Heide Trepanier’s artistic practice parallels life’s unpredictability and our unbridled desire to control its randomness. She freely splatters and sweeps paint over the surface of her canvases, and then returns after the paint dries to outline, and thereby control, the disorderly marks. The resulting overlay of ink and acrylic conveys an entrancing liveliness with rich colors and wild strokes. In 2015, she bridged this process into photography, composing inky light jet prints which both maintain and advance elements of her painting practice. Dropping alcohol-based inks into different types of milk (cow, human, and goat), she activates a chemical reaction between the two products, causing the pigment to flow and disperse. She photographs the effects, ultimately selecting only one image from each ink-and-milk reaction as the finished art work. Once the photograph is printed, she destroys its original highest-resolution image so that each photograph is unique.
Trepanier received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Master of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she has held adjunct professor positions. She has received multiple accolades, including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2011), VMFA Professional Fellowships (2009 and 2002), and The Theresa Pollak Fine Art Award (2004). Currently, the artist lives and works in Richmond, VA.