[Top 50 Questions] #35 – What does ‘vulnerability’ mean to you?

Blooms Abounding, abstract nature painting by Holly Van Hart
Blooms Abounding
18 x 18″ oil painting by Holly Van Hart
$1150
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What does ‘vulnerability’ mean to you? Does hearing that word make you squirm and feel uncomfortable? It does that to me!

To put it all out there, my most vulnerable moments are when . . .
* I express love or appreciation to someone, and am not sure whether the feeling is returned
* My art is being exhibited and I’m in a room full of people seeing it for the first time
* I send an image of a new painting to the 500+ people on my email list
* Someone unsubscribes to my email list (ouch!)
* I post a new painting or article (like this one) on this blog
* My work is not accepted into a competition or exhibition
* My sons (now ages 11 and 13) are facing disappointment, and I can’t just ‘fix it’ for them any more

Luckily, from my years in high tech, I had many opportunities to experience both acceptance and rejection. I know how to roll with rejection. Sometimes I might need a few moments or hours or days to catch my breath and recover, but then I do, and life goes on and I can keep making progress. Thank goodness. Without that, life as an artist would be impossible!

 

To see the rest of my top 50 questions, click here.

 

Have a question for me? Click here.

 

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On a totally different note . . . are you moving into a new home, remodeling, or just freshening up a room? Are you wondering how to use color successfully in your home or office? If so, you can get a Free Color Guide by clicking here – ‘The Top 7 Designer Secrets for Adding Color to Your Space‘.

‘Into the Light’

I wanted this painting to capture our attention with its warm autumn colors, and to tempt us to walk toward the light at the end of the path.

What’s down that path? There’s only one way to know.  Come with me, let’s go for a stroll!

 

btw, on a topic related to color . . . are you moving into a new home, remodeling, or just freshening up a room? Are you wondering how to use color successfully in your home or office? If so, you can get a Free Color Guide by clicking here – ‘The Top 7 Designer Secrets for Adding Color to Your Space‘.

Let’s stay in touch!  Learn more

My painting ‘All Distances’ selected for book cover

Book cover with cover image, All Distances (detail), by Holly Van Hart, abstract oil painting

Cover image of this book
is a detail of my abstract oil painting ‘All Distances’

My painting ‘All Distances’ was selected for the cover of this book!

Here’s a note in the book from the editor . . .
“Special thanks go to artist Holly Van Hart from the San Francisco Bay area, who once again has kindly given her permission to use one of her paintings, All Distances, for the book cover. Even though we never met in person, her paintings formed the bridge that brought us into contact, reiterating the underlying concept about how we are all connected across nations, distances, time and cultures.”

The book is titled The European Court of Human Rights, Implementing Strasbourg’s Judgments on Domestic Policy, edited by Dia Anagnostou.

Dia and I have met by email (she’s based in Greece) and I hope to meet her in person one of these days/years soon.

 

Let’s stay in touch!  Be the first to see my new paintings.  Learn more here.

 

What is success?

A new article published on The Commissioned!

Meet Holly Van Hart, the Energetic and Calm Artist

Artist Holly Van Hart | Photo by Daniel Garcia of Content Magazine

You perfectly transformed my dream into reality in the form of a stunningly beautiful painting.
— Dr. S. Hall, Ventura, California (a satisfied collector of Holly’s paintings)

One word that best describes your style: Energetic yet calm

1. What does a typical day in your life look like?

I wake up and can’t wait to get painting! Usually I’m in the studio and painting in the early morning, then enjoy breakfast with my husband and sons, then back to the studio for a full day of painting. Evenings are for taking care of the business part of being an artist…updating my website, responding to emails, etc.

2. What does your studio look like?

I have a home studio in a separate part of the house that comfortably holds me and lots of canvases – big and small! It has lots of windows and even a door that is mostly a window.

3. Tell us one unique thing about you and your art.

Collectors tell me they find my work inspirational. I’m honored by that, because with titles like ‘Possibilities Abound’, ‘Larger than Life’, and ‘Dream Weaver’, that’s exactly what I had in mind when painting them.

4. What do you love most about being an artist?

I love how it connects me to people…giving me new friends and strengthening ties with established friends.

5. What are 3 things you can’t live without in a day?

Painting, chocolate, time with my family and friends.

6. Where do you get inspiration when you need it most?

Internally, and from looking around in nature. Also, other artists are a huge inspiration.

7. What does success look like to you?

Making paintings that I’m proud of, and finding collectors who love to have them.

To create a stunning piece of calm and beauty, visit Holly’s artist page .

To see the rest of Holly’s Top 50 Questions, click here.

