Ralph Heather is a visual artist living in Paris, Ontario. He is both a painter in watercolour, and an original print maker. His latest exhibition will be showing new and familiar works completed here in Southern Ontario and in Arizona, with portraits in watercolour and original printmaking.
“People & Places, Here & There” is a theme that has exposed what seems to have become his artistic duality. In the subject chosen he finds himself telling two very different stories from here at home, and new stories from his extended stays in Arizona. Add to that the two very different mediums of watercolour painting to carving woodblocks for printmaking, and the duality is clearly interesting and challenging.
In his watercolour portraits he strive to find the story within a subject and give an honest portrayal of the person or situation as it is seen and felt. Painting in an immediate manner, reacting to the presence of the subject by working mostly with a live model gives him the insights into creating a meaningful painting. This is also a personal reaction to today’s replacement of human communication with technology, as we willingly separate ourselves from the connections of human contact.
His original printmaking continues to focus on his body of work “Rural Detours” that is series of original woodcut prints and etchings that evoke a strong sense of place while paying tribute to the rich history of our local rural landscapes. He finds much of his inspiration not far from where he lives while exploring the countryside, searching for the missing connections to our local heritage and rural environment. Finding himself surrounded by forgotten historic places of ancient trees, homesteads, and working farmlands, that the onslaught of progress is quickly changing.
Ralph has a varied background in art from a lifetime in and around the visual arts. He studied printmaking and painting at OCAD, DVSA and Centre3, is currently teaching printmaking at the Dundas Valley School of Art and is an accomplished Registered Graphic Designer and graduate of Design at Sheridan College. Ralph also participates locally advocating for arts and culture in our community. His artwork exhibits regularly throughout Canada.