Marybeth Heikes

Paintings in Watercolor & Mixed Media

About the Artist

Photo of Marybeth Heikes.Marybeth Heikes has been drawing and painting her whole life. She grew up in the Cleveland suburbs, and took Saturday morning classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art. She also studied at Cooper School of Art.

Her watercolors and acrylic collages are characterized by dramatic designs and bold, tropical colors. Her passion is still lifes, animals, and city and rural landscapes She also accepts commissioned artwork.

Marybeth’s award-winning paintings have been exhibited in many regional, national and international juried competitions including the Adirondacks National Rocky Mountain Watermedia and Watercolor West. Her masterful technique led her works to be included in a 10-person show in Soho, New York and a finalist in the National New Talent Search at the Aquarius Gallery in Cambria, California. She is a signature member of the Iowa Watercolor Society, the Transparent Watercolor Society of America. She has been featured in the American Artist and The Artist’s Magazine, and also the Iowa WomanSunshine Artist and The Best of Sketching and Drawing publications. Her artwork can be found in numerous public and private collections. Her work is exhibited and sold at the Artisan Gallery 218 in West Des Moines; The Octagon, Ames; and Forbush Artiques, Centerville.

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 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