and technology.

Collections

Work featured in esteemed private and public collections including those of Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fidelity Investments, Chicago Philharmonic, The Ritz-Carlton, Seoul Hospital, JCrew, AirBnB, Dropbox, Warner Brothers, Facebook, Youtube and Google.

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Practice overview

Heather Day works across paper and canvas using a wealth of materials including acrylic, oil pastel, chalk and pencil. Her work is incredibly textural, layering intricate brushwork and pencil drawing over broad washes of water. The compositions incorporate negative space, with raw, unprimed canvas often visible below. Predominantly influenced by nature, Day takes trips by herself to explore forests and rivers where she creates small studies from observation which, back in the studio, form the basis of larger canvases. Day is also inspired by modern and contemporary painting, from the expressionism of Helen Frankenthaler to the colourful abstraction of Katharina Grosse and Sam Gilliam, seeing her work as a form of “abstract storytelling” which transposes her personal experiences of nature into shape, line and colour.

Day treats each new work as a sketch that helps map the next step of her practice. In the studio she works on up to twenty pieces at a time, adjusting processes along the way and learning from unexpected outcomes. In this sense, she builds layers across her entire practice just as she does in each individual painting. This process has no end point or goal, but instead is constantly accumulating and evolving, much like the earth’s sedimentary layers or the rings of a tree trunk. Day says of nature, “it contains so many juxtapositions: it can be serene and chaotic, it can be creative and destructive.” Much the same can be said of her work - a forever-shifting equilibrium of tone, texture and form.

"I feel like I just took a photograph of my mind and put it onto my canvas."Heather Day