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An Artist Whose Exuberant Style You Will Love

Welcome to our monthy Ageless Style series. I am happy to announce that my partner in crime Elizabeth aka the Contessa is back. Every month we feature someone over 50 who we think has great style. This month I am featuring our friend, artist Heidi Woodmansee. Welcome Heidi. Let’s take a look at An Artist Whose Exuberant Style you will Love.

Ageless Style Heidi Woodmansee

Tell us a little bit about your art and what inspires you. 

Anyone who sees my paintings will know immediately that I am a flower person! I grew up with flower fields all around me, that, and all the bouquets I used to create from the flowers we grew in our garden left such an impression on my heart! I love flowers in all their many stages, and try to capture their essence in watercolor and acrylic. When I first started getting proficient in watercolor I began having dreams about painting with it, which pretty much sums up how deeply it resonates with me. So much to learn, so much room for growth. I love it. 

What advice would you have for your younger self? 

I would tell myself to trust my instincts more and to lean into my natural abilities. Instead of playing with them, I used to build and decorate little houses and furniture for my Barbies and tiny dolls. I tried to create beautiful things with limited resources. I was super exuberant and wanted to express my feelings in big ways. I got my degree in Interior Design, but who knows what I would have done if I had not always heard that I was “too sensitive, too silly, my dreams were unrealistic”. It took me years to rediscover that side of myself. Those are the traits that I love the most about myself now. Some of the decisions I made earlier in my life would probably have been different if I had just believed in myself and my innate talents, and dreams more, and sooner. 

Do you consider this the best time of your life? 

Much of my life is good and I am so grateful for everything: where I live and my home, my loving family, my generous, interesting, talented friends, my art practice, the ability and opportunity to share and teach. But, these last few years I’ve been going through a personal crisis that does not have an easy solution. I wouldn’t exactly call this the best time of my life. It’s definitely enlightening and is pushing me to grow in new directions. I have faith that things will work out in a positive way, and I’m curious to know what lies ahead in my future. 

artist heidi woodmansee with painting

Who Inspires You and Why? 

I’m inspired by my Instagram friends! (You know who you are!) Also, my two beautiful and clever grown daughters who are forging their way ahead in lives that are interesting and challenging. They are both living on their own terms. I think that is so important when you are young, to find your own path and stay true to yourself. Inspiration also comes from the local artist’s community here in Santa Cruz. We have one of the largest populations of artists per capita in the nation, and I consider myself lucky and feel honored to be a small part of that. 

artist heidi woomansee and daughters

What is your favorite accessory?

I’d have to say scarves, just based on the number I’ve accumulated! I have an entire dresser full of them, at least 50! Way too many scarves. But I wear one pretty much every day. Around here it cools off a lot in the evening, a scarf comes in handy. I’m always tempted by a new color combo or pattern to add to my collection. My cashmere ponchos are pretty great too and can be worn all year long, either over a coat or jacket, as a scarf around my neck, or by themselves when the weather gets warmer. 

What are your favorite color combinations? 

I don’t really have one. I like color in general. I wear a lot of blacks or start with my blue jeans as a base and then add a punch of color in my accessories or sweater. For some reason the only color I don’t have a lot of in my wardrobe is red. I really like blue/white or black/white stripes and cheetah/leopard print. 

Heidi-and-daughter at deyoung museum

How would you define your own personal style?

I’d say classic with a twist. I like the basics but with something that makes them a little special. Streamlined, with no ruffles or lace. Nothing too constructed or constrictive though. I need to be comfortable and able to move around without worrying about my clothing. 

Do you have a signature piece that defines your style? 

Not really. I have a lot of leopard/cheetah print items. I like a scarf. I wear jean jackets, Moto-style jackets. Oh and my cute berets which I love to wear on a chilly day. 

artist heidi woodmansee in moto jacket

Do you dress like your home? 

I never thought about it! Maybe a little in that I start with the basics and then add color and interest with accessories. I do that in the rooms of my home, too. Starting with white as a base in the main pieces of furniture and then piling on the pillows, plants, books, art, and all the STUFF I’ve collected over the years. 

Do you have some favorite beauty products that you can’t do without?

I do love my Chanel No. 5 and Cartier perfume. I just started wearing J’adore Dior, which is a little lighter and I love the design of the bottle! I use argon oil every morning on my face before I start my yoga. A good moisturizer with sunscreen, concealer under my eyes, and waterproof mascara. I can’t leave the house without my lipstick, I just bought two more! I’ve been using long-lasting, matte formulas under my mask. My products are just the basic stuff, nothing fancy or very expensive. I switch around from brand to brand, occasionally splurging on Chanel or Dior lip color. 

artist heidi woodmansee -with-art

Do you have any style rules that you live by, or do you choose to break the rules I am pretty sure we know the answer to this one! 

