It all starts with cadmium red. Every single blank canvas Amy Moglia Heuerman decides to create—regardless of size—is first covered in bold red paint. As she explains, it initiates the process. “It’s how I battle the white-canvas syndrome,” she explains. “It breaks through the fear. Then I can begin adding layers.” Amy has always been an artist but not always a painter—that endeavor only began about six years ago.
She describes her childhood in the small town of Athens, Tennessee, as “innocent and simple,” remembering feeding carrots to the horses in nearby pastures when she wasn’t drawing, doodling, or giggling with her girlfriends. Her teenage years were spent in the borough of Rumson, New Jersey, when her father relocated the family for a job. Amy attended the University of Richmond in Virginia, becoming a K-12 educator.
With her first husband, Amy had two sons: John, who is now 37, and Jeff, who is now 34. After remarrying, Amy moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where, while raising her boys, she played the role of the corporate wife, dropping everything to host a dinner party for 10 or more at a moment’s notice. (She has always loved to cook.) During this time, she also designed, created, and produced baby announcement stationery, traveling to gift shows around the country, where she would set up booths to display and take orders for her cards. But, as she recalls, having to increasingly devote time and energy to the business side of the enterprise, “I wasn’t drawing enough.”
So, she connected with a licensing coach and began selling her illustrations and drawings to companies for use on wrapping paper and plastic tumblers and within craft kits—among other items. Although her illustration work reached a large audience, in this role she was merely known as “the artist,” instructed to “make the hippo larger” or to “flip the bird’s beak left.” During this time, she also created characters who appeared in children’s storybooks she authored.
In 2013, although she enjoyed numerous friendships in Omaha, Amy decided to move when her second marriage ended. (The two remain great friends to this day.) She chose Naples—where she knew only one girlfriend—for her fresh start. Amy packed up 14,000 pounds of furniture, sent it to storage, and rented a house in Naples, deciding she would “try it on for size.” Within 30 hours of arriving, she made her decision. The coastal town fit. She would stay.
While building a home in Naples, meeting and making new friends, and seeking volunteer opportunities (including at the Guadalupe Center, where she spent a total of three months adding a 30-foot mural to the children’s reading room), she met Paul Heuerman, an attorney at the local law office of Roetzel & Andress. They married in 2015. Amy always assumed that one day she would get back to doing what she loved and knew best: drawing. It was Paul who mentioned giving painting a try instead; Amy took the suggestion to heart.
Already an established self-taught artist, Amy knew about color, composition, theory, depth, and of course drawing. She had accumulated years of learning, including how to run a business, from personally owning one and through osmosis while married to a businessman.
Along her journey through life and art, Amy says she often reaches the stage where she hits the proverbial ceiling, whether it be outgrowing her space or the medium in which she creates. She has never been scared to leap to the next level—in this case, painting. And, as she relays, “I’ve always had ants in my pants.”
Amy enrolled in a local painting workshop led by Douglas David, learning the classic principles behind painting landscapes, seascapes, and florals. “I was a sponge,” she remarks, about the instruction she received. She considers her artistic ability a God-given gift, admitting she can see what is inside her: “I can breathe it.” She also describes herself a prolific painter, which means when quantified, she completes a painting about every four days.
“I paint at least five to six days a week,” she tallies. “There’s a lot I want and need to get out.” She also realizes that at her age and through her life experiences, she has a good grasp of herself and what makes her tick. “I have the confidence to paint,” she says. “I trust my voice.”
Amy’s personality is undeniably translated in her work. Each painting tells a story—often it is one of growth, complete with a few bumps and scars. When you step into one of her creations and begin exploring and peeling back the layers, you discover her spirit exists in each one. “I tap into an energy I feel inside myself,” she declares. “I put it on the canvas, so others can feel it; the heart sees more than the eyes.”
There is a palpable positive energy evident in each of Amy’s paintings. Even quirky details sometimes make an appearance. For example, if you notice a unique item or pattern in one of her paintings, it’s possible this was something observed in the course of her daily routine, such as her morning run. She also tries to end every painting in a happy spot.
From seascapes and pretty scenes—what she considers “fundamental type paintings”—to those more abstract in concept, Amy’s work has evolved. There is “more depth to my paintings now,” she says, explaining “in the past six years, I’ve gone from zero to 100 very quickly.” Her series of whimsical female figures emerged out of COVID, and although she painted them for her own edification, they resonated with others and remain popular. Amy went through a phase of painting abstract florals and is now concentrating on abstract expressionism.
She does not consider herself a typical artist. Neither bohemian in attitude nor style, Amy rather refers to herself as “preppy.” Although no one can stay young forever, inside she is ever youthful.
“My spirit age is 5,” she says. “I like to have fun. I’m joyful, happy, appreciative, innocent, and cared-for. I see myself as skipping through life.” Amy adds that she never takes herself too seriously, explaining that if she was at a black-tie event dressed in a ball gown and she took a tumble, she would get up, shrug it off, and just smile.
Amy has spent a lifetime learning who she is, trusting her talent, and reaching a point where she is comfortable sharing it with others. About her successful foray into applying acrylics to canvas, Amy is certain about one thing: “I will never stop painting.” This means that when Paul and Amy spend summers at their home in Bay Harbor, Michigan, Amy can be found at the seasonal gallery space she leases. When she isn’t creating, Amy enjoys playing golf with Paul and spending time with their blended family of five boys and three grandchildren.
“I’m in such a good place right now,” she says with a big smile on her face. “I’ve finally found my home.” By that, she not only means Naples but also a new home for her paintings. She has relocated her gallery to a refurbished, lofty, and bright exhibition and studio space, located at 950 First Avenue North, where she can both create and display her work. “This has been a longtime dream of mine,” she adds.
Amy Moglia Heuerman was recently honored as one of 18 Florida abstract expressionist painters participating in “Miami: Pastel Paradise,” an exhibition at the Manolis Projects gallery, located in Miami. Her original painting, Shockwave, was on display through October. Gallery owner J. Steven Manolis, an acclaimed abstract expressionist artist, commented on her work, saying “Moglia Heuerman’s sophisticated abstract expressionist color interpretations not only capture one’s aesthetic eye … they also conquer one’s heart and soul.”
Bruce Helander, a South Florida–based artist, art critic, arts writer, and curator, had this to add about Amy’s painting prowess: “Moglia Heuerman has a recognized inherent aptitude for creating striking colorful paintings and has a prodigious work ethic. … [Her] delightful new series … offers the viewer a magical pictorial journey with a painterly common denominator that is enjoyable and striking.”