When you see the color blue, what do you think of?
In the art world, the color blue represents trust, loyalty, strength, and leadership.
Truth is, when painting How Dreams are Made (above), none of that was top of mind. ‘Dreaming big’ was in my thoughts. Read/see more here.
To live life to the fullest, we’re often told to give the highest value to our relationships. And that things like fancy cars, clothes, homes, TVs, phones, etc give us only very fleeting pleasure.
Do you find this to be true for yourself?
I do, for the most part. Spending time with family and friends is my absolute favorite thing in the world. Hands down. Without question. I value these relationships above all things. (Hence the name of the painting.)
Don’t get me wrong . . . many things give me lasting pleasure too. Mostly visual things. I still love the shape of the wedding ring we picked out over 15 years ago. And the windows in our home that let in lots of light. And some pieces of our furniture. My husband’s garden. The list is very long.
What’s your experience? What do you value ‘above all things’?
To check out more flower paintings and the inspirations behind them, click here.
This painting is sold. To see all available paintings, click here.
My husband is a gardener. I feel very fortunate to have his beautiful trees and and flowers growing all around us as inspiration for my paintings.
On my short walk to the studio each day, I pass bougainvillea, roses, amaryllis, daffodils, lemons, oranges, figs and more (depending on the season). Lucky me!
I am also inspired every time I go for a walk in our neighborhood and on local hiking trails.
Let’s stay in touch! Learn more
Today I’d like to share a quote that captures the spirit of a new botanical painting.
“Enthusiasm is the electricity of life.” –Gordon Parks
What are you enthusiastic about today?
When making this painting, I was enthusiastic about the field of dancing flowers I originally saw in Canada.
The colors, shapes, and smells were riveting, and I made a little oil painting on the spot.
Then back in my studio, over a period of years, I continued to revisit this theme in a variety of sizes and media, each time stretching myself in some new way.
This painting is now hanging in our bedroom at home –
Another reason for me to be enthusiastic today is a new relationship with a beautiful art gallery outside of Denver, Colorado – Mirada Fine Art Gallery. So excited!!
Thanks for being here. Shine on, my beautiful and enthusiastic friend!
I was honored to be interviewed by Heather Durham on her Silicon Valley TV show.
“On this show, Holly talks about her art, career change, and some amazing honors she has received since she has started this new career. We also get a peak at some of her work.” – Heather Durham, Executive Producer, SVTAGS (http://www.svtags.org/)
Let’s stay in touch! (And get some free goodies.) Click here to learn more
This is one of the top questions I get asked as an artist!
I am inspired by . . .
– the painting process itself – creating something new and different using canvas, pigments, and my imagination
– the idea of communicating ideas and feelings and energy to other people through the finished work, and
– seeing the paintings resonate with you, the viewer. This is one of the very best parts!
What inspires *you* and keeps you invigorated?
This is one of the top 50 questions I get asked as an artist. Click here to see the rest of the Top 50 Questions (with answers!)
Every once in a while in my VIP emails, I feature a collector of my work. Here’s a fun fact. Two collectors of my paintings are both named Yvonne and they are both CEOs of San Francisco-area companies. What a coincidence!
Meet Yvonne Linney –
Like a cat, I love feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin. Do you?
Come step into this sun-soaked forest . . .
This painting is hanging in my home, but it could be hanging in yours 🙂
To purchase, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Free shipping in the continental US.
“Unlimited Possibilities” is all about the unlimited possibilities of the baby birds, not yet hatched, with their whole lives still ahead of them.
Parallels can be easily be made with our own lives and our children’s lives. No matter what age we might be now, the possibilities ahead really are unlimited. How exciting!
If you look closely, you can see underlying texture on this painting is oval shaped; this is meant harmonize with the shape of the eggs themselves.
The texture adds complexity to the painting, and symbolizes the complexity of nature and our lives. We may have unlimited possibilities in our lives, but it’s not always easy to take advantage of them.
