ascinated by art, light and nature from a young age, Boulder-based artist Chloe Hedden merges all three elements in her large-scale oil paintings of close-up crystal clusters. For six years, Hedden painted bold close-ups of flowers until an inspirational moment at a yoga studio, when she noticed sunlight catch a huge crystal pillar, became the catalyst for her shift in subject matter. Hedden’s luminous and exceptionally realistic paintings are the result of intense practice and perfection. “Once I get into something I like to dive deep so I can explore it and truly master it,” she says.
Get to know more about the artist, below.
The best piece of advice I ever received was…
My illustration teacher at RISD said, “‘Good enough’ is never good enough.” It seems harsh, but as an artist working alone, sometimes we have to be our own toughest critics to excel to the next level and reach our personal best.
If you open my fridge on any given day, chances are you’ll always find…
Greek yogurt, salad makings and a bunch of lemons. I dream about moving to a tiny seaside cottage in Greece with lemon trees and a donkey. I’ll live on simple Greek food, swim at the beach and paint.
When did you first become interested in art?
Raised in a remote desert town in Utah with no television, I had to entertain myself so I started drawing pictures. When I got a bit older I started painting and my dad would give me assignments–they homeschooled me just for kindergarten–he’d say here is this famous painting by Picasso or Renoir or Chagall, copy it. I got really excited about art after that.
My all-time favorite piece in my home is…
The beautiful wood writing desk my dad made for me. The design is simple and elegant with a Japanese influence and the wood is a striking deep honey color. It’s so smooth and the drawers open like cutting butter.
The artist I look up to the most is…
Georgia O’Keeffe. I know it seems cliche since she’s so famous and we both painted flowers, but there’s a deep spiritual connection there for me. We’re both woman of the Southwest. I was born and raised in the Utah desert and the landscape made me what I am. She also had the passion for flowers and rocks that I have and I adore her compositions, color and sense of style. I’ve had more than one religious experience standing in front of her paintings.
If you could get feedback on your work from anyone, who would you choose and why?
There are so many artists I admire but if I had to pick just one, it would be my college painting teacher Fritz Drury. He taught me to paint light and was always so insightful and tough on me. I miss him and his critiques.
One trend I hope never goes out of style…
Bohemian minimalist desert chic. It is so me and there’s so much great stuff out there right now that fits my style–crystals, plants, natural fabrics, eco-conscious design with a Swedish or Japanese minimalism offset by just a bit of Moroccan or Mexican flavor.
How do you get your creative juices flowing?
The best way for me to get inspired is to go for a walk in nature. When I feel closer to the earth, I feel closer to myself and the things that only I can hear being whispered from my soul.
The first thing I do when I wake up is…
Make a cup of tea–I have this beautiful tea setup my sister made for me and she gets me exquisite teas. The making of the tea is a ritual in itself that becomes a meditation.
One destination everyone needs to add to their bucket list is…
Therme Vals in Switzerland, a most amazing spa designed by architect Peter Zumthor. You can be sitting in outdoor slate pools full of hot world-class spring water with snow falling on your head. Nearby a cow with a bell shakes its head and you can see a giant alp poking through the clouds.
PHOTOS: Rebecca Stumpf
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