Artist Heidi Lee Warta, pearl from the seashore
By ALEC SMART
Heidi Lee Warta, who grew up on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, is a versatile and prolific artist. We were lucky enough to feature Heidi on the Front Cover of our Second 2099 Magazine, we spoke to the genial genius about what inspires her creativity.
Integrating both experimental and traditional techniques, artist Heidi Lee Warta works across a range of mediums, including watercolours, acrylics, oils, sculptures and mixed media.
Her portraits are closely observed, especially her recent Ochre Woman series (to be exhibited at Creative Space Gallery, North Curl Curl, early 2022), which resemble photographs in their attention to detail.
Artist Heidi Lee Warta in her Collaroy studio. Photo: Alec Smart
Heidi’s themed series of landscapes, goddesses and flamingos (accessible on her website – see details below) are engaging and sumptuously colourful.
“I love to work with colour in any medium,” she explained. “I can’t really see myself using monotones too often as I am drawn to colour on a therapeutic level and this gives me so much joy and satisfaction.”
Her 3D pieces, often incorporating found, natural materials, involve wood, leaves, clays, and fabrics dyed with native flora.
“I deeply enjoy the entire eco-dying process from start to finish,” Heidi declared, “especially the unwrapping of the fabric, as this is like opening a surprise present, and who doesn’t love a present! It’s very exciting.”
Heidi also crafts large, semi-abstract pieces, combining acrylics and resins poured onto marine plyboard.
“I totally enjoy the resin art process and how the colours move and often I don’t end up with what I was planning,” she revealed. “The artwork will show me who is boss and dictate to me what’s next. Often this process is demanding but exciting, due to the small amount of time I have to work with the piece before the resin sets.
“The rewards from this kind of art can be exhilarating, or disappointing, which means I need to go into ‘problem solving’ mode in a timely manner.
Latterly, Heidi has been crafting bangles comprising found objects preserved in transparent resin. Where does she source the materials for these unique, conversation-starting gems of portable art pieces?
“This really depends on what I am working on,” she confided, “as I have a stash of bits and bobs in my studio. I have been collecting small, natural objects over the years along my walks and adventures. So, for instance, when I make a resin bangle, what I incorporate is a process of elimination and other times the pieces fit straight away as the ideas come to mind effortlessly.”
A Northern Beaches’ original, Heidi was born in Mona Vale Hospital and attended local primary schools, followed by Beacon Hill High School. Coastal themes weave through several of her artworks; has living on the Northern Beaches shaped her creativity?
“Yes definitely,” she affirmed. “I love the ocean and coast so much! And I could honestly say that I cannot live far from the ocean. I am deeply connected to the water and I see this as something like a ‘need’ for me. I love to go to the local beaches. The natural features of the coastline have been a great source of inspiration which I’ve been drawn too, when immersed in my artworks.”
What artistic projects is she working on at present?
“Currently I am working on ten smaller-than-usual pieces, A3-sized watercolour and ink floral arrangements. These creations stem from the results of my eco-dying and connection to the flowers and plants, which has grown over time. I am up to ‘drawing five’ and have sold four pieces, which is great! I show off these pieces on my Instagram and Facebook artist pages.”
Heidi Lee Warta