Heidi Rosner’s path to becoming a well-known watercolor artist started with a move to Arizona in 1994. Being new to the Valley and not knowing many people, she decided to take a watercolor class to make friends and meet people. At the time, she had no inkling that class would be the first step toward a decade-long career as an artist.

“At the end of this weeklong workshop, the instructor said, ‘I don’t know what you do for a living, but you have a natural ability and should pursue this,’” Heidi said.

For the next several years, Heidi found herself painting more frequently in her spare time. She was a mechanical engineer by day and passionate watercolor artist by night (and weekends). Eventually, at the urging of a friend, she started a popular notecard line. It wasn’t long until her family and friends started lining up for original paintings. Within two years, Heidi could no longer keep up with demand for her original works. At that point, she happily realized she could make a career as an artist.

Heidi, an avid gardener and lover of nature, has always gravitated toward painting plants, flowers and vegetation. A great many of her paintings have been inspired by her travels and incorporate intense colors bursting with energy. Her watercolor pigments and value contrast are as bold as those in any oil paintings, she says. Recently, she has moved into painting birds.

“The desert is full of these fabulous birds,” Heid said. “When we bought our house a few years ago, we started feeding them and they started living in our backyard. I couldn’t peel myself away from the window.”

Like the joy nature gives her, Heidi hopes visitors find happiness in her works. One piece she’s especially excited about is titled “Succulence” – her first foray into living art.

“This collection features paintings of many of the succulents that are growing in my kitchen greenhouse window with the added feature of living succulents in the shadowbox as well,” Heidi said. “It really is a living, breathing piece of art!”

Heidi modestly credits the Celebration of Fine Art for putting her on the map. This year marks her 17th year taking part in the show. The Celebration of Fine Art, she says, connected her with art collectors and enthusiasts, but also a community of artists who’ve become dear friends.

See more of Heidi’s story below: