Australian born, Heidi Willis is an entirely self-taught natural history watercolour artist. Her work intricately illustrates our native and exotic plants, fruits and seed capsules, whilst her powerful, distinctive portraits of Australia’s unique and spectacular bird life offer viewers an insight into the world as she experiences it.
Painting full-time since 2003, Heidi quickly established herself as one of Australia’s leading emerging artistic talents and her international reputation as an exceptional natural history, wildlife artist and botanical artist is well established. Her works can be found in significant public and private collections around the world and are often sold before completion.
In 2004, Heidi had 20 works selected for her first Botanica exhibition in the Sydney Botanic Gardens. Dr Shirley Sherwood purchased her work for inclusion in the prestigious Shirley Sherwood Collection of international contemporary botanical artists.
Heidi was recently selected as a finalist for the fourth time in the highly competitive Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize, hosted by the South Australian Museum. The Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize is one of the most prestigious and sought after art prizes in Australia. This international exhibition promotes and recognizes excellence in natural history art. Producing her first graphite illustrations in 2005, both her works were selected for the Margaret Flockton Award. Hosted by the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, the Margaret Flockton Award recognizes outstanding achievement in scientific botanical illustration and receives international submissions. Heidi won awards for excellence in botanical illustration for her pencil works in 2005 and again in 2006.
In 2006 she has had two paintings selected for the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation exhibition in the USA. Her works are held in the permanent collection of the University.
Heidi was twice a finalist in the Focus On Nature exhibition, a Natural History Art Prize held in the New York State Museum. The Focus On Nature exhibition was recently placed in the top 10 exhibitions within the capital region. Her Kingfisher painting was selected for the cover of the colour catalogue and exhibition posters and her wildlife illustrations were on exhibition at the Museum for five months each time.
Heidi’s recognizable style can be applied to contemporary or traditional pieces, capturing the life and beauty in all her subjects. While her technique is time-consuming and a single painting may take many months to produce, Heidi considers each painting as a precious record of today’s natural history that will hopefully be treasured for generations to come.
2013 Finalist ‘Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize’, SA Museum
2013 Cover and feature of Artist Palette Magazine
2013 International Artist Magazine feature
2013 Cover and feature article Colophon magazine
2013 SA Life magazine appearance
2011 Permanent Representation Boyd Gallery, NSW
2007 Finalist ‘Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize’, SA Museum
2007 Combined wildlife exhibition, Morpeth Gallery, Morpeth
2007 Finalist Australia Day Arts Award.
2007 Permanent representation Morpeth Gallery, Morpeth, NSW
2006 Solo exhibition, Gosford Regional Gallery.
2006 Finalist ‘Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize’, SA Museum.
2006 Award for Excellence in Botanical Illustration, ‘Margaret Flockton Award’.
2006 Finalist in the ‘Margaret Flockton Award’, Red Box Gallery, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney (2 selected).
2006 2 paintings selected for permanent collection, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Pittsburgh, USA
2006 Finalist in ‘Focus on Nature Exhibition IX’ natural history exhibition, New York State Museum (2 selected)
2006 Painting selected from finalists to use for colour catalogues & exhibition posters, New York State Museum ‘Focus on Nature IX’ exhibition.
2005 Finalist in the ‘Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize’, SA Museum
2005 Finalist in the ‘Margaret Flockton Award’, Red Box Gallery, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney (2 selected)
2005 Award for Excellence in Botanical Illustration, ‘Margaret Flockton Award’.
2005 ‘Botanica’ Exhibition, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
2005 ‘Canberra Botanical Exhibition’, CSIRO Canberra2005 Artist’s Palette Magazine
2004 Finalist New York State Museum ‘Focus on Nature’ exhibition.
2004 Finalist in the ‘Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize’, SA Museum
2004 Work purchased for Shirley Sherwood collection
2004 ‘Botanica’ Exhibition, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
2004 ‘Canberra Botanical Exhibition’, CSIRO Canberra2004 Appearance in Sydney Botanic Gardens Magazine
2003 Canberra Botanical Exhibition, CSIRO Canberra
2003 Appearance in Sydney Botanic Gardens Magazine
2001 Craft Arts Magazine
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