Heidi Koenig

“In my work, a solitary mark on a blank surface provides a meaningful starting point for an exploration of abstraction. The visual language I use in my paintings connects deeply to landscape – it is always the point of connection and departure.

My paintings are driven by observation of my environment and my emotional and physical responses to my daily surroundings.”

Living and working near Dartmoor and the sea most of my inspiration now starts here. Whether it is the colour of a field in the distance, a cloud formation, or a rusty crane in a disused quarry, I find a lot of my inspiration while out walking and exploring with my dog. Previously having travelled to India, Australia and Asia the colours and experiences there are also still deeply ingrained in my visual memory and appear on a regular basis in my art.

When I begin a piece I do not always have a conscious idea of how I want it to look. Each piece evolves as I paint, and the process of painting transports me back to the place I was inspired by, bringing back the visual and sensory information I absorbed.

I usually start with a very thin wash of acrylic and apply some textured gel to add depth. I then paint with oils, using brushes, palette knifes, rags, sticks and anything else like washing up brushes to achieve different marks. My process is quite dynamic, often removing a mark straight after applying it.

In my studio, my workspace is a glass-topped workbench, which after a day’s work is always covered in colours I have mixed, brushes and pallet knives. I always paint more than one painting at the same time, letting the paint dry on one and working on another, before continuing the next stage on the first.

Working intuitively, I am forever altering and changing the framework within which I work, using colour to be spontaneous and strike out in new directions.

I build up each painting in layers, which can take days or weeks. Often, the hardest part is deciding when a work is finished and when it needs to be pushed, sometimes beyond the point of success.

“The best days are when time stands still and I am flying with colour.”