Heidi Lanino is a figurative abstract painter whose work embodies movement, both in process and form. 

“I use rhythm as a visual language and my movements are mirrored in the work’s gestural qualities beyond the borders of the canvas.”

After graduating from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn on a full scholarship, Heidi Lanino started her career as a graphic designer in New York. As an art director for L’Oréal in Midtown Manhattan, she was connected to fashion coming straight from the runways of Paris at a time when Instagram and fashion blogs were still years in the future. She thrived in the creative freedom that the position afforded her, but Heidi still had aspirations of pursuing another path. “I wanted to be an artist, not an art director.” Ultimately, it was motherhood that inspired her to pivot and focus on her art for the first time in her career.

Since then, Heidi has honed her process and aesthetic while mastering a wide range of mediums, including charcoal, oil and acrylic on paper, canvas, and clay. Regardless of the materials, expressive drawing is at the heart of all her work. She begins a piece by attaching charcoal to lengths of reed to enhance its gestural quality. Movement is a constant in her work, and she sometimes works on several pieces in her studio at once, moving fluidly from one piece to another in the same session.

The female figure is a prevailing motif in her work, including her newest series Folded Females. Pushing the boundaries of medium, Heidi folds, unfolds and refolds various materials to create dynamic feminine forms. “This rhythmic process is a visual metaphor that alludes to the body as well as conceptions of identity, femininity, and the folding/unfolding of the self. The process entails revealing, both literally and figuratively. The figures portray different emotional stories when folded into a new form, and each new iteration supports an over-arching movement while focusing on transition, transformation, chance, and outward projection.”

Heidi takes a “more is more” approach to social media and embraces the dialog and openness that the internet creates for artists. “I love making relationships with other artists from across the world.” See Heidi’s newest work here and follow her on Instagram @heidilanino