Unlimited Possibilities was one of 18 paintings in my solo exhibition at the Triton Museum of Art. For videos, pics, and a Triton Museum catalog (free), click here.
I am inspired by life’s limitless possibilities, and my abstract nature paintings are meant to spark new excitement about reaching our biggest, boldest dreams.
This latest painting ‘Forest Reverie’ represents the beginning of a new year or a new season. Colorful opportunities sparkle all around us, and beckon us to reach them. Will we pick the closest, easiest one, or will we stretch further to find our passion?
Let’s stay in touch! Learn more
This blog post is the latest addition to my ‘Top 50 Questions’ list. See/read more here.
Welcome to my world of Whispered Peace.
The aspen trees in this painting are surrounded by whisper-soft hues of gold, red, green and blue. All co-existing peacefully on three large canvases 🙂
For purchase info, email email@example.com.
If you’d like to see more abstracted forest paintings, click here.
‘Possibilities in Full Bloom’ is meant to convey the idea that life is chock full with possibilities. The eggs in the nest are radiating warmth, and the magnolia tree is loaded with lush flowers. Life abounds!
This painting was fun to create for many reasons. One of my favorite parts was leaving the underlying red color and texture showing through in many places. (Can you see this? Click on the image to see a larger version.) To me, this gives the work a fresh feel.
In case you’re wondering . . . click here to read “What’s up with all the nests?”
Sometimes our dreams are so close we can almost touch them.
And sometimes we need to climb a ladder or a tree (or learn to fly) to reach our dreams. In any case, it’s worth the stretch!!! That was what I had in mind while painting the magnolia flowers and nest in ‘Outside My Window’.
Outside our windows at home, we’re lucky to have an assortment of oaks, redwoods, and other beautiful trees. No magnolias, although there are plenty in our neighborhood.
For purchase info, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d like to introduce you to ‘Nest at Night’, the latest member of my Possibilities series.
‘Nest at Night’ is a more abstracted painting than most of the others in this series. I was inspired by –
* the idea (the virtually limitless possibilities we have in our lives if we choose to embrace them),
* the mood (mysterious), and
* the color (a very deep red).
As I was painting, I got absorbed (and even lost) in the reds. It took many layers of oil paint (and believe it or not, many different colors) to achieve the desired hue and depth. The dark reds and the sliver of a moon contribute to the mysterious feel of this work.
Do you like mystery in artwork? I’d love to know; please comment below.
(In case you’re wondering, click here to read “What’s up with all the nests?“)
What’s the favorite part of your job? Whether you’re a banker, lawyer, stay-at-home parent, or an artist, we all have something we love most about our jobs.
The favorite part of my job is . . . you!
Really. The absolute best part of being an artist is that it gives me an excuse to get to know you better. I feel honored to know you, and to keep in touch with you.
(Plus, as you may have guessed, I love playing around with gorgeous, buttery oil paints all day long.)
So, today I’m featuring Diane F, a fascinating and accomplished woman, a collector of my art, and now a friend.
Here are some of the many things that are totally cool about Diane –
- As a sales exec in the electronics industry, Diane aimed to retire by the age of 45 and succeeded.
- Last year, Diane became a Mom of an amazingly adorable son.
- She holds a Masters degree in Computer Education
- While in college, Diane led a group of 50 teenagers on a bus tour across the US.
- As a world traveler and adventurer, she has (in her words) “seen half the world, and still has half to go”.
Diane recently remodeled her home, and commissioned me to make a painting for her spacious living room. In honor of Diane’s cool accomplishments, the painting is named ‘Dreams within Reach’.
It’s a privilege to know you Diane!!!
In Reminiscence, I blended two of my favorite subjects – forests and mountain landscapes – onto one large canvas (5 feet across). This is the first painting of this type.
In my travels to over 40 countries, I’ve seen lots of amazing scenery, and this painting was inspired by an amalgamation of vistas observed in these far-off places.
