I recently discovered the work of artist Heather Sleightholm, otherwise known by her blog and shop name “Audrey Eclectic.” I was immediately captivated by Heather’s folk-art style religious paintings. Using the basic structure of icon paintings, Heather has created religious works for the 21st Century; her colors are bright and vibrant, and her subjects’ faces are open and accessible, drawing one right into the heart of the painting. I am particularly enamored of her Madonna & Child paintings — one can almost feel the love emanating from Mary’s face. Her “Woodland Madonna” is my absolute favorite (below, right).
Heather has also created many works that feature scenes of home and faith. Given my own domestic aspirations, I’m always looking for role models and inspiration in the world of art. Heather’s painted families garden, prepare for festivals, attend church, and just spend time in each other’s company. Amidst the chaos of the modern world, there is such comfort and hope in these images of simple lives in which home, family, and God are central.
In Heather’s own words:
The things that inspire my art are wide and varied, but I love when the things I love speak to others as well. If I’ve gained anything through my art, its been amazing friends! If there is a common thread in my art, it is a deep love of family, tradition, faith and history. These things tend to mingle in all I create, and it’s my hope to make art that gives others a sense of peace, happiness and warmth when they add my art to their home or give it to their friends or family.
I have to say that I am kind of astounded by the number of things that Heather and I have in common, from our discovery of the Episcopal church later in life, to our love of Scandinavian culture, to our preference for historical fiction — I never knew there were other versions of “me” out there! I’m also so impressed with the way in which folks from various faith traditions come together in the community that Heather has created with her blog and her Instagram account. I really encourage you to check out Heather’s blog, where she posts about her artwork, but also about many other things that might interest or encourage you. I’m especially fond of her “Tasha Tuesdays” series, where she writes about and shares aspects of Tasha Tudor’s art and life. And, of course, you must see more of her work, which you can find in abundance in her Etsy shop. Thank you for letting me share a little bit of your enormous talent, Heather!
*Right now Heather is doing a giveaway — see more details here.