Joel P Heinz Sr. was born in Hastings, Minnesota; raised and educated in Northern California: served in the Army in Viet Nam, and raised a family in California. He worked in various sales positions until he found his calling working with mentally disabled adults. He is now retired and living his dream in Maui with his wife, Kathy.
In 1995, Joel began painting using acrylic paint on canvas with no formal art training. His artwork evolved from associating with other artists and the joy of experimenting and discovery. In the beginning, his favorite subject was Tropical Marine, colorful tropical landscapes and underwater scenes. As part of the evolution of his art, he dabbled in Egyptian art for a short time in order to practice working in detail, a noticeable characteristic of most of his artwork on canvas. For years he had appreciated artwork from a distance only to be disappointed in the lack of detail when viewed close up. He wanted his work on canvas to be detailed enough to be clearly seen whether viewed up close or from a distance.
In the 21 years prior to moving to Maui, Joel’s twice-annual visits to Maui cultivated an appreciation for the Hawaiian culture and its primitive art. This led to subject-matter changes in his canvas paintings. He was intrigued by the geometric designs on Hawaiian tattoos and on ancient Kapa (known as Tapa Cloth in other Polynesian Islands). He also loved the ancient Hawaiian petroglyph rock carvings. He began to incorporate these two cultural icons in his paintings. His “contemporary, primitive” paintings combined the new with the ancient rock carvings and geometric designs. He even took artists license to create some of his own “petroglyphs.”
Acquisition of Tapa Cloth in 2007 led to a creative painting frenzy that continues today. He truly enjoys the challenge of the texture of the Tapa Cloth when working in detail. It has been quite some time since his brush last touched canvas.
Joel also began sculpting some of his favorite petroglyphs in Koa wood, a native Hawaiian hard wood treasured for its beautiful grain. He has also carved his beloved petroglyphs in lava rock and blue rock to create bases for his carvings.
Joel was an award-winning artist in California; however, since retiring on Maui, he paints and sculpts for its sheer pleasure; for him, everything has fallen into place and his art brings him peace.