“I am a storyteller. My art is the expression of a carefully chosen moment, captured from a larger narrative. This story is constantly playing, moving forward and changing, as each painting alters the course of the narrative. As it ignites my imagination for the next. So the road is never a straight line.” –Mark Heine, Victoria, BC
I am a storyteller. My art is the expression of a carefully chosen moment, captured from a larger narrative. This story is constantly playing, moving forward and changing, as each painting alters the course of the narrative. As it ignites my imagination for the next. So the road is never a straight line.
I believe that artistic growth is directly bound to the challenge we undertake. The larger the risk, the greater the reward. So how winding the creative road is, will depend on how far from a straight line you’re willing to push yourself. For me, the story is what I use to navigate that road – stories rooted in both my imagination and my experience. They give me a reason to paint … a concept. They give the painting a reason to exist beyond the surface visual. Sometimes the journey is loud, long and nerve wracking. Sometimes it’s short and quiet. Even tranquil.
My writing has evolved, from simple anecdotes of my life, into the driving force of my creative process and how I connect to my subconscious. Using the anonymity of the story, I can explore and express my own joys and nightmares, pushing the edge of my comfort zone. It’s this creative licence that allows me to diverge from reality and present a surreal vision. It also gives me the freedom to explore darker themes. And the more I dip below the surface, the more I discover in myself. It’s an endless source of inspiration, because each visit opens a door to the next.
The human form is, in my opinion, the most difficult and most complex challenge for an artist. Underpinning that challenge, are the technical considerations that face every artist. But the overlay, for me, is the most interesting aspect. And that comes from the nature of human interaction.
As humans, we have developed acutely tuned conscious and subconscious sensitivities to body language, posture, expression and situation. How we interact with each other is crucial to survival and is at the core of all culture. I call this the Social Aspect. These Social Aspect instincts vary from person to person, depending on his or her experiences, upbringing, religious beliefs, personal joys and pain. This diversity creates a reaction as personally distinct as a strand of DNA. I see this Social Aspect complexity as a unlimited, mysterious resource for reaching deeper and connecting with my emotions and those of my audience. And with figurative painting in particular, because it is “us,” these connections are critical if the work is to resonate.
It’s the artist’s job – whatever kind of art that may be – to tell the truth as he or she knows it. So while each painting is a new experiment in exploring the bottomless complexity of “us.” I strive to create an unobstructed vision and a clear, unpretentious communication of my thinking, through my realistic technique. I have found that bending and breaking traditional rules in terms of content, composition and viewpoint, has given my work a distinctly rebellious, individualistic spirit. And it takes us all to the edge of comfort. But that’s integral in setting the imagination free.
There are those who say that originality is dead. That all is derivative. I disagree. I think that originality is everywhere, albeit in widely varying degrees. I believe that my art is original. Certainly I have had influences, as has every artist. In particular, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Vermeer and Rembrandt, through Degas, Monet, Rodin, Sargent, Parrish, N.C. Wyeth and Andrew Wyeth to Robert Heindel, Bob Peak, Brian Johnson, my father Harry Heine, and my friend Brent Lynch. All have provided me with some tool or inspiration, but in the end, my way is my own.
So this is where I am. The paintings I have done and the stories I have told are where I have been. The interesting thing, from my point of view, is where I’m going. And that’s the story yet to be told. That’s my mission.