An In­spi­ra­tional Jour­ney

Arabella - - NEWS - De­bra Usher

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Brent Heighton started draw­ing at age four on the walls of his par­ents’ home, much to their dis­may. He has never looked back and he has now been paint­ing full time for over 38 years. Born in Van­cou­ver, B.C., Brent had ac­cess to great schools and pas­sion­ate teach­ers. One, he recalls, was par­tic­u­larly spe­cial. "Frieda Su­d­er­man, my high school teacher, said any dream is pos­si­ble with hard work." And Brent Heighton has def­i­nitely worked hard at his craft. Along the way, he had many teach­ers and men­tors: Rex Brandt, fa­ther of the Cal­i­for­nia School; Wil­liam Reese, who was pas­sion­ate about paint­ing from life; and many mas­ter painters from his­tory, like Sargent and Monet. All of them in­spired Brent’s quest for improvement and learn­ing, and all taught some­thing very dif­fer­ent, but at the same time had a sim­i­lar mes­sage in their mantra – it is not easy to pur­sue your dreams in art, and hard work is a must. Brent is im­pressed with artists that have made the sac­ri­fice to paint full time, throw­ing all cau­tion to the wind and go­ing for it. To him, that is hon­est, and scary, es­pe­cially if you are try­ing to feed a fam­ily and fol­low your dreams. "I find, to­day, that many peo­ple take a few work­shops with what I would call formula painters – who teach peo­ple to paint like them – and you then have this group of peo­ple that all paint the same. Some bet­ter, some worse. But, in the end, it's sad be­cause many of them are fooled into think­ing they are artists, when in re­al­ity they are just copy­ing some­one else's dream."

pre­vi­ous spread, Mount Edith Cavell, acrylic on can­vas, 33" x 46" above, The Fre­quent Vis­i­tor, acrylic on can­vas, 30" x 36" right, Fall Catch, acrylic on can­vas, 36" x 30"

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