Wonderfully Disturbing Stipple Illustrations from Self-Taught Artist Heather Gwinn

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Heather Gwinn, also known as Blowfish Armageddon is a self-taught artist who discovered a desire to create art as an adult after reading Tove Jansson’s The True Deceiver in 2011. As Heather tells it, “I was taken with (the character) Anna’s desire to illustrate tiny patches of the forest floor.  It sounded appealing to niggle away at the small details and dirty bits and tiny nubs of beauty that most of us miss. The idea stuck with me and I found myself looking closely at plants and noticing all of the detail that I had never seen before.


“In the summer of 2012 I had a brief flash of depression (I’m getting older and hormones are a fright).  Never having been depressed before I was startled by the despondency and tried to distract myself by reading, watching movies … anything.  Nothing worked.  I finally grabbed a sharpie and a blank canvas left over from a craft session with the kids and started doodling.  Tiny shapes and patterns, no goal in mind.

“It was soothing and the end result was kinda neato.


“Fast forward to November 2012. I found myself doodling more and more in my journal. I tend to be relatively high strung and don’t relax easily.  When doodling, I relaxed.  My husband noticed this new interest of mine and bought me a sketchbook and a few good pens.


“The rest you can see here.  I don’t ever stop drawing, or planning to draw, or looking at pictures that I want to draw, or wishing I had more time to draw.  It’s become a balm for my overly anxious mind and a delight to my heart to be perpetually creating.


“I have lots to learn and several kids to raise and a husband to love and a job to excel at, so it’s a journey for sure.  And it’s wonderful.”


Heather’s story is one that’s familiar to all of us. We all discover art and a desire to create art at some point. Who’s to say when in life that should occur? The fact that Heather discovered her desire to create art a little later in life perhaps makes her a bit less self-conscious about her art than most of us who discovered art as children were when first creating art. In any event, I love that she chose stipple as a medium to often work in. The attention to line weight and using lines  and dots to create shading is quite admirable. Take a look at Heather’s work below! You can also find Heather’s art on Facebook here.

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