Heather Pilchard is a painter, photographer, bookbinder, and teacher. She graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston with a BFA in 1995. Pilchard currently lives in Wellfleet on Cape Cod.
Being outside and experiencing nature is where my paintings begin. The sense of peace and mystery in the sublime complexity of the places I visit are with me in the studio. Audubon sanctuaries, Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, Cape Cod, and the beaches of the North Shore are some of those places. The paintings in essence become meditations on the natural world, which I hope to convey my deep awe and respect for. I like to think of my work as a place where careful observations of the natural world and inner vision meet. Through color and patterns I hope to recapture a glimmer of recognition of a moment.
The challenge for me is to create an illusion of space using color and minimal detail. By layering the paint in thin undercoats, the painting surface glows with life. On one hand, finding formulas to make an illusion of topography is what I am doing, but until I invest an emotional connection to the work it doesn't have the spark. If it were otherwise, than why not just take a photograph? The paintings tend to have a certain amount of vagueness of actual geography, which gives the viewer space to add their own stories and meaning. Everyone has their own special places where they have visited and hopefully my work brings them back there. By remembering the awe-inspiring beauty of places we love, my hope is that we also could take responsibility for conserving and ensuring nature's preservation for future generations.