Heidi Brueckner: “I was an Art History major for a long time, but then realized I was just making excuses why I shouldn’t be an Art major too.


By Marco Crispano

How and why did you start your career in art?

I got serious about art in college. I was an Art History major for a long time, but then realized I was just making excuses why I shouldn’t be an Art major too. I ended up double majoring in Art and Art History which was one of the best decisions of my life. Being the daughter of a college professor, I was also always inspired to teach at the university-level, and now, in addition to being a painter, Professor of Art is my career.


How did you first get interested in your medium, and what draws you to use it?

I have always responded to and loved color, so oil painting has always felt very natural. The consistency of oil combined with the use of a broad brush just works for the way I draw and make marks.


Can you walk us through your process? How did you start creating your artwork? How long do you spend on one work? How do you know when it is finished?

I either paint from life, completely from imagination, or from photos combined with other visual reference material. I was inspired to start painting seriously after I spent a year abroad in Germany. I was able to visit almost all of the major museums in Europe during that year which inspired me to take Art seriously as describe above. I can spend anywhere from a couple of hours to around 100 hours on a piece. It just depends how complex it is and whether I consider it a study or a more finished, major piece of work. In my process, I begin with an idea of the outcome. Along the way, I might reduce or add the amount of ideas I have in mind. Towards the end, I constantly ask myself if it is balanced and what more the piece needs to complete the work. I have a good resource in my husband who has a great eye and who doubles as devil’s advocate in the final questioning and analysis of the work.


What are the major themes in your work?

My work has often involved about social commentary. I enjoy analyzing human behavior and interaction and am extremely interested in archetypes which take form in several allegorical series that I’ve produced, such as “The Arcana Shuffle” and “Monsterbet”. This interest also takes the form of portraiture which is accompanied by more personal narratives. Recently, portraits have taken front and center since the pandemic. I miss people and feel the need to study their faces and expressions.


Which are your favourite artists? Which ones are you inspired by?

There are too many artists to list here, but some that come to mind are are Alice Neel, Lucien Freud, Gustav Klimt, Otto Dix, Hope Gangloff, Hung Liu, Bisa Butler, Nick Cave, and Edward Gorey. I’m inspired by them all and every artist whom I admire.


Name: Heidi Brueckner
Residence: USA
Occupation: Professoressa d’arte, pittrice
Website: http://www.heidibrueckner.com