" I have to paint that ! " – Heather Collins

Coldwater Tour, June 20 – 21, 2015

I will be showing in the Coldwater and Area Studio Tour on Saturday, June 20 and Sunday, June 21, in the Coldwater Mill, just off the Main Street. It’s a charming town and a great place to enjoy a coffee or lunch break. I will be with 3 other artists, and I hope you will come by to see my new work..

Woods Lace 12×12

Catching Up

It has been a very eventful ten months for me.

Kicked off last summer with a solo show at the Quest Gallery in the Midland Cultural Centre. My paintings hung for six weeks and many of them found happy homes.

Solo show "salon" wall at the Quest Gallery in the Midland Cultural Centre

Solo show “salon” wall at the Quest Gallery in the Midland Cultural Centre


July saw me teaching a 3-day plein air painting course in and around Tiny Township. A thoroughly enjoyable time was had by all participants — including the teacher. I’ll be doing it again this summer but this time it will be 5 days in August from the 11th to the 15th. I’ll be posting more on this in the next few weeks.

Plein Air on the Bay — a beautiful day.

Plein Air on the Bay — a beautiful day.


The fall saw me inspired by the wonderful wild skies of October. I painted 3 small studies (studio/studies) and used them as reference for large paintings (studio/landscapes). Here’s one of them:

October Sky on the 6th 36x36

October Sky on the 6th 36×36


Winter rolled in and once again I escaped to San Miguel de Allende in the heart of Mexico for two months of plein air painting focused on light, colour and shadow. You can see some of my work here . At the end of my stay I had a very impromptu showing with Virgel Delegard in a funky space above Via Organica.

Doing my thing in the streets of San Miguel de Allende

Doing my thing in the streets of San Miguel de Allende

“Still” and “Brill” Ready for Show

Two more studio pieces – Still Water and Brill Road –  are ready for the Thursday, June 13th opening reception of my solo show at the Quest Upper Gallery.


Still Water 36×36

Brill Road 40x30

Brill Road 40×30

It’s About Being Outside – Solo Show

I’m very busy painting for my upcoming show “It’s About Being Outside” at  Quest Art. This is one of the images that will be available:

Our Creek 40x30

Our Creek 40×30

Another one that will make an appearance can be seen here.

Opening reception: Thursday, June 13, from 7 – 9 p.m. in the Upper Gallery.
My paintings will hang until August 17, 2013.

Plein Air Workshop in July


When it comes to plein air, are you . . .
. . . intimidated by the idea of painting outside?
. . . at sea when choosing what to paint?
. . . overwhelmed by all of the options?
. . . incapable of deciding what to zero in on?
. . . puzzled by what’s missing from your paintings?
. . . bewildered as to how to create a sense of depth?
. . . mystified by warm and cool?
. . . flummoxed by colour?
. . . confused about light values?
. . . stumped as to why your paintings look flat?
. . . not sure what to do next?”

When you take part in my three day plein air workshop in July, you will emerge with more confidence and a better understanding of what to focus on so you can improve your painting skills.”


July 9, 10 and 11, 2013    —   10 a.m. to 4 p.m.    Fee: $180 *
*$150 for members of Quest Art School & Gallery

Please contact me directly with any questions you might have.

Quest Art Adult workshops are open to anyone age 16+.
Class sizes are small, so register early!

Complete information about my Plein Air Workshop can be found here .

Registration must take place no later than July 1st. Registrations after this date will only be accepted if space permits. Payment in full by cash, cheque, debit card, VISA or MasterCard must be received with registrations. A post-dated cheque, dated for one month prior to the start date of a workshop, will be considered payment in full. You can print or download a Registration Form here .

Registration forms may also be picked up at Quest Art, 333 King Street, or by contacting us directly 705-526-ARTS (2787). Ask to speak to our Volunteer, Member and Customer Service Coordinator. General information about Quest workshops can be found here .

Quest Art Workshops take place in the Midland Cultural Centre.
Midland Cultural Centre
333 King Street
(Corner of King St. & Elizabeth St.)
Midland, ON L4R 3M7
705-526-ARTS (2787)

Peers Try Plein Air

What fun! And what a privilege! On separate occasions I’ve enjoyed sharing my enthusiasm for plein air painting with two very accomplished  fellow creators – both of whom are cherished friends. I asked them if they’d care to contribute something about me as a teacher for inclusion on my website . . .

Marie Louise "nailing" a barn in Tay

Marie Louise “nailing” a barn in Tay

Marie Louise Gay offered three potential comments on our painting expeditions. Rather than pick one, I decided to include them all . . .

  1. “After one session, I became a talented painter. Now I am rich.”
  2. “She is very pretty and laughs a lot”
  3. “Heather has an eye for shape and color that evokes light, space and movement. Her landscapes seem to breathe. Very inspiring.”

Linda with another plein air masterpiece

Linda Hendry offered up the following:

“Judging by that picture of me eating a paintbrush, you might want to tell your students to bring along a snack!”

“As for your teaching style . . . ”

“Heather’s background in book illustration has given her an innate sense of design and colour that has blossomed into the most wonderful paintings! Her love of plein air is obvious and infectious, and I’ve caught the bug from her!”

“Can’t wait to see the site. You inspire me . . . “

Changing Direction — Again!

In Late November, 2012, I took a break from my road series just to change things up a little. I started working from a plein air piece I painted in the Wye Marsh .  .  .

Wye Marsh 24x20

Wye Marsh 24×20


I haven’t stopped painting water and reflections since.

A number of them will be in my show this summer.

New Directions

I am constantly exploring and changing directions as I paint. Last year I fell in love with the roads winding their way through Tiny Township.

“Up Dawson’s” was the first in a plein air series

Up Dawson's 14x18

Up Dawson’s 14×18

I was inevitably led to painting some larger studio pieces. Both the larger version of “Up Dawson’s” and “To Lafontaine” are two of my favourites.

Up Dawson's 30x40

Up Dawson’s 30×40

Lafontaine 40x40

Lafontaine 40×40

The latter was completed in November 2012 and I fully intended to continue in this direction over the winter — but I got inspired by something else . . .

Whimsical Landscapes

I was a children’s book illustrator for more than 30 years and sometimes I love blending a whimsical view of the landscape with what I have learned painting outdoors. So if one of these paintings looks vaguely familiar, you may be right; it could be based on landscape that you know, but it’s been altered by my imagination.

Harvest Hills (sold)

Harvest Hills (sold)