With Magnetic Dreams, I was aiming for a moody painting. The scene is imagined, drawn from a love of the ocean and memories of many captivating ferry rides.
The calm of the quiet mountains is juxtaposed with the energy of the watercolor techniques and drips. (This is a mixed media painting on canvas, using acrylic paints, but painted with watercolor techniques.)
MY INSPIRATIONS FOR THESE ABSTRACT LANDSCAPE PAINTINGS
My landscapes are inspired from captivating vistas observed in over 40 countries, and all 50 states. Oceans, lakes, mountains, big skies, clouds, and fields are favorite subjects that appear again and again.
Many of these paintings are heavily textured and created with oil paints. Others are made using acrylic paints but with watercolor techniques learned years ago. And many paintings are made with both oil and acrylic paints, taking advantage of the unique properties of each.
PAINTINGS, WORK-IN-PROGRESS PICS and VIDEOS
Scroll down and you’ll find the inspirations behind these landscape paintings. You’ll see completed paintings, studio pics, and videos depicting paintings being made.
You’ll also see pics of paintings hanging in living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, entryways and more. Enjoy!
Autumn Cruise 30″ x 40″ oil painting on canvas by Holly Van Hart (sold)
‘Autumn Cruise’ is about the majesty of the mountains and the allure of the alpine lakes. This painting includes two cruise boats ready to take us on a tour of the lake, up closer to the mountains.
The unusual textures in ‘Autumn Cruise’ (for example, in the sky in the upper right, and skirting the mountains in the upper left) are there to remind us of nature’s unseen forces – potential rainstorms, winds, avalanches, floods, and hungry bears. Nature is beautiful and alluring, and also commands the utmost of respect.
Ready to cruise up the lake? Sure, it’s a crisp, clear autumn day and looks like a safe bet. (If there were dark clouds overhead, then it would be a different story.
Landscapes are a subject I come back to again and again. Even in the midst of working on a series of forest or flower paintings, sometimes I feel compelled to paint an abstract landscape using oil paints.
With ‘Grazing the Light’, I was aiming to capture the feeling of an overcast day, but with some sunlight breaking through. Across the expanse of water, we can see mountains near and far. But what is that splash of yellow/orange? Is it man-made or natural? It is meant to add mystery to the painting.
It’s hard to see in this digital image, but etched into the foreground of this painting (bottom left) is part of a poem by Walt Whitman, “Every hour is an unspeakably perfect miracle”.
If you’d like to see a higher resolution image, please lmk.
Some earlier experiments with watercolor techniques (using acrylic paints) have led me to paint a whole new series of abstract landscapes. ‘Sense of Marvel’ is one of the latest paintings in this series.
I’m always pushing myself to paint more abstractly. When you look at this painting, what do you see? Please lmk! (email@example.com) I’ve heard many interpretations and don’t want to spoil your fun by listing them here.
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.
Join me on a boat ride over a vast sea. We’ll be following our fascinations. We’re not sure where they may lead us, or how long we’ll be gone.
Sometimes the ocean will be smooth, and other times we’ll hit many waves. But it will always be worth the journey!
Here are some detail pics of ‘Following Your Fascinations’ –
If you’re browsing this website, you’ll see the ocean appear in many of my paintings. I absolutely love the water and the shoreline! I grew up in New York city, and lived in California for most of my adult life, so I’ve never been far from the coast. Lucky me!
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