Heather Whiteside, who has a studio on Broadway in Maryville, has been chosen as the artist for the Dogwood Arts Festival’s 50th Anniversary Print. Her imaginatively is detailed in the painting “Dog Day Afternoon on the Square.”
Whiteside’s painting depicts one of Knoxville’s favorite place to enjoy cafés, shops, galleries, festivals, impromptu live music and sunny romps in the fountain. Judges lauded her distinctive stylized use of dramatic light and shadow layered and good story-telling narrative, evoking sunny memories of a laid-back afternoon on Market Square.
Whiteside began developing her artistic skills by making the sidewalks of Europe her canvas for chalk murals. Influenced early on by her parents’ creativity in the areas of photography and painting restoration, Heather also studied at the Art Students League of New York and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. To those who knew her, there was never a question as to her passion for the arts and creative endeavor, or that painting would become her chosen career path.
Since she moved to Knoxville in 2006, Whiteside says the city’s personality and character has been a constant inspiration. Well known for her impressionistic, urban landscape paintings, she has been represented in galleries nationwide in addition to owning and operating two galleries, including the one at 501 S. Ruth Street, Maryville, which is open by appointment by calling 865-310-3540.
In her own words, Whiteside describes her artistic journey:
“I am primarily a self-taught painter but I was fortunate to study for short stints at the Art Students League of New York, followed by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. It was never a question as to what I would do for a living. I have always known that I would be a painter. Prior to my professional career, I made money doing chalk murals on the sidewalks of numerous cities internationally. This experience made me stronger and it gave me the courage to try new things without emotional barriers.
“I have been painting professionally for nearly 20 years and, as an only parent to my son, Dalton, (who is now 16), it has been very difficult as my artwork sales are my sole source of income. However, this life circumstance has given me an insatiable drive to survive on my craft. In the earlier years of my career in Nashville, I would load my son’s baby buggy with paintings and peddle door-to-door to collectors, decorators and galleries while I had him strapped to my back.
“In the studio, I would prop him in his little seat on the table amongst my paints and brushes. He would watch me paint at my easel for endless hours and days. He has now become my most trusted critic and studio assistant and he has a truly gifted eye and appreciation for art and the business.
“My Urban Landscape Paintings began back in 1997 in California. I began creating House Portraits which home-owners would commission me to do. This led to commercial work and to doing architectural renderings for developers and builders. Once I applied the technical skills which I acquired from the renderings along with my fine art painting skills, the result was a vibrant, painterly adaptation of a city street or an architectural composition from a unique vantage point.
“I currently paint from my home-studio in Maryville which is open to the public by appointment. I typically have several original paintings in progress at once, along with numerous other artistic endeavors. All of my current work is available as fine art prints which are reproduced in the studio (either matted or on stretched canvas). I build all my own stretchers and I stretch each canvas by hand, and I do my own matting and framing. Many visitors to the studio find the process fascinating and have the opportunity to see my most current works.”
The 50th Anniversary Commemorative Print, “Dog Day Afternoon on the Square,” is available at the Dogwood Arts Festival during the month of April for $70, and by calling the DAF Office at 865-637-4561. It is also available at Whiteside’s studio by calling 865-310-3540.
Whiteside will also be available for personal signing at the Museum of East Tennessee History, 601 S. Gay Street, from 5 to 8 p.m. on April 2 at the opening of the Dogwood Arts Festival Print Show.
Her website is www.whitesideart.com.