Optical painting takes place within the eye, where separate elements interact visually rather than on canvas. 3-D or stereographic painting extends the principle to a perception of depth with an added brilliance from joining two or more visual fields. Heather Lowe’s work has reached beyond color moiré to gradations of color and ground in diverse patterns that affect one another by altering hue or shape to generate the image of a wave, or cloud formations, or dancing figures, for example. The possibilities of painting on mirrored glass have been explored in her work, as well as the resources of unaided stereography. Some of her paintings are kinetic abstractions inspired by comic actors, paintings which convey a joke or physical gag in terms of color and form, and for the last five years she has been working in lenticular media.

The essence of her work at present is the representation of natural phenomena by abstract means such as color harmonies, variegation of rhythm, simple geometries and allusive form which combine to produce rich effects without loss of clarity.

Heather Lowe’s work in stereo photography has followed both lines, the blending of separate pictures and the composed or altered image. Her work has been exhibited widely, from Ruth Bachofner Gallery to the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and New York, Japan and Spain. She was born in Santa Monica, grew up in Malibu, studied at Santa Monica College, UC Santa Cruz, and San Francisco City College, and currently resides in Los Angeles.

Christopher Mulrooney


Interview from 2005 published in the Oregon Review can be read here.

Article written by Ray Zone.

Review by Christopher Mulrooney here.