Well, I never wear jeans or any pants with an elastic waistband! No torn knees or heavily destroyed jeans, although I don’t mind lightly distressed. Never ugly (IMO), clunky athletic shoes for every day. I like pretty shoes and boots. But, they need to be comfortable! I’m not a fan of logos on my clothing or accessories. Athletic wear for yoga or my beach walks only, and never for everyday errand running. Natural materials like cotton, wool, cashmere, linen, versus synthetic. These are just things that I realize have evolved over time. To stay current looking I try to stay abreast of fashion trends without being a slave to them. I pick and choose what I like and wear what I want. 

artist heidi-in-white-jeans-

What are your favorite online and or boutique sources? 

I’m not embarrassed to say I shop at Marshall’s! There aren’t many places to shop for clothing here in Santa Cruz, but I stop by Marshalls at least 2x a month if not more often. I look for quality and I’ve found so many great bargains and fun items there. I shop online at Nordstrom, Macy’s, J Crew, Banana Republic, and Loft. There’s a really nice resale shop nearby that I go to often. I usually find something there, lots of times still with the tags! Occasionally I’ll follow your example, Cindy, and look for a bargain on eBay. But you are the master.

Do you have a particular diet and or exercise regime that you follow? 

I do yoga six mornings a week and walk miles along the ocean on the 7th day. I started doing yoga a few years ago and finally understand what it means to take what you’ve done on the mat out into your life. I feel stronger, more resilient, limber, balanced, and focused. I can face hard things easier now. But that said I am not an expert and have so much more to learn. I’ve yet to do a headstand. Someday! 

After my yoga, I meditate for 10-20 minutes which helps with my focus as well. 

I am gluten-free after discovering that gluten was causing inflammation in my joints. I was always achy and stiff but when I stopped eating wheat that went away. I also lost almost 20 lbs. hurray for that. Feeling better is the greatest incentive for me to stick with gluten-free foods. 

artist heidi woodmansee

Do you have any foods and or supplements that are your go to’s 

I take a multi-vitamin and a powdered collagen supplement. I try to eat healthy. Lately, it’s been hit or miss. Breakfast is usually whole-fat Greek yogurt with fruit and granola (I recently started making my own healthy granola, it’s delicious.) Hummus and veggies for lunch, or a couple of GF crackers with tuna, avocado, or cheese, and some fruit. For dinner, I usually stick with fish, chicken, veggies, and salads. Very little red meat, and no fast food but I do love French fries! Pasta occasionally, the brown rice or chickpea GFpastas are tasty and actually more nutritious than wheat-based. I am trying to stay away from ice cream. That is so hard for me because I love it. I have a problem with sweets. Ugh. But everything in moderation, right? 

artist heidi woodmansee at art pop up

What advice do you have for women over 50? 

I don’t think anyone needs advice from me! But, I’d say at this point in our lives (I’ll be 64 on Easter this year) we can pretty much trust and follow our instincts and listen to ourselves. We usually know what’s best for ourselves even if we subconsciously drown out that voice in our heads or hearts while we are busy taking care of everyone else. Learn when to say Yes or No. Try to weed out the stuff that is causing anxiety or sadness or pulling us away from our dreams. Experience new things, make friends, have fun. Try to do a little something each day that gets us in the direction we want to be going. Live each day feeling confident that you kept your promises to yourself.


Thank you so much for reading An Artist Whose Exuberant Style You Will Love. You can follow Heidi on Instagram here at Heidi Michelle at home, or at Heidi Michelle Art Studio here. You can find her work here at Heidi Michelle Art. Thanks for joining us Heidi. Now pop over and see who Elizabeth is interviewing. Click on the link below.


Reader Interactions


  1. Sandra Sallin says

    Another fascinating women. I’ve enjoyed the various features all about her. Just a delight. Truly a multi faceted woman. Just a pleasure to read all about her. Could I really give up bread? I’ll try!

  2. Karen B. says

    I appreciate your Style over 50 series. This one was really fun. Heidi’s style is fresh and reflects a California style, (if there is such a thing). I also appreciate the reminder that we all need to be true to ourselves.
    Thank you, Cindy. I always enjoy your posts.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Karen

      Ha ha I think there is such a thing!! Glad you enjoyed the interview with Heidi!

  3. darlene Gomes says

    I also love your style. I especially loved your bulldog sweater. Is it still available? I have an English and my daughter has a French. Keep up the positive attitude and beautiful paintings.

