paintings by Heidi Annalise

paintings by Heidi Annalise

Colorado painter and wilderness lover!

Like most kids, I dabbled in art, mostly colored-pencil illustrations for my elementary school novels. But as I grew up, I traded creativity for a desire to “get it right”, and I froze. Paintings collected dust for weeks while I searched for the courage to finish them, and by the time I graduated from high school, I had stopped making art altogether.

It wasn’t until many years later that I finally shed a few layers of perfectionism and unearthed those long-buried artistic aspirations. These changes coincided with my return to the fine state of Colorado in late 2015. My paintings reflect the joy of being once again surrounded by the natural beauty of the mountains, a celebration of homecoming.

The Summer of Altoids

When your paintings are this tiny, you don’t have to worry about lugging any solvents around, and the mint tin also doubles as storage for your wet painting. If you suffer from performance anxiety like I do, you’ll be delighted to find that you can now stealth-paint without curious bystanders peering over your shoulder! For all they know, you’re just sitting over there on that rock re-reading the Harry Potter series. Hooray for stealth-painting.

I use a small piece of palette paper to line the bottom, attached with a few globs of kneaded eraser (anything tacky will work) so that I can easily replace the paper between uses. Because the oil-to-pigment ratio in my paints seems to vary pretty wildly, I make sure to tamp down the oilier ones so that they don’t try to slide around in transit. Alternatively, you could just bring your tubes of paint with you and avoid this issue altogether, but that makes your kit bulkier.

I buy small wooden panels at Michael’s and attach them to the lid with packing tape. They should be thin enough to not touch the paint palette on the bottom when you close the tin. I prime them in advance with a bit of gesso, to make sure the wood doesn’t completely absorb my paint. You could definitely use pre-primed canvas paper instead; I just prefer a smoother surface when I’m painting something this small.

Then all you need are some tiny brushes and paper towel, and you’re ready for a miniature plein air adventure! Happy painting!

I didn’t study art in school, and I took a winding path to get here, but…

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? ― Vincent van Gogh

So I decided to leave my respectable government job in DC in 2015 to become an artist. I wasn’t even entirely sure what I wanted to paint, but I was pretty sure that inspiration could be found in my magnificent home state of Colorado, so I moved back. All my recent paintings reflect the joy of being once again surrounded by the beauty of the mountains. Floating between realism and impressionism, my artwork adds an element of fantasy to the natural world with heightened colors and simplified shapes. By bringing glimpses of nature into our indoor environments, we can soak up these extraordinary vistas on all of our more ordinary days, and remind ourselves to go exploring whenever we can.

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