How Hawai'i Inspired Heather Brown's Artwork

How Hawaii Inspired Artist Heather Brown


I have been asked many times about my life in Hawai’i and how this special place has inspired me in my artwork.

I originally came to Hawai’i in 2000. My main reason for the move was the nice warm weather and the beautiful blue waters that surround the Islands. At the time I was scuba diving and freediving a lot and started working as a boat captain and divemaster. The world under the water was just as nice as the world above and it continues to inspire me to this day.

Artist Heather Brown Free Diving in Hawaii

To me, it was so easy to constantly find inspiration from the beach and surf, the flora and fauna, and the beautiful people. I get inspired every single day in Hawai’i. Most of my inspiration is drawn from the absolute beauty of the Islands themselves and I just like to put my spin on it. 

Artist Heather Brown surfing Waikiki waves

When I decided to make Oahu my home, I also decided to go to the University of Hawai’i at Manoa to get my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Initially I was taking mostly printmaking classes. With printmaking, every color is contained in bold lines, so when I transitioned to painting more it just made sense to me to paint with bold lines and beautiful colors.

The strong colors of the tropical flowers were begging to be painted and enjoyed worldwide. If you have looked at my catalog of art you will notice a lot of images that just focus on the beauty of the plants and flowers in paradise.

Heather Painting Hawaii Flowers

The beauty of the local surfers from Waikiki to the North shore and everywhere in between stokes my fire to go back and paint till the middle of the night. I dove deep into surf art for years trying to paint every surf spot I could to show the subtle difference in each different place. At this point, I also started painting in a monochromatic style similar to how I would see the scenes in my dreams.

The culture of Aloha is felt every day which makes painting happy tropical art that much easier. My husband and I go surfing together almost every day so it was only natural to start painting couples showing the love we all have for each other and for the lifestyle we all love to lead here in the most beautiful island chain in the world. And you sure can’t beat the weather!

As my style progressed my pieces went from a much more cubist style like 2 of my major artist inspirations, Hundertwasser and Paul Klee, to a more refined style. As the years have progressed I have become more detail-oriented and my use of color is something I continue to try and perfect and I work at it every day at my easel. I have currently been working on a lot of commission work but am looking forward to creating new original pieces to not only inspire me but to add a little warmth of Hawai’i to your heart and a little bit of Aloha to the world around you. I can’t wait to share more of the magic of the tropical Hawaiian Islands.

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Mahalo & Aloha Always!