  4. Juliet says

    Cindy, you know I love this series … and what a thrill to open it up today and find Heidi! I feel so fortunate to include Heidi among my friends … a wonderful Instagram connection turned into a real life friendship. And, I’m double lucky to have two pieces of Heidi’s artwork in my home. Wait, make that 4 … and almost 5. Heidi did portraits of our dogs recently. And, our cat … and I’m looking forward to getting together with her and pick up the portrait. Heidi’s talent knows no bounds and she continues to explore new mediums and styles of artistic expressions. I find that so inspiring. Her talent, sunny outlook, care and compassion for others is a constant source of amazement. I adore her and love seeing all her beautiful photos. In fact, I’m scrolling back to the top to read it all over again. xoxo

    • Heidi says

      Gosh Juliet, I don’t know what to say. You are so kind and I am so lucky to have met you! It is one of the perks of dealing with Instagram everyday, to have met so many amazing women and then actually to have become real life friends! I look forward to more fun times with you in the future!
      It is an honor to have some of my paintings hanging in your beautiful home. I’ve so enjoyed painting your sweet pet babies, too! What fun, and thank you for trusting me to capture their personalities.
      Hope to see you soon,
      Xo Heidi

  5. Elizabeth says

    Heidi, it is a pleasure to meet friend of so many on this blog. I love your style, art, zest for life and honesty. So often on social media women feel as if they have to be something they are not, they have to wear certain things, shop certain places, etc. I to love scarves, Marshall’s, flowers and yoga. I did hot yoga 6 days a week for 7 years, and then we moved and I have not been on my mat in 6 months. I have gone back to walking and the Peleton. I love yoga but I cannot do it on my own, I need the discipline of a class and so far have not found a studio that I like.
    Cindy, thank you for sharing a kindred spirit of so many!

    • Heidi says

      Thank you very much Elizabeth. I’m just trying to live my life and enjoy the days I have, without comparing myself to others or trying to be someone I’m not! I don’t mind admitting I shop for bargains!
      I admire your dedication to hot yoga. That is inspiring. . I think I would faint. I hope you will find a class you like and get back on your mat again soon. Namaste!
      Xo Heidi

  6. kim says

    Love this about our beautiful Heidi. She truly is the most lovely person inside and out – and that’s not a cliche . I adore her and they way she lives her life. She’s got a cool style and an artist style. Exuberant was sure the right way to describe her. She’s bubbly and enthusiastic and it’s just a joy to be with her. So funny Wren and she have the same birthday! Also another lovely person.. We all have to meet up. Another great post Cindy. Thanks Heidi for all your secrets. I need more yoga and less gluten. You look fantastic and more like 40 something. xo Kim

    • Heidi says

      Hi Kim,
      You are the best, thanks for the lovely compliments. I feel like I hit the jackpot when I met you.
      Xoxo Heidi

  7. Mary Ann Pickett says

    Love Heidi’s style and her art. I purchased one of my favorite pieces from her. She is a gem.

  8. Wren says

    Hi Cindy and Heidi, I was so enjoying this bio which had so many things that spoke to me (I have read about Heidi before on Kim’s blog). From your fashion sense to the way you eat and many more small things, I was thinking how much we are alike. And then I read your birthday and was blown away……we have the same birthday: April 17!! Easter this year! So hello to my fellow Aries sister from a somewhat older version down the coast. No wonder so many things clicked. This story and coincidence made my day!

    • Heidi says

      No way Wren! That is a coincidence! Well we have a lot to celebrate. Just getting to have another birthday is a gift, am I right?! When was the last time our birthdays fell on Easter, do you know? Anyway, it’s fun to hear that some of the things I mentioned here resonated with you. Aries twin! How far down the coast are you- we should meet in person someday!!
      Xo Heidi

      • Wren Mead says

        I’m in SLO and Cindy will soon be down here too. Let’s plan something and also ask Kim. That would be so much fun!
        p.s. I think it’s happened 2 or 3 times before to have Easter on Apr. 17 in my lifetime.

        • Heidi says

          Wren I used to live in SLO county and work in Arroyo Grande! Before that I grew up at Vandenberg AFB and Lompoc.
          I’d love to plan a meetup, we will definitely need to do that soon!

  9. Donna says

    Such beautiful paintings! I wish I were this talented! Love her style and life philosophy. Such a good interview!

    • Heidi says

      Thanks so much Donna, glad you enjoy my paintings. I try to spread a little joy and brightness with them! I appreciate your kind comment
      . Xo Heidi

  10. LA CONTESSA says


    • Heidi says

      Hello dear Elizabeth,
      Thanks so much for all your support! I’m enjoying my “15 minutes of fame”, as I did when you featured me!
      That book sounds so interesting, a fascinating man Mr Dior!
      Working on so much right now, hope to see you again soon!
      Xo Heidi

  11. Jennifer says

    She looks fabulous! I admire women who are able to be consistent with a exercise program. Great style!!

    • Heidi says

      Thanks so much Jennifer! I find that starting out my day first thing with yoga has helped me so much that it’s easy to be consistent. And I don’t have too much time to get sidetracked before breakfast!

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