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Heather was born in Williams Lake, B.C. in 1962. The third of four girls, she grew up on Sumas Mountain, about ten miles outside of Abbotsford, B.C., spending countless hours hiking through the forest, most often on her own, just exploring. A budding naturalist?
Her artist, archeologist uncle, Bill Chappelle, was the most influential person on her journey to becoming an artist. Around the age of seven, she watched him do a beaufiful charcoal drawing on her family's living room wall. Inspired, she found the picture he worked from and created her own version. Luckily, Heather was able to spend summers with Uncle Bill who was always drawing either for work, cataloging on a dig, or for pleasure in his journal.
High school is where she first encountered watercolour with her art teacher, Diane, who was encouraging and indulgent, allowing Heather to work at her own pace. Paul Kuzma was Heather's drawing instructor at college. He taught her to "Draw what you see, not what you know." Janina Jakabow, the director of the Art Department taught design and opened Heather's eyes to the colours in shadows and to the first inkling of balance in composition.
Watercolour and pencil have been her mediums of choice but Heather has become charmed by the beautiful colours that can be created with water-soluble ink pencil crayons.