How Martha Heppard Grew Into An Award Winning Fine Artist
Artist Martha Heppard grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, surrounded by lush tropical landscapes and beautiful Polynesian and Asian art. She is the second of five children born into her family. While in Junior High School, she discovered her passion for art, and at that time learned the traditional method of batiking textiles. Martha pursued a career in medicine after graduating magna-cum-laude from Harvard University, and subsequently from the University of Southern California School of Medicine . She was also Rhodes Scholar national finalist.
In 1990, Martha, her husband Kurt, and her twin sons Patrick and Matthew moved to Colorado when her husband (active Air Force) was assigned to teach at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. A few years later she had her third child, Daniel. After practicing medicine for 16 years she retired so that she could spend more time with her family. A few years later she started pursuing her passion for art and began taking oil and watercolor classes at local art centers. Art is a part of her life now — it opens her eyes to the infinite colors all around her, allowing her to see multiple colors in a simple “white” flower (see “White Lotus,” a watercolor batik on rice paper).
Watercolor Batik on Rice Paper
Martha learned how to adapt the wax resist method of batik (she learned the ancient method of batik in junior high school) to her watercolor paintings on fine Japanese rice papers, after seeing an art piece in a local art show created in this method. She was inspired to try this technique of painting, and now specializes in this unique process. Inspiration for her paintings comes from her hikes in the Rocky Mountains, and local, national and international travel. Martha’s batiks have been published in many books, and have won awards. She exhibits locally in her home state of Colorado as well as nationally, and is on the faculty of the Art Students League of Denver where she teaches this technique. Martha also teaches private watercolor batik workshops across the US.
Oils & Traditional Watercolors
Martha continues to enjoy painting traditional oils and watercolors in a representational style, and also some non-objectively. Plein air painting is one of her favorite ways to paint, capturing the subtle color changes of the ever shifting light.
Watercolor Batik; An Artist’s Guide to Watercolor Batik on Rice Paper, 2015
As described by internationally renowned artist and educator Stephen Quiller: “Watercolor Batik: An Artist’s Guide to Watercolor Batik” is a book for the artist looking for a new and fresh approach to the watercolor medium. Martha Heppard takes the ancient form of batik in a contemporary direction using wax, watercolor and rice paper. The book is an informative guide that is easy to read with clear and logical steps in her demonstrations. This book will touch artists at all skill levels. The serious painter can take this approach, personalize it and take it their way with abstract, landscape, figurative or still-life subjects”