Marybeth Heikes

Paintings in Watercolor & Mixed Media

About the Artist

Photo of Marybeth Heikes.As an artist, Marybeth Heikes started early in life. Taking Saturday morning classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art inspired in her the need to create and paint the world around her. She has been drawing and painting all her life and considers herself self-taught with some workshops and college sprinkled throughout her career.

Marybeth’s artwork has been exhibited throughout the U.S. in numerous juried competitions. She has garnered many awards, especially for her series work “Chairs in the Jungle”. Her work has been published in the watercolor issue of American Artist; The Artists’ Magazine; Iowa Woman; Sunshine Artist; and The Best of Sketching and Drawing. Her work is found in many private and public collections throughout the United States and Europe.

Artist’s Statement

I paint because it is a passion; it is what I do best and defines who I am. I express my ideas through the language of painting because it provides a sense of fulfillment. The challenge of painting allows me to communicate through watercolor and culminates in my personal visual statement.

My paintings reflect who I am, my life and the world around me. I let the ideas flow and I delight in the unknown direction I may be heading. I usually get addicted to one particular subject and follow through with a whole series of paintings depicting that particular idea. Earlier in my career, I learned that an artist can see her progress by painting in a series. Thus, I have done more than one hundred paintings of chairs. Another favorite subject is barns, of which I have painted more than sixty motifs.

I hope to be able to balance my career with both landscape and still life works. I want to paint for the people who love my work and have them continue to be passionate about the subject matter that inspires me. Every time I come close to achieving a goal, I set another goal. The best part is always having a new attainable goal. It makes you reach higher for your dreams!

The Process

I begin by setting up a still life arrangement in direct sunlight and photograph it from many angles. When designing the actual composition, I edit the photo to strengthen the design. I believe that drawing is the foundation to every great painting — I enjoy that part of the process and it helps get my creative juices flowing. I focus principally on the design at this point and plan the color scheme. My paintings are about shapes, color and textures and how their relationships work together to form the whole unit. I check the design by placing a mat over it before and during the painting process.

I paint on an easel which helps me evaluate the painting by stepping back away from it. During the painting process the ideas flow and frequently I write down other thoughts in my journal. I use a variety of pigments and paint on a 300# paper to eliminate stretching and buckling.

Career Highlights

  • National All Media Exhibition / The Octagon Center for the Arts, Ames, Iowa / 2016
  • Midwest National Abstract Art Exhibition / SALI, Indianapolis, Indiana / 2015
  • The 38th Iowa Watercolor Society / Perry, Iowa / 2015
  • Greater Des Moines Exhibited / Polk County Heritage Gallery, Des Moines, Iowa / 2015
  • Rockies West 22nd National Exhibition / Grand Junction, Colorado / 2014
  • Montana Watercolor Society Annual National Exhibition / Big Fork, Montana / 2013
  • National Watermedia Oklahoma / Oklahoma City, Oklahoma / 2013
  • “Less is More: Small Works in a Great Space” / The Mitchell Gallery, Annapolis, Maryland / 2013
  • Illinois Watercolor Society’s 29th National Exhibition / Dixon, Illinois / 2013
  • 36th International Watercolor Exhibition / Watercolor Art Society, Houston, Texas / 2013
  • Arts in Harmony / Elk River, Minnesota / 2013
  • Aquarius National Watercolor Exhibition / Pueblo, Colorado / 2013
  • Midwest National Abstract Exhibition / SALI, Indianapolis, Indiana / 2013
  • Watercolor II: Paper & Pigment Juried Exhibition / St. Charles, Missouri / 2013


  • Merit Honors Award / Midwest National Abstract Exhibition / 2015
  • Merit Award / Polk County Heritage Exhibition, 2015
  • Canson Fine Paper Merchandise Award / Houston Watercolor Society / 2013
  • Canson Fine Paper Award / Montana Watercolor Society / 2013
  • Jack Richeson Merchandise Award / Iowa Watercolor Society / 2013
  • Juror’s Choice Award / “Celebrate the Bicycle” / Jefferson, Iowa
  • Second Place Award / Midwest National Abstract Exhibition / Indianapolis
  • First Place Award / Iowa Watercolor Society / Waterloo, Iowa
  • Purchase Prize / San Diego International Exhibition / 2002
  • Mathison’s/Grumbacher Merit Award / Red River Watercolor Society / 2002
  • First Place Award / Iowa Watercolor Society / 2001
  • Second Place Award / The Octagon’s All Media Exhibition / 2001


  • The Octagon’s Gift Shop (Ames, Iowa)
  • MacNider Museum Shop (Mason City, Iowa)
  • The Nite Gallery (Albia, Iowa)
  • The Artisan’s Co-op (Bentonsport, Iowa)
  • The Botanical Center (Des Moines, Iowa)


  • Mahaska Health Partnership (Oskaloosa, Iowa)
  • Cass County Memorial Hospital (Atlantic, Iowa)
  • Broadlawns Medical Center (Des Moines, Iowa)
  • Pine Rest Christian Health Services (Urbandale, Iowa)
  • PigChamp (Ames, Iowa)
  • Musco Lighting (Oskaloosa, Iowa)
  • George Daily Auditorium (Oskaloosa, Iowa)
  • Rolscreen (Pella, Iowa)
  • Motorola Corp (Scripps Ranch, California)
  • Iowa Trust Bank (Ottumwa, Iowa)


  • American Artist (watercolor issue)
  • The Artist’s Magazine
  • Iowa Woman
  • Sunshine Artist (cover feature)
  • The Best of Sketching & Drawing (Rockport Publishers)

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Transparent Watercolor Society of America
  • Iowa Watercolor Society