Katie Heffelfinger’s earlier work was in figure drawing and figurative sculpture, but in the last few years she has been painting abstracts with watercolors that she hand-mixes using pigments, gum arabic, and funori, a Japanese seaweed on 100% Cotton Coventry Rag Legion paper. She collects pigments from all over the world, but especially seeks out those that are light-durable, synthetic, and non toxic, whenever possible. Each layer takes several days to dry before the next can be added, so the artist tends to work on several at once, in various stages of completion. The result is a palette of unique, one-of-a-kind, hues with a special body and flow not often seen in traditional watercolor.
The daughter of a painter and a sculptor, Katie Heffelfinger came of age in Allentown, PA. She studied at the Art Students League in New York and later at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Alongside her art practice, she has worked as a studio assistant, arts administrator, exhibition curator, and arts-community organizer, manager of an artists residency program called The Mansion in Allentown, and Director of Street Gallery projects in Allentown and New York.