My Story

Welcome to my Gallery!

About the studio

          Thank you so much for visiting my site!  My name is Heather Sawtelle. After earning a bachelor of arts in Commercial Art, I began my art career working as a textbook illustrator.  After moving to Connecticut, I taught art to Junior High and High School students in a private school. Several years later, I decided to start my own business teaching private art lessons, and I also began working as a muralist.  Since that time I have painted many murals in homes and businesses across Connecticut including Ruth Chafee Elementary School, Martin Kellogg Middle School, and Webb Elementary School. I was also commissioned to paint a mural in the children’s department in the Lucy Robbins Welles Library in Newington.


Growing as a painter is my great passion. I  enjoy doing commissioned paintings, portraits, and other free lance projects.  Painting is more than drawing with a brush. The capture of light and edges on canvas constantly motivates me.  I have shown some of my work more recently at the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts annual show, the Farmington Valley Arts Center, Gallery on the Green in Canton, and the Granby Land Trust juried art show.  In 2019 I was invited to do a solo show at the gallery at Lost Acres Vineyard

Teaching art and sharing what I have learned has been one of the great joys of my life.  Most of my time over the past 20 years has been dedicated to teaching students the fundamentals of art and showing them how to expand their vision and grow in their knowledge of technique and materials to produce realistic artwork that is truly spectacular. One-on-one attention and supervision is the key to really unlocking potential that can easily be overlooked in a large classroom setting.  Please visit the art lesson page to learn more about art lessons and see the amazing work done by these gifted artists as well as a sampling of some of my own work done in my studio in Collinsville Connecticut.     

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My philosophy

In moments of obscurity, there is often a defining picture to be found. I think that is because most of our most intimate motivations are hidden inside our most common activities - making the irrelevant most relevant. It is in the framework of finding those thoughtful moments that I am compelled to paint. 

I love paintings that make me want to know the people in them - that remind me of similar things I have felt, places I have gone, and things I have done. The human experience, both uncommon and common, is full of these stories and it is for this reason that I love to paint people as they go about the daily tasks that make their stories unique.