Artist of Note | Dennis Heckler

More than visual

Dennis Heckler, Fish River Hideaway II, oil, 20 x 36.

Dennis Heckler, Fish River Hideaway II, oil, 20 x 36.

This story was featured in the August 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Born into a large family living in the city, young Dennis Heckler looked forward to the days when he would visit his grandparents’ farm and sneak into the woods to be alone. He took a sketchbook and drew the wildlife that surrounded him. “When you’re quiet, you find that a lot of things are going on around you,” he says. “There’s so much great sound out there. When you pay attention, you experience so much more.”

After a long career in graphic design, Heckler decided to pursue a full-time art career. He found inspiration in the many landscapes that make up the United States, from the marshy meadows of the Gulf Coast to the scrub oaks of central Texas. But most of the time, his inspiration comes from the long stretches of rural farmland around his home in Mississippi. Regardless of the location, though, Heckler thoroughly experiences each place and translates his senses through his paintings. “When you walk through a field, you hear the whipping of the grass and you feel the rustling against your hand,” he says. “If someone can get that sensation out of the painting, then that’s my reward.”

While his style is reminiscent of impressionism, the artist’s treatment of each work evokes a specific place and a specific feeling. “My paintings are all about that texture and vibrancy, that motion and energy I feel out there, even on a quiet day,” he says. —Mackenzie McCreary

Heckler is represented by River Gallery, Chattanooga, TN; Seeley’s Gallery by the Bay, Fairhope, AL; Dennis Heckler Fine Art Gallery, Yazoo City, MS; and www.dennishecklerpaintings.com.

This story was featured in the August 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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