It began with a light-bulb moment.
Really, it began again with a light-bulb moment.
Even as a child, Heather Eck loved art; sketching hands and fingers, noticing colors.
“I was always drawing,” she says. “When I was in high school and college, I took a bunch of art classes: sewing, art, sketching, photography.”
In college, however, Eck majored in human resources, afraid she couldn’t make a career out of being an artist.
“I dove headfirst into what I felt would give me stability and stepped away from what actually made me feel really happy,” she says.
Within the last year, Eck found painting again. And about six months ago left her job as human resources manager for Epic Games to paint full time.
“I was feeling kind of lost. I was at that point in your life when you are like, ‘What am I supposed to be doing? What am I here for?’ I worked with a spiritual teacher. She reminded me that my gift is creative, artistic expression,” says Eck. “And it was like a light bulb went on.”
In Eck’s painting studio, which is part of her Holly Springs home, she’s surrounded by bottles of paint, colorful canvases and pieces of inspiration from other artist friends. Her studio dog, Rudy, gnaws a bone at her feet.
A tarp on the floor is speckled with paint splatters, creating a beautiful kind of art in itself. I love abstract art and am immediately taken with Eck’s style. It’s full of movement, bold colors and, I come to learn, intense feeling.
“There is a spiritual aspect to my work where I can see and sense color around people. I tune in to people’s energies and the colors that surround them. Then I’ll create a personalized painting that is essentially their color energy on a canvas.”
Eck begins many of her painting sessions with meditation to tune into the spiritual energy that serves as her inspiration.
Eck admits that she’s never heard of another artist who “sees” color the way she can, but color interpretation has always fascinated her, leading Eck to become a student of the chakra colors of the body.
“My approach to (painting) comes from a place of healing. I want to help others understand where color plays a role in their lives and how color can help them heal,” she says.
She’s even started producing videos to explain the story behind each painting.
Eck largely works with acrylic paint on canvas, but also incorporates plaster, gold flake, mica and resin into her “portraits.”
“I call them portraits, because they are a snapshot of the energy at the time.”
She practices intuitive painting, a movement which encourages artists to create using intuition around colors and forms.
“When I first started, I was very much into paint pouring. Then, it evolved into a series of circles, and now it’s evolving into more lines and scraping,” she says. “I honestly don’t know where this will go next. It’s been really fun to watch my work evolve as I’ve stepped more firmly into it.”
Eck’s paintings were showcased in several downtown Raleigh locations, including Anchor Bar, Raleigh Raw and Trophy Tap and Table, during last year’s monthly First Friday art walks.
“They’ve been incredible opportunities to think about marketing. There’s a lot that goes into putting that show together in an effective way,” she says.
Eck feels strongly that people will find her art when it is right for them.
“I think that there is so much love for local artists, and there is so much talent. There’s room for everybody,” she says. “There are people who will be connected to my work; there are people who will be connected to other work. What I appreciate so much about art now, is how it allows people to experience and perceive what’s meaningful for them.”
Original Art by Heather Eck
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