Nicki Heenan was born in London and resides in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, UK.

She has an MSc (hons) from Auckland University, Aotearoa, New Zealand, studied classical painting in Sydney, Australia and continued study in London receiving  a post graduate diploma in teaching cross arts workshops from Goldsmiths, UCL in 2010.

Her teaching practice is extensive both locally and overseas specialising in the area of materials, their fabrication and uses within contemporary painting both in the studio and en plein air. Much of Nicki’s work contains natural pigments which are processed using different binders that have distinct properties when placed on the substrate of paper, clay coated paper or PVC coated paper resulting in a distinctive way of working with both paint and tools. 

“I am a landscape painter and I seek to connect the viewer of my work to the presence of the land through its granular nature and mineral composition. The construction of a painting is not only a function of representation but a combination of classical observances and physical substance. There is a link between art and science which allows for a sensory experience of place via materiality. Hopefully through understanding the pictorial geological processes that form the Landscape we can better understand and respect our place within it” 

Nicki has been published in several magazines including the International Watercolour Magazine as one of “5 Ones to Watch” and Artists and Illustrators Magazine. She was a featured artist on Sky Landscape Artist of the Year in 2016 and has been a regular workshop leader on the faculty for AITO (Art in the Open – Europes largest plein air festival held in Ireland) winning a Bronze Award in 2022. Her work has been recognised in the PleinAir Magazine’s PleinAir Salon Competition including Best Plein Air Acrylic, Best Plein Air Drawing, Honorable Mention and Top 100.

London exhibition participation in the Federation of British Artist’s Open selection –  New English Art Club (NEAC), Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours (RI), Royal Society of British Artists (RBA), Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI).  She is an elected member of the Royal Watercolour Society of Wales (RWSW).   

Nicki has an internationally sustained art practice and holds a Fellowship from Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Co Mayo, Ireland.  Her work is included in the permanent collection of Ballinglen Arts Foundation Museum and was selected to hang in the US Embassy as part of the Art in Embassies programme.

In October 2023, she was awarded a one month residency at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico for research into natural pigments. Since 2014, Nicki has run a Residential Art Week of outdoor landscape painting in the Engadine Valley, Switzerland in partnership with Suvretta House Hotel, St Moritz – 2024 will mark the tenth anniversary of the programme.  

She is co founder of the Auckland Plein Air Group in Aotearoa, New Zealand.