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Heidi K. GendronThe Artist


At 29 years old, I finally returned to school to pursue my art degree. While it has been challenging to attend college while raising a family, I have loved every minute of it. Now it's three years later, and I have graduated Magna Cum Laud this past May 2007 from Western Connecticut State University's School of Visual and Performing Arts, with a BA in Illustration.

While pursuing my degree I was introduced to oil painting for the first time, and fell in love with it. For years I only worked with colored pencil, but the brush felt so at home in my hands that I have given my pencils a long earned rest... for now.

The collection of works in my children's section is the culmination of my project to retell and illustrate a Native American Myth for children. I have always been inspired by nature and fascinated by the various Native American tribes and their view of the world around them. They see nature as not only the creation of our world but also the guiding force behind it. The animals are both the created and the creators. For example, many people have heard of the Trickster, commonly depicted as either a fox or raven.

For my first book, I choose a tale about the Creator entitled "Why the Creator made the Butterflies". This is a person many can relate to, as it is a figure of similar standing with God, Allah, and Budda along with other religious figureheads, being a supreme entity of creation and guidance. In this tale, I chose to keep the feeling of magic and mysticism to a minimum, because Native American cultures view the Creator, as well as its other demigods as more brotherly or sisterly, rather than as all powerful father figures.  In many such legends we see evidence of even gods being capable of making mistakes, such as when the Creator goes back on his word about the songs of the birds belonging only to them, and a bird reminding him of that promise.

I have high hopes that this will prove to be only the first of many books to come. Each of the color illustrations were done with oil. For now it is on hold, as I need to expand on the work before I approach any publishers. Check in on my upcoming sketchbook page to see what new ideas I have in the works. (It should be up on the site before summer... I hope...)

Another path I was introduced to at WCSU was animation. I have spent the last year working for a former professor of mine. I hope to add a new page to this site before Fall to showcase the work I've done in this area, too.


-Heid K Gendron 2008

WCSU Senior Show