GGARRETTGALLERY / Gary heise  paintings


Biographical Information

1983- BFA in Painting, Rhode Island School of Design.

Soon after graduation, studied traditional Chinese painting with the Taiwanese-American artist, Shiou-ping Liao. Also studied Japanese woodblock printmaking with Keiji Shinohara.

By the 1990’s Heise was working almost exclusively in Chinese ink and watercolor on Chinese paper, with a focus on landscape painting.

Since 1998, Heise has studied ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement under the direction of Mrs. Kazuko Moriwaki of Westchester, NY. He has exhibited ikebana arrangements twice (along with Moriwaki Sensei and other students) in the Japanese Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Heise lives in semi-rural West Milford, NJ. The area is known as the highlands of northern New Jersey, a watershed region with plenty of trees, hills, streams and hiking trails.


Landscape painting has great contemporary relevance for me. It represents a dialog between myself and the world of creation, as well as serving as a vehicle for self-expression.

The self-expression of my painting deals with working toward an inner wholeness as the outer world is perceived, transformed through experience, and projected as a sort of emotional and intuitive self-portrait. It is no wonder that there is such a long tradition of landscape painting in many cultures. Even in the early fifth century in China, Tsung Ping had written, “As for landscape [painting], it has physical existence, yet tends toward the spiritual… Landscapes display the beauty of the Way [of Nature] through their forms and humane men delight in this.”

I work in ink and watercolor on Chinese cotton paper, using a combination of Chinese and Western pigments for a broad color palette. To achieve the Western palette, I mix my own dry pigments (e.g. cobalt blue, cadmium yellow) with the traditional Chinese watercolor medium of deer antler glue. My paintings range in size from 13.5 x 18 and 18 x 27 inches to an oversize paper of 27 x 54 inches.

My paintings may be in an Asian-fusion style, but the subject matter of my work is based entirely on a personal experience of the landscape. Usually this inspiration is the highlands of northern New Jersey near my home, or any of the places I have visited, including Yosemite National Park in California, and Bristol Harbor, Rhode Island.

Select Exhibitions

2011 Bristol Art Museum, Bristol, RI. Featured artist.

2009 Nine Doors Gallery, Valley Stream, NY. Group show.

2008 Sylvia Gallery, Fort Lee, NJ. One man show, Yosemite Watercolors.

2005 Sylvia Gallery, Fort Lee, NJ. One man show, Recent Watercolors.

2000-2002 Mount Pleasant Library, Pleasantville, NY.

Annual group exhibit of Japanese calligraphy and related painting.

A word about seals.

I use the Chinese seal (or chop) as an homage to the cultural tradition of Chinese painting that inspires so much of my work. My seals are usually placed next to the pencil signature and translate as follows:

Left:            hai-shi – Heise.

Middle:      hai-shi hua yin – Sealed by Heise, artist.

Right:         gao hu xuan – Above the lake studio – My home/studio near High Crest Lake, NJ.

Ikebana arrangement by Gary Heise and Jerry Gross, Metropolitan Museum of Art