Here’s the story of the inspiration and making of the painting Summer Sparkle –
Erik (our younger son) gave me a tour of the lush New York forest. He drove my Dad’s ATV. I sat behind him and snapped photos.
One of the 100+ photos I took while on the ATV that afternoon.
In keeping with my theme of limitless possibilities, I’m inspired by subjects that reveal life and growth and abundance. In this case, lush green trees were everywhere. I also like the sense of motion in this pic.
Back in the studio . . . the start of a new forest painting, ‘Summer Sparkle’
Yellow Passage 20″ x 16″ oil painting by Holly Van Hart (sold)
“Yellow Passage” is meant to convey the majesty and mystery a large mountain range. The size and angular forms of the mountains indicate the majesty, and unusual red and yellow colors add intrigue.
This scene was inspired by my time in the Rocky Mountains a few years ago. I used a photograph as a very loose reference for the shapes of the mountains and the lake, and my imagination for the colors and texture.
This painting is sold and here’s how it looks in its new gorgeous home –
Yellow Passage, Oil painting by Holly Van Hart, installed
Thank you Susan and Steve for placing my artwork in your dining room. I’m honored! Love how you had it framed, and found just the right spot for it.
In It Together 30 x 40 inches Oil, acrylic, silica sand, and silicon wafers on canvas $2,900 Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details
‘In It Together’ highlights the wonder of togetherness and the strength of connectedness. When we do things together – whether it’s play, work, or volunteer – we feel better, are more successful, and have more fun!
After giving lots of thought to this question, and tossing aside a few false starts, I found my answer . . . ‘To be successful in your career, you need to work smart, work hard, and add a healthy dose of self promotion.’
In the past I was pretty good at the 1st two (working hard and smart), and totally oblivious to the self-promotion part. I’m starting to get better at it now (if I didn’t, no one would know my art existed!), but still have plenty to learn.
P.S. Speaking about self-promotion, the painting shown above is named ‘Afternoon Light’ and it’s for sale 🙂 The price is $1,500, including shipping within the US. If you live nearby, I can come to your home or office and hang it on the wall for you. If you’re interested, email me at email@example.com.
‘Two Left Hands’, from my Rodin series, was just purchased by my new friend Elisa. Elisa saw this painting and decided to buy it immediately; she has a totally cool story behind the decision.
When Elisa was growing up, her Mom took her many many times to the Rodin Sculpture Garden at Stanford University. If you haven’t been there yet, it is an amazing place to visit, day or evening or night.
Her Mom loved (and still loves) to look at the hands of the sculptures. Rodin created his sculptures with extra large hands, and they reminded her of her father’s hands, which were also extra-large. He was a professional hall-of-fame football player.
Elisa saw an image of this painting on my phone, and I mentioned the title was ‘Two Left Hands’. On the spot, she bought it as a gift for her Mom. (Oh, did I mention that her Mom is left handed?)
So many coincidences! Thank you, Elisa, for sharing your totally cool story with us.
Sunset Glow 30″ x 40″ oil painting on canvas (sold)
‘Sunset Glow’ is about the stunning beauty of the sky and water at sunset, especially its glorious colors. It’s also about the exciting reflections in the water, which amplify the colors and the take-your-breath-away feeling of sunsets like these.
If you look carefully, you can see some swooping textures underlying this painting (under the water, on both sides of the painting); on the left side, the texture runs from the water, through the docks, and into the horizon line.
What’s this texture about? It represents things that might not be so wonderful about this scene. Mostly the things we cannot see but can only speculate about, or the things we would need to have prior knowledge about.
For example, this harbor looks beautiful on this evening, but just 8 months prior, it had been completely ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. There’s always more to the story than meets the eye.
The artist creates the painting, and the viewer (that’s you) completes it with their personal interpretation. What’s yours? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Originally published in 2013, and just updated
My husband is a gardener. Lucky me! I feel very fortunate to have his beautiful trees and and flowers growing all around us as inspiration for my paintings.
We have a gorgeous bougainvillea in full bloom by our back deck. I walk by it every day on my way to and from the studio. The light passing through the leaves and flowers toward the end of the day is absolutely breathtaking. I aimed to capture it here in ‘Afternoon Light’.
Do you have a similar plant by your home, one that brings you great joy every time you look at it? Hope so!
Morning Light 40″ x 30″ oil painting on canvas by Holly Van Hart (sold)
A few times a year my family spends the weekend at or near Lake Tahoe, CA. It’s a gorgeous place, with expansive views of the Sierras just about everywhere you look. And what makes it even more special is enjoying it with friends!
One Saturday morning, before everyone else was awake, I took a walk along the lake and snapped lots of photos. Back in my studio, I painted ‘Morning Light’. Morning is my favorite time of the day, and my aim was to convey a feeling of quiet and serenity.
‘Opportunity’ is the latest member of the Possibilities series. When you look at this nest and eggs, can you see the limitless potential of the human spirit? I hope so. (Read more here, “What’s up with all the nests?“)
The colors of this painting are American colors and, to many of us, America (the US) is the land of opportunity. Personally I believe America is an amazing place where, with lots of passion and hard work, one’s possibilities are virtually unlimited.
‘Opportunity’ represents the sense of wonder, potential, and pride many of us feel for our country. Nothing is ever perfect, however; the underlying textures in this painting are meant to remind us of things unseen. We might live in the US and have many of its advantages, but success is not assured.
‘Opportunity’ was created in phases over many months. I started with a black and white reference photo of a real bird’s nest, and from there let my imagination and paintbrush wander (and wander and wander). Success was not assured.
Some paintings converge quickly and others take more time and iterations. The more a painting deviates from the reference photos, the longer it takes me to complete it. Imagination takes time, especially if the end result is supposed to look like something real but not really.