Heidi Pitre

Some people work out their tangled relationships, hopes, doubts and fears in their dream life. I work mine out on canvas. A self-exploration of visual images collected throughout my lifetime:  childhood memories, vintage advertising themes, or comments on women that I have absorbed or rejected. 


At first, personal conflict appears into my mind; the rest unfolds over time. My pieces are excerpts, pages torn from weird short stories, partially overheard party conversations, or obscure recollections of youth. The paintings reveal their messages to me as part of their process, not mine.


There is a strong feminine overtone in my work, which helps the individual pieces join a common theme. Women in my paintings are a lot of things, but powerless is not one of them. Whether it is a woman taking charge doing traditional male roles, or a badass little girl on her bike barreling forward, they are all tenacious; there is no stopping them. 


The final image never takes itself too seriously in my work. My intention is to create a curiosity around “self” through the allure of the captured screenshot, only revealing a small piece of a story. I want to give the viewer part of the story, and leave them to complete the narrative based on personal experience. This work is provocative but gentle, connecting us to personal memories through intimate and nostalgic amusement. I want to strike a chord in people, giving them permission to laugh at a memory. Whether it is of a bad day or a bad marriage, with time, edges can be softened into warm recollections.


Sometimes questions don’t have answers. Sometimes the question is the intriguing part, with the viewer finishing the narrative. This idea is what captivates me, forcing my hand to paint. 


I see my work as a collection of short stories, sharing messages from the perspective of different women. These different women understand what it means to be a floundering mother, an awkward daughter, an exhausted housewife, a scorned lover, a woman who has been through hell and back.  These feminine characters prove that every woman can embrace her own reality, laugh at her tragedies, spotlight her bad decisions, expose her vulnerabilities, and choose to exchange pain or sadness for a new understanding of the past.