A visual journey into the transcendent

From whimsical children’s books to licensed creative interpretations of Disney characters, award-winning artist S. Heather Edwards’ paintings are decades of observation of people, environments, animals, and textiles. 

She credits her inspiration from the works of great artists including the Renaissance masters, the Pre-Raphaelites of the late 19th century, and modern masters.

Presented by the Malibu Arts Commission, Edwards’ paintings are currently on display at Malibu City Hall’s art gallery. 

Presented by the Malibu Arts Commission, S. Heather Edwards paintings are currently on display at Malibu City Hall’s art gallery. Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT.

“I’ve done art all of my life and I’ve always wanted to be a classical painter, meaning I want to be like the renaissance artist in that time of theme,” Edwards said. “As it happens, I really have fallen in love with doing Disney work because I think there’s something that I share with Disney is that they want to tell stories, and not just stories for the sake of the story, but tell stories that will make the world a better place, to enlighten people and give them hope.”

Themes in her work include religious symbolism, fantasy realism, equine and wildlife, and bold reworking of licensed characters. 

Malibu local Annie Brostowicz attended the opening reception on Saturday afternoon and admired Edwards’ work.

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“I think [her art] is beautiful, I think its very interesting and she’s so talented, all the details, it’s so unique,” Brostowicz said. 

Edwards’ art has been included in Forbes Magazine, Spectrum Fantastic, the Art Renewal Center, shown on MTV and hung in galleries from the Disney Parks, to the Society of Illustrators in New York, to international exhibitions in Barcelona, Spain and Lucca, Italy. As it continually grows and evolves, collectors from around the world have acquired her work.

Her husband and partner, Alexander Edwards, said they are honored and humbled to be here in Malibu.

“Bringing the artwork here to Malibu has been a great honor, working with the Malibu Arts Commission to set this up for the people of Malibu to enjoy,” Alexander Edwards said. “Not only her Hollywood Disney pieces but also the pieces of wanted wildlife, horses, things that are very important to people here in Malibu.”

Malibu Arts Vice Chair Fireball Tim Lawrence met Edwards at the LA Comic-Con last year and was inspired by her work. Hosted at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Comic-Con is billed as the city’s “ultimate destination for Comics, Gaming, Cosplay, Anime, and Pop Culture.”

“Our goal here at the commission is to feature people as far as single-person shows that are at a level that really inspire people and Heathers work is extraordinary,” Lawrence said. “Our goal for people that come in here is to give them an improved experienced every time we have a gallery show but to walk in and say, ‘I didn’t know people can do something like that.’”

The Malibu Art Commission hosts gallery exhibitions and poetry events and features talented artists in and around Malibu.

Edwards said she was inspired to meet people and share her work with other art enthusiasts at events and conventions. 

“It’s all about being out there and doing — that’s how I came across Fireball and him seeing my work,” Edwards said. “And have I not put myself out there in the first place and take the risk to get there, it’s tough to reach that point or reach people you should be meeting.”

Artist S. Heather Edwards speaks to the guests at her opening reception on Saturday, Oct. 1. Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT.

Some of Edwards’ favorite pieces are the ones where she’s able to connect with people and share similar interests and experiences.

“People have come to me afterward and said I am not the same person I was before I saw this piece, and that means a lot to me, that’s the whole point of creating in my opinion, to help people become better people,” Edwards said. “Those are some of my all-time favorite experiences to share with people, where their story connects with mine.”

To learn more about Edwards art, visit: https://www.thedoganddragon.com/

Heather’s work is displayed at the Malibu City Gallery from Oct. 3 to Nov. 10. The Gallery is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo is an inspiring photojournalist based in Los Angeles California. She began her journalism career at Pierce College Media Arts Department. Twitter @samanthavbravo

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