At the beach with ‘my 3 men’

After the Open Studio event, it was time to take a breather with ‘my 3 men’ . . .

Family day at the beach

At the beach with my husband Ike and sons Skyler and Erik
With friends like you, and family like this, I feel like the luckiest gal in the world!

The week before Open Studios was a fundraising auction and gala for the Triton Museum of Art. The gala is an annual event, but this year was super-special because it was the Triton’s 50th anniversary. I donated a painting and attended the gala . . .

With Melissa McKenzie, writer for the Santa Clara Weekly, at the Triton Museum gala

All dressed up, Triton Museum gala
With Melissa McKenzie, writer for the Santa Clara Weekly
Photo by Ron Dell’Aquila
More ‘life as an artist’ photos here

Now I’m back glad to be back in the studio and making a bunch of commissioned paintings, as well as preparing for upcoming exhibits at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe (summer-fall 2015), Stanford Art Spaces (2016), and The New Museum (2017). If you’ll be in Lake Tahoe this summer, you can check out my work in person at the Ritz-Carlton, right outside the spa. Many thanks to Slate Art Consulting for this opportunity.

We have just a few weeks left of spring . . . hope yours is full of sunshine and smiles!

Your friend,
Holly

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Are you glad you became a full-time artist?

Yes, absolutely!  Being a full-time artist feels like what I was meant to do.

In 2013, I made the decision to leave a 20-year career in high tech to become a professional artist. (While in high tech, I painted with passion, exhibited my work, and sold it. But painting was a hobby then.)

Being in high tech was challenging, interesting, and rewarding. High tech gave me the opportunity to work with so many fascinating people, and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.

But I definitely made the right decision! High tech was fun, but a career in the arts is even “funner”.

 

Click here to see the rest of the Top 50 Questions I’m asked as an artist (usually at cocktail parties or other fun events).

Which artists are you most influenced by?

Birch aspen forest tree painting by Holly Van Hart | abstract | autumn | orange brown yellow gray blue black

Autumn Dance
48 x 36″ mixed media painting by Holly Van Hart
Purchase (email Slate Art
or holly@hollyvanhart.com)
Buy a print

Great question.  I like all artists who push the envelope in some exciting way.

Some of my favorite artistic influences include JMW Turner’s late expressionistic landscapes, Georgia O’Keeffe’s magnified images of nature, Mark Rothko’s color-fields, and Joan Mitchell’s huge abstract expressionist paintings.  I’m also a huge fan of Walt Whitman, an American poet.

How about you? Who are your faves?

Click here to see the rest of the Top 50 Questions

 

Have you ever left a safe harbor?

Painting by Holly Van Hart

Voyage to the Possible
30 x 40 inches
Oil, acrylic, and silica sand on canvas
Sold
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Have you ever left a safe harbor & sailed away without knowing what’s on the other side?

How did that feel? ‘Voyage to the Possible’ is meant to capture the sense of wonder and excitement (and fear) associated with the launch.

The ‘voyage’ moments that stand out the most in my life are –
* having children (I really had no idea what was in store),
* starting my art career (lots of lessons learned in that leap),
* some of my new jobs while in high tech, and
* heading out on a 6 month-around the world trip (without hotel or other reservations, we simply showed up in 15+ South Pacific and Asian countries, backpacks on our backs, and winged it).

I’m curious . . . what were the top ‘voyage’ moments in your life?  Would love to hear back from you on this (email me at holly@hollyvanhart.com)

 

 

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‘Possibilities Unfurling’

Oil painting by Holly Van Hart

Possibilities Unfurling
30 x 40 inches
Oil, acrylic, silica sand, and silicon wafers on canvas
$2,900
Purchase Info

 

Ever feel in the mood for something new & different?  That’s how I felt while painting ‘Possibilities Unfurling’, first in a new series of abstract ribbon-esque paintings.

These ribbon-esques represent colorful nests that are woven together with ribbons and circles.  These paintings highlight the promise of our own creativity and capabilities, to be nurtured and explored and stretched to their fullest potential.

Look closely and you’ll find areas of heavily textured paint. These textures are created with silicon wafers and silica sand, and represent creativity – creativity in its most universal sense, and also the technology innovation specific to Silicon Valley in northern California. (Silicon wafers are fabricated from silica sand, and are used to make computer chips.)

Silicon Valley, like the world itself, is alive with possibilities. And that will be the name of this new ribbon-esque series of paintings, ‘Alive with Possibilities’.  See more here.

 

Purchase
Commission a custom painting similar to this
Give a Gift Certificate

Free! e-Catalog of Holly Van Hart’s art

Click here for free e-catalog

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