Heather Martindale

The fabrics in my work represent the complexities of human emotion. A blend of my love for old master paintings of drapery and mystery, with my own connection to the symbolism of fabric. Using dramatic lighting and dynamic movements in the fabric veiling a figure is a means of self expression and inspiration to the viewer.  Showing glimpses of the figure in each piece provides humanity and relatability.  While also retaining ambiguity, the viewer can form their own opinions on what they see.  The weight, transparency, and trajectory of each layer provoke feelings and questions, much like the stimuli of our lives.

Early in my artistic journey, I was introduced to the iconic dancer, Martha Graham, and her performance ‘Lamentation’.  I continue to be inspired by her piece and much like Graham, my work uses fabric as a medium to express emotion as well as reference the metaphorical meaning.  Light and form are also fundamental elements pushing me toward each composition.  Whether it be refracted light in the shadow of each fold or the light shining through the sheerness of the fabric.  This luminescence gives an enchanted quality to my work.

  • Painting
Artist Bio

I was born and raised in the Santa Cruz mountains and Bay Area, California.  After getting my Bachelor of Fine Art at California State Univerisity-Chico, I moved to Idaho for a change of pace and be near my dad and step mom.  Soon thereafter, I started working for a local startup company (that ended up being a 7 year career) and meeting my husband.  It wasn't until the start of the Pandemic in 2020 that I decided to quite my secure desk job and become a full time artist while raising our two young girls.

 Ever since Undergraduate school, I have been fascinated with fabric as a subject and a medium in my work.  I am passionate about evoking an emotional response from the viewer. Each piece has elements of the human figure but abstracted enough that it causes you to think about what you are looking at.  A lot of what brings a piece to life, is the light that is captured.  Whether it be refracted light in the shadow of each fold or the light shining through the sheerness of the fabric. 

My work can be found in many international publications (including: Create! Magazine, Art Seen Magazine, Friend of the Artist Book).  I was awarded an international art prize from the Women’s United Art Prize based in UK, and my work is in private collections of many Bay Area collectors including the permanent collection of the Museum of Northern California Art.

studio 1