The Open Pass: The Artist’s Journey Featuring Heather Day

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We don’t always know where the Open Pass will take us, but the unknown is at the heart of any adventure. A few weeks ago, we found ourselves in the Bay Area on a mission to meet a Subaru owner artist, Heather Day. What we loved most about talking with Heather is her intrinsic connection to her work. “Pushing and pulling paint around a canvas can often get very physical, which I like,” she explained. Painting from life, she treats each piece like a living organism. She takes what she learns from one canvas and applies it to the next, adding pigments, textures, and layers as she goes throughout her day.  Heather dabbles in a range of mediums, including acrylic paint, pastel, pen, spray paint and marker and because her work so contingent on the environment it is made in, her imprints are both intentional and freeform, giving each piece its own unique identity. Whether she is painting in her sun-drenched live/work studio in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood or sketching and experimenting with color harmonies on the top of Mt. Tamalpais in Marin, she immerses herself completely in the moment.

An atypical explorer, Heather uses her Subaru as a vehicle to creatively drive her work. She sets out on adventures regularly, often times camping in her car and waking up in the most magical places. Her paintings have become the “evidence of what she experiences while on the road.” Sometimes they are quick jaunts within an hour or two of the city to “collect a vocabulary of mark-making” and other times she has something specific in mind, like the recent trip she took to Lake Louise in Alaska mapped out entirely around color.

Inspired by the abstract, diverse landscape of Northern California, the original pieces created for The Open Pass group show presented by Subaru are a balance of “something chaotic and something controlled.” In addition to her paintings and works on paper, we also displayed some of the brushes, textiles, palette knives, and sketchbooks Heather uses in her studio, giving guests a sneak peek of her toolkit and ultimately, her creative process.

For more info on Heather Day, you can check out her work here.

Images by Kat Borchart.

This post is in partnership with Subaru of America, Inc.

xx Jeanine