Let Paint Be Paint
by Rod Heiss
Reception:Sat, Aug 10, 4-5:30pm
“They will find my body in the morning.” That is what I thought as I looked one last time to shore. A traumatic surfing accident put my life in chaos for seven years. Depression, anxiety, and fear plagued my daily life. How could I overcome this?
In a particularly dark period, I rediscovered who I was: An artist with something to say. I attacked the canvas. Texture, color, movement. Fearlessness is what I want to express. There is nothing to fear.
Barriers are not present when I am in the act of creating. As I pour, drip, or throw the paint, walls are pushed aside. I explore through art, and evolve with no hesitation, no fear.
Facing death in the ocean showed me how quickly I can be trapped in dangerous waters. Painting keeps me afloat and gives me the confidence to be able to take on different challenges.
“Bend and Not Brake,” says Tao Te Ching.
This motto motivates Rod Heiss to paint. In his early years, due to undiagnosed eye problems, he was unable to learn the way most children do. School was difficult and defeating. He was constantly being reminded of his differences and being told “YOU CAN’T DO THIS” or “YOU CAN’T DO THAT.” Rod turned to working with his hands to compensate for the lack of confidence school created.
A defining moment occurred one restless evening. He was watching television and saw a documentary on Jackson Pollock. This two-hour program was a revelation to him. An overwhelming desire to paint took hold. Without fear, he attacked canvases like Pollock, using his style as a foundation. Soon, however, Rod found his own vocabulary and imitation turned to unique creation. He enrolled in the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, where he learned to channel his raw ability. This resulted in years of creativity in painting and sculpture.
Then life got in the way. Painting and sculpture stopped. He started to bend again.
In a particularly dark period of paralyzing fear and self-doubt, Rod turned back to art. He rediscovered his language. He has been creating nonstop ever since. First, he turned to sculpture, but has since returned to painting. The world of “anything is possible” is once again open.
Bend and not brake is now what keeps him from sitting still and motivates him to continue the exploration of a world without FEAR!
Location: Main Library, Gallery at Library Square
Contact Information: (801) 524-8200