Heidi Amenda Marshall

Heidi Amenda Marshall is a professional artist who finds both the visible and invisible landscapes compelling. It’s a love affair with the land and a curiosity of self.

Heidi Amenda Marshall Painting

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Heidi Amenda Marshall Painting

The land is the first part of the story. Simply by being, it invites possibility for expression. When I stand before a scene it stimulates a response. I strive to stay true to this initial spark or reaction as it is generally powerful. And that begins my process of painting.

What I call the ‘invisible’ landscape is simply my response to the external. The outside world melds with my soul and history and this further turns the wheels of expression.

It is important to trust in the creative mystery of it all, while still attending to changing light, various weather challenges and holding a deep understanding of medium and a facility for technique.

I have to ‘feel’ the landscape and see its story before I paint it. In nature, it’s impossible to not feel things. She provides. One day there might be a thousand colors dancing on a flirtatious lake. How to best express that? The next day I might see a succession of stoic, old barns with faint, hand-painted reminders to ‘Drink Milk’ or ‘Chew Mail Pouch’. How should I express those? These scenes are achingly beautiful and my reactions to them also stem from places of great joy, moments of beauty, pain and grief; my own well of experience. It all goes into a painting.

The Earth is generous, especially to the plein air painter. She reveals herself. In my own way, I try to pass along what I see and feel –so that the fleeting beauty that stamps a time and place can be held just a bit longer.


  • 2020 IAPS 37th Annual Exhibition, Webshow
  • 2020 Cowgirl Up, Desert Caballeros Western Museum, Wickenburg, AZ
  • 2019 IAPS (International Association of Pastel Societies). The Paula Ford Memorial Award.
  • 2019 2019 IAPS 36th Annual Exhibition, Webshow
  • 2019 The National Arts Club, Pastel Society of America, Enduring Brilliance Exhibition, New York
  • 2018 The Butler Institute of Arts, Youngstown, Ohio
  • 2018 The National Arts Club, Pastel Society of America—Enduring Brilliance, New York, New York
  • 2018 Lake Superior State University, Solo Exhibit. Painting Wildness, Sault Ste. Marie, MI
  • 2017 Crooked Tree Arts Center, Solo Exhibit. Painting Grandeur: Journeys of a National Parks Artist. In conjunction with Ansel Adams Masterworks Exhibit, Petoskey, MI
  • 2016 University of Michigan, Solo Exhibit. Places I Know. American Landscape Paintings by Heidi Amenda Marshall. Ann Arbor, MI
  • 2016 Three Pines Gallery, Solo Exhibit.The Lyrical Landscape, Harbor Springs, MI
  • 2016 Plein Air Magazine, National Online Exhibition
  • 2016 The Scarab Club, National Gold Medal Exhibit and Gold Circle Induction, Detroit, MI
  • 2016 Degas Pastel Society, 19th International Juried Exhibition, New Orleans, LA
  • 2015 Crooked Tree Arts Center, Juried National Show, Petoskey, MI
  • 2015 Three Pines Gallery, Two Friends Painting, Harbor Springs, MI
  • 2015 The Dennos Museum, The Art of Sleeping Bear, Juried Museum Exhibit, Traverse City, MI
  • 2015 Leland Plein Air Event, “Best in Show,” Leland, MI
  • 2014 Three Pines Gallery, Solo Exhibit. Hunting Beauty, Harbor Springs, MI
  • 2013 National Parks Painting Award, Department of the Interior, Residency/Exhibit in Northern CA
  • 2012 Milford Gallery, Les Femmes du Pastel, Milford, MI
  • 2010 Crooked Tree Gallery, Special Places of Childhood, National Exhibit, Petoskey, MI
  • 2009 The Grosse Pointe Artists’ Association Annual Show, First Place, Grosse Pointe, MI

