Abstract Calligraphy | painting & sculpture

Artist Statement

My work -- canvas and sculpture -- in the purest sense is rooted in the beautiful, calligraphic letterform. Like traditional calligraphy, my work also contains imperfections though more noticeable e.g. off center compositions, a bent circle, awkward yet interesting -- which is the absolute essence (for me) of true beauty.

Inspired by Ikebana forms, current paintings (ART tab, NEW WORKS pg) explore bold and delicate mark making on transparent gessoed canvas. The female silhouette is also a current body of work in development.

Early paintings most often had a small red dot as a point of focus within the untamed, gestural work. Of recent years (and currently) large, bold, brush strokes, reminiscent of 3 dimensional forms, now satisfy a point of focus, resting space, or affectionately called, The Still Point (Zen Meditation) ~ and the untamed, gestural work has become the underpainting.

Interests outside of developing studio work include mentoring emerging or re-emerging artists and collaborating with fine artists and craftsmen, colleagues and patrons, assisting with their community and corporate culture endeavors. Also, I offer painting workshops at my Florida studio via a method that I developed in 1992 -- experience painting outside the lines while learning to recognize, hone and navigate between 'no-mind'* and analysis. I am an avid student of psychology and its relationship to health, healing and well being of the inner child/adult relationship and I enjoy exploring roads less traveled, domesticality and organic gardening.

2017 begins 28th year of painting, and 11th of sculpture work. Exciting, most days. Grateful, every day. ~BH

 

ESSAY
--D.Dominick Lombardi

Brenda Heim is a Modernist to her core. Her calligraphic 'no-mind'* Zen approach that dominates her paintings and weaves through her sculptures is a throwback to the heyday of the New York School Action Painters. Championed by Clement Greenberg, artists such as Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock and Willem De Kooning paved the way for more and more freedom of expression, particularly when it came to technique and aesthetics.

When viewing Heim’s work, it is truly the 'action' that is at the core of her success. You can’t experience her paintings, especially the largest ones, without imagining a whole body in motion - a human presence that is one with the artist’s choice of painting tool, whether it be a brush or a super saturated mop - every action, large and small, is clearly recorded and viscerally felt by the viewer.

The 'no-mind' aspect, to quote Stephen Addiss from The Art of Zen, is a “state beyond thought, emotions and expectations.” Heim reaches this Zen state with regular ease as she allows subconscious or unconscious 'connections' to happen. In many cultures, both ancient and contemporary, there is a common belief that there exists a collective consciousness across time, and that anyone, if willing and free-minded enough, can tap into it by simply opening up their minds to move beyond their conscious experiences. This open-mindedness that Heim utilizes when she works through her art enables her to honor kindred spirits, the 16th Century Zen Monks of Japan who explored their subconscious through calligraphy and meditation.

In addition to working with mops and industrial sized brushes Heim continues to make her own painting tools opening up even more options in her highly sensitive and contemplative iconography. In some instances, hints of architectural forms come into play as Heim makes increasingly larger and more powerful works.

With Heim’s 3-D work, there tends to be far more forethought as gravity, the physical strength of the materials she uses, and the literal balance of her sculptures comes into play. And despite these restrictions, her sculptures still have that sense of immediacy, action and movement. It’s all there, in each and every piece – a free mind and a contagious spirit.

* Zen Brush Painting
... also called 'no-mind' painting, is an ancient art form that was practiced daily by 16h Century Zen Monks of Japan and continues to present day, as an aid to meditation and calligraphic studies. The style of the brushwork, unlike that of almost all other religious art, is dramatically bold, seemingly impetuous, and bluntly immediate in effect. . . . a state of 'no-mind' - a state beyond thought, emotions, and expectations. Stephen Addiss / The Art of Zen

“We like the energy and intelligence in her work, her sense of color and rhythm.” – Henk & Yumi Hoppener, Tensho Gallery, Vancouver BC

My work -- canvas and sculpture -- in the purest sense is rooted in the beautiful, calligraphic letterform. Like traditional calligraphy, my work also contains imperfections, though more noticeable e.g. off center compositions, a bent circle, awkward yet interesting placement of a mark -- which, is the absolute essence of true beauty.

Inspired by Ikebana forms, current paintings (ART tab, NEW WORKS pg) explore bold and delicate marks. The female silhouette is also a current body of work in development.

Early paintings most often had a small red dot as a point of focus within the untamed, gestural work. Of recent years (and currently) large, bold, brush strokes, reminiscent of 3 dimensional forms, now satisfy a point of focus, resting space, or affectionately called, The Still Point (Zen Meditation) ~ and the untamed, gestural work has become the underpainting.

Interests outside of developing studio work include mentoring emerging or re-emerging artists and collaborating with fine artists and craftsmen, colleagues and patrons, assisting with their community and corporate culture endeavors. Also, I offer painting workshops at my Florida studio via a method that I developed in 1992 -- experience painting outside the lines while learning to recognize, hone and navigate between 'no-mind' and analysis. I am an avid student of psychology and its relationship to health, healing and well being of the inner child/adult relationship and I enjoy exploring roads less traveled, domesticality and organic gardening.

2017 begins 28th year of painting, and 111th of sculpture work. Exciting, most days. Grateful, every day. ~BH

 

ESSAY
--D.Dominick Lombardi

Brenda Heim is a Modernist to her core. Her calligraphic 'no-mind'* Zen approach that dominates her paintings and weaves through her sculptures is a throwback to the heyday of the New York School Action Painters. Championed by Clement Greenberg, artists such as Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock and Willem De Kooning paved the way for more and more freedom of expression, particularly when it came to technique and aesthetics.

When viewing Heim’s work, it is truly the 'action' that is at the core of her success. You can’t experience her paintings, especially the largest ones, without imagining a whole body in motion - a human presence that is one with the artist’s choice of painting tool, whether it be a brush or a super saturated mop - every action, large and small, is clearly recorded and viscerally felt by the viewer.

The 'no-mind' aspect, to quote Stephen Addiss from The Art of Zen, is a “state beyond thought, emotions and expectations.” Heim reaches this Zen state with regular ease as she allows subconscious or unconscious 'connections' to happen. In many cultures, both ancient and contemporary, there is a common belief that there exists a collective consciousness across time, and that anyone, if willing and free-minded enough, can tap into it by simply opening up their minds to move beyond their conscious experiences. This open-mindedness that Heim utilizes when she works through her art enables her to honor kindred spirits, the 16th Century Zen Monks of Japan who explored their subconscious through calligraphy and meditation.

In addition to working with mops and industrial sized brushes Heim continues to make her own painting tools opening up even more options in her highly sensitive and contemplative iconography. In some instances, hints of architectural forms come into play as Heim makes increasingly larger and more powerful works.

With Heim’s 3-D work, there tends to be far more forethought as gravity, the physical strength of the materials she uses, and the literal balance of her sculptures comes into play. And despite these restrictions, her sculptures still have that sense of immediacy, action and movement. It’s all there, in each and every piece – a free mind and a contagious spirit.

* Zen Brush Painting
... also called 'no-mind' painting, is an ancient art form that was practiced daily by 16h Century Zen Monks of Japan and continues to present day, as an aid to meditation and calligraphic studies. The style of the brushwork, unlike that of almost all other religious art, is dramatically bold, seemingly impetuous, and bluntly immediate in effect. . . . a state of 'no-mind' - a state beyond thought, emotions, and expectations. Stephen Addiss / The Art of Zen

“We like the energy and intelligence in her work, her sense of color and rhythm.” – Henk & Yumi Hoppener, Tensho Gallery, Vancouver BC