Duris - 36"x 12" Acrylic Painting - 'Autumn'
Hip Mom Jewelry

Duris - 36"x 12" Acrylic Painting - 'Autumn'

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Heather Duris

Sally (sal-ee) – to wander off the path

Heather is inspired by the landscape of the prairie. Born in Independence, Missouri, she grew up in the wide-open spaces of the Plains, endless fields reaching to the horizon, and big blue skies. The landscape of the Midwest evokes a feeling of opportunity limited only by the imagination. She chooses themes based on color, contrasts of pattern and interesting lines. As she explores the relationship of these elements on panel or canvas, she is also telling a story about the concept of land ownership, stewardship, and conservation. Heather looks to art history for inspiration and to join the conversation about mark-making that has continued from cave painting to the present day.

Heather grew up in a small town north of Excelsior Springs, in Lawson, Missouri. Her fondest memories are of playing in tall grasses, watching the clouds float by, and wondering what lay beyond. Beginning with her education in public school in a small town, to private school in Independence, Missouri, and finally to homeschooling, Heather experienced a variety of educational methods and settings, helping her to develop an ability to think independently, become a creative problem solver, and develop a passionate love for reading.  After a couple of years of college, she grew restless for adventure and joined the US Army. During her service, she worked as a Multimedia Illustrator in Psychological Operations, and after graduating from UMKC with a BA in the Administration of Justice, then served as a Chemical Officer in a mechanized smoke company at Ft. Riley, KS. After two deployments to Kuwait, Heather completed her service commitment and moved to Lawrence, KS with her husband. She then attended KU and obtained a BFA in Painting with a minor in art history. Never one to take the easy path, she also had two daughters while attending KU. Heather has worked from her home studio while her daughters were growing, making jewelry and painting.

Many of Heather’s paintings are inspired by trips to Kansas state parks. She begins a composition with shape and line, then chooses a color palette. Many of her trips are taken in early spring, when the prairie grass is pale yellow and sometimes still covered in snow. As the landscape turns green, completely new color palettes emerge, combining the dark brown of burned fields with fresh new growth. The fiery colors of autumn fading into wintry grey, and brown offer more variety. The lifecycle of the prairie and the constant change reminds Heather that we are temporary guests on this land. What kind of mark do we leave, how do we best care for the land and preserve it for future generations? Heather attempts to evoke a sense of relationship to the environment as the viewer muses over her work, walking softly on the landscape and examining our place in it.