Publications, Lectures And Demonstrations

  • 2020 2020 Plein Air Magazine feature article, ‘The Invisible Landscape.’ June/July issue.
  • 2019 Southwest Art Magazine, ‘Works on Paper: Collectible Pastels and Watercolors’. Special 48th Anniversary Edition. May publication.
  • 2019 Pastel Journal. ‘Pastel World 2019’ by Anne Hevener. (Focus on 11 Paintings at IAPS Exhibition in Albuquerque, NM). October publication.
  • 2019 Heidi Marshall at The Flint Institute of Arts. Lecture/Demo. ‘On Composition’ October Annual Meeting of The Great Lakes Pastel Society.
  • 2019 IBEX Arts Club. Grosse Pointe Farms, MI. October Lecture/Demo, ‘Thoughts on Intention in Painting Dynamic Landscapes’.
  • 2018 Cover Art for Michigan State University Press 2018 Spring Catalog
  • 2018 Illustrations (full-color pastel paintings) for A North Country Almanac: Reflections of an Old-school Conservationalist in a Modern World, Michigan State University Press
  • 2018 Contributing Writer for Color by David Strong, to be released summer of 2018
  • 2016 Scarab Club, Gold Medal Exhibition Book, Detroit, MI
  • 2015 Leland Plein Air Event, “Best in Show” Poster Signing Event, Leland, MI
  • 2014 The Art of Sleeping Bear, Full-color Exhibition Book, Traverse City, MI
  • 2005 Book Signing, Author and Illustrator of Petra’s Adventures in Nievenheim, Borders Books, Barnes & Noble

Recent Juror Venues

2018 Harbor Springs Historical Society, Memories and Art in the Making: Celebrating the Community We Share
2017 Crooked Tree Arts Center Plein Air Event


I had an early education from my father, William Amenda, who was the chief editorial portrait and courtroom illustrator for the Detroit News.

  • 2014 Mentorship with Albert Handell
  • 2013 Study/Mentorship with William Truman Hosner
  • 2013 Study with Stuart Shils and Ken Kewley
  • 2002 Master of Fine Arts, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
  • 1980 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Albion College, Albion MI


Former Group Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi, and Young & Rubicam Advertising. I left the commercial world to become a Plein Air Painter, yet my time at the agencies taught me some important aspects of design. My creative work has been published in the following:

The New Yorker, Saturday Evening Post, Scientific American, Harper’s, The Atlantic Monthly, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Frankfurter Allgemeiner, Time, Le Monde, Vanity Fair and most national and international radio and television markets. I created the first joint venture film (Jeep) between the United States and China.


My paintings are in numerous private, hospital, corporate and university collections in the United States and Europe.

The Beauty of Pastel

Pastel is pure pigment, the same pigment used in all media. It is the most permanent of all when applied to conservation ground and properly framed. Pastel has no liquid binder that may cause the surface to darken, fade, yellow, crack, or blister with time. Pastels from the 16th century exist today, as fresh as the day they were painted. Pastel does not at all refer to pale colors, as is commonly used in the cosmetic and fashion terminology. The name Pastel comes from the French word, “pastiche” because the pure, powdered pigment is ground into a paste with a binder and then rolled into sticks.

The infinite variety of colors in the Pastel palette range from soft and subtle to hard and brilliant. An art work is created by stroking the sticks of dry pigment across an abrasive ground, embedding the color in the “tooth” of the paper, sandboard, canvas, etc.

If the ground is completely covered with Pastel, the work is considered a Pastel painting; leaving the ground exposed produces a pastel sketch. Techniques vary with individual artists. Pastel can be blended or used with visible strokes.

The medium is favored by many artists because it allows a spontaneous approach. There is no drying time and no allowances have to be made for change in color due to drying. A particle of Pastel pigment, seen under a microscope looks like a diamond with many facets. Therefore, Pastel paintings reflect light like a prism. No other medium has the power of color or stability. Pastel does not oxidize with the passage of time.

Historically, Pastel can be traced back to the 16th century, Its invention is attributed to the German Painter Johann Thiele. The Venetian artist Rosalba Carruera was the first to make consistent use of Pastel. Chardin did portraits with an open stroke, while La Tour preferred a blended finish. Thereafter a galaxy of famous artists such as Waateau, Copley, Delacroix, Millet, Manet, Renoir, Toulouse-Latrec, Vuillard, Bonnard, Glackens, Whistler, Hassam, William Merrit Chase.


*Reprinted from the 1990 Pastel Society of America Catalogue, with permission of the Pastel Society of America.

Heidi Amenda Marshall Website

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