We had the good fortune of connecting with Heidi Rosner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Heidi, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Interesting question. I, like many artists, work from a studio in my home. There is good and bad news here. Good news is that I don’t have to commute, get dressed up in nice clothing, work on someone else’s schedule or answer to anyone. My work is always available to me down the hall when I am ready to create. The bad news is: I never go home from work. It’s always there and available to me so I find myself drawn to working at all hours of the day and night. More good news: if you love what you do, you will never “work” a day in your life! I think that balance in my life means being happy, taking time when I need to, working hard when I am inspired to and filling my life with loving supportive people that give me encouragement and unconditional love. It has taken me years to fine tune this definition. In my younger years my life was all about quantity (money, friends, stuff). These days my life is much more about quality (dear friends, creative pursuits, simplifying life, family).
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a mechanical engineer turned professional artist. I spent the first 12 years of my career in the aerospace industry in Southern California before moving to Arizona 26 years ago. While building a new life here in AZ I took a watercolor workshop to meet people and it opened a door I never knew existed. After that workshop and some encouragement from the instructor and friends, I applied my learning skills from engineering and taught myself everything I could about painting in watercolor. After 3 years of dabbling, spending my weekends painting, I finally got the courage to put my work out in the world. The response was better than I could have imagined. Three years later, I retired from my engineering career and have been a full time artist ever since. I am proud to be a self taught artist that has accomplished so much in my career. The biggest challenge I have had to overcome was my lack of confidence. When surrounded by artists with many and various college degrees and professional accolades, I used to feel as if I wasn’t qualified or credentialed to exhibit alongside them at shows or in galleries. I no longer feel this way and I have thousands of my collectors to thank for this. I use traditional transparent watercolors in a very non-traditional way. About 10 years ago I started experimenting with various preparations to enable me to apply watercolor to canvas and panels. Using my lab skills from engineering I developed a series of treatments that has become my substrate process. I use this for all my work. The reason it was so important to me is that my clients were interested in my work, but less and less interested in framing it or presenting it behind glass. It has successfully opened many more doors to me and my work. This challenge became an opportunity with the proper motivation and a lot of hard work. I am a very outdoor oriented person and spend a lot of time hiking in the desert, gardening and relaxing in my backyard. I love painting nature inspired by my surroundings and my travels. I paint landscapes, botanicals, birds and other critters and like to feature strong composition, vibrant light, high contrast and brilliant color. My work tends to emphasize light and shadow as well as the vivid colors that occur in nature. The fluid and spontaneous nature of watercolor allow me to express my creativity while surrendering to the organic flow of the pigment. This is the only place in my world that I enjoy not having control! Many artists ask why I don’t switch to oils or acrylics. I have worked in both of these, although not extensively, yet I keep coming back to watercolor – the most difficult medium. It suits me because I like the challenge.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Desert Botanical Garden, Hiking in the McDowell Mountains, Sedona, Jerome, Heard Museum, Musical Instrument Museum, Golfing or Top Golf, Taliesin West, Spa Day, Salt River or Saguaro Lake, Celebration of Fine Art (if they visit Jan-March). In terms of restaurants, I cook a lot (I also published a cookbook/artbook about 5 years ago) and have lots of friends over but when I eat out I enjoy Mexican Food (Jalapeño Inferno, The Mission, El Encanto) Sushi (Pure, Sushi Brokers) Deseo at Westin Kierland, Lons at the Hermosa Inn, Al Fresco anywhere (Isabellas, The Vig, Herb Box, North, Zinc Bistro, True Foods).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Susan Morrow Potje, owner of Celebration of Fine Art in Scottsdale, has been a dear friend, colleague and promoter of mine for nearly 20 years. She is dedicated to the pursuit of the arts and promoting artists in the most professional and prolific way. By participating in this show for nineteen seasons I have learned a lot, grown a lot (in my craft AND my promoting/marketing/sales skills) and formed lifelong relationships with other artists and collectors all over the world.
Linkedin: Heidi Rosner
Facebook: Heidi Rosner Watercolor Paintings