ARTHAGS: The Magickal Art of Claira Heitzenrater

ARTHAGS: The Magickal Art of Claira Heitzenrater


We are thrilled to present a new artist in our showcased indie artist series, #ARTHAGS. Claira Heitzenrater creates art that strives towards the healing of the witch wound. Her works emphasise the magical power in household objects traditionally handled by women.

What kind of art do you create?

I hold an MFA in Painting from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and a BFA in Studio Art from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I have attended residencies in Vermont, USA and Canada, and currently work as a teaching artist for Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in Pittsburgh, where I help further the mission of educating and inspiring urban youth through the arts.

In my artwork, I strive towards to healing of the witch wound, painting still life works of household objects traditionally handled by women as a way to pay homage to the sacrifices they made or were forced to make in their lives.

Intermingled with these still life pieces are paintings of nontraditional altars (examples might be a painting studio or kitchen counter) and objects for self care and healing.

Choose 3-5 pieces you really like…

I’m including five pieces.

A Homemaker’s Omen, 2019

18×20, oil on found textile

This piece is a portrait of several women before me in my own line that were homemakers, never fully appreciated or honoured for their sacrifices. Hanging their aprons in a line mimics the display of soldier’s helmets as a contemporary take on memorializing those that gave their lives for the betterment of another.

Portrait of Atropos, 2019

4×4″, oil on panel

This piece is an homage to Atropos, the Moirai goddess of fate and destiny. It also holds a dual meaning, as mending and repairing often fell on women – thus their ability to determine the fate of their family by how well their clothes were mended and maintained.

Altar 2; I Am Creative, 2019

9×12″, watercolor and gilding on Arches cold press paper

This piece is the non-traditional altar of the artist, surrounded by gilded materials and feminine energy. In a way, this is a self-portrait.

Cleanliness is Close to Goddessliness, 2020

5×7″, mixed media on hotpress watercolour paper

This piece, a still life of objects for smoke clearing, displays four of the many things witches and healers use to cleanse themselves. Objects of self care.

Protectors, 2020

5×7″, mixed media on hotpress watercolour paper

These stones – garnet, amethyst and black tourmaline – each function as great protectors. Having these as a part of my self-care regimen has always been helpful. In addition to the painting functioning as portraits of each crystal, the pigments themselves are made from the corresponding stone.

What are your opinions on art’s place in society?

Art is imperative. Without it, the world is a bleak, sad place with not even an ounce of creative energy. Art is energy. Art is healing.

Best piece of advice you’ve been given (or given yourself)?

Inspiration only comes to those who put in the work.

Any upcoming projects or things you’re working on right now?

I’m currently building up my inventory of healing still-life paintings, and working on developing a show with a similar theme with a fellow artist for the beginning of 2021.

Where can people find out more about your art online?

Facebook: Claira Heitzenrater, Visual Artist


Twitter: @claira_paints

Calling all artists with ARTHAG souls:

If you would like to be featured on Mookychick, please visit our #ARThags artist submissions page. You will be able to interview yourself (so we don’t put words in your mouth), depict your artwork and invite our community to find out more about your creative works.

ARTHAGS submission guidelines See all featured ARTHAGS