When you look at Reminiscence, do you feel the crisp air? I’d like to invite you to linger and appreciate the beauty of the distant mountains, the ripples on the water, and the light on the trees.
Are you free later today? Want to head off into this vista with me?
To purchase, email email@example.com. Free shipping in the continental US.
Do you like to dream big?
I do! As a die-hard optimist, my art (and life) are inspired by the idea of limitless possibilities.
In ‘How Dreams Are Made’, the flowers represent the colorful opportunities in our lives . . . exciting and bountiful opportunities swirling all around us.
The visual inspiration came during a walk in Saratoga on a windy day. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught some gorgeous yellow flowers getting tossed around by the wind. A quick snap of the camera gave me a photo reference to work with.
Back in the studio, I quickly got to work. I wanted the painting to have a breezy look and lots of movement, like Field of Dreams.
This painting was fun, but it did not come easy! There were many points when I wondered whether it would succeed.
For some strange reason, a lot of my best work comes after those sinking moments of doubt. I think the uncertainty frees me up to make bold decisions.
Speaking of which . . . bold decisions are exactly what we need to chase big dreams. Let’s go for it!!
btw, you might also be interested in this article How do you know when a painting is done? One of the hardest decisions in making a painting is knowing when to stop!
Fellow art lover,
Greetings! What are you doing on the night of Saturday November 17, 2018?
Busy getting ready for the solo show at Gallery South in Saratoga
If you live in Silicon Valley, please join me at the grand opening of my show at Gallery South in Saratoga. It’s also the grand opening of the gallery itself!
The party starts at 7pm. Food and drinks are being served. Click for details.
The latest paintings will be on exhibit. Here’s a sneak peek . . .
Relaxing in the Pause
31 x 50″ mixed media painting by Holly Van Hart
Inspired by a local scene in the hills of Saratoga.
Summer’s Lavish Brush
28 x 36″ mixed media painting by Holly Van Hart
A splash of flowers! Inspired by the extended warm weather we’ve been experiencing here in Silicon Valley.
10 x 10″ mixed media painting by Holly Van Hart
Returning to a favorite subject – the ocean & sailboats. Gift-sized!
The holidays are approaching quickly.
Why not treat a loved one (or yourself) to the gift of original art?
You deserve it!
Solo show at Gallery South
Hope to see you there, my fabulous friend.
P.S. Don’t live in Silicon Valley? No problem. Please check out my catalog of available paintings. Shipping is free for VIP members (that’s you!).
48 x 60″ mixed media painting by Holly Van Hart
Read the story behind the painting.
Did you know that aspen colonies can be thousands of years old? In fact, one of the world’s oldest and most massive living organisms is a grove of quaking aspens. It’s in Utah and it is 80,000 years old.
Is aspens could talk, could you imagine the stories they would tell?!
Do you love aspen trees as much as I do?
These days, I’m happily immersed in autumnal aspen forests. There’s something about these trees that seems to be universally appealing. For one thing, they are so gorgeous.
Aspens and birches look very similar to each other. If you’re curious what the differences are, here are the highlights –
- Birch are famous for having bark that peels back like paper; aspen bark does not peel.
- Birch trees grow in the eastern US and Canada, while Aspens are found all over North America, Europe and Russia.
- And, amazingly . . . each ‘colony’ of aspen trees actually shares a single large root system. The root system can be huge, covering multiple acres, and can be thousands of years old. As old trees die off, the root system sends up new trunks. Incredible!
How about you . . . what are your favorite trees?
Here’s the completed painting, shown from two different angles –
This painting is hanging in my living room, but it could hanging be in yours 🙂
Would you like to see this painting in person?
To purchase, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Free shipping in the US for VIP members.
Thank you! Because of you, my life is filled with warmth and friendship and color and fun. You inspire me! Don’t know what I’d do without you and your amazing support.
For a fun flashback, thought you might like to see a few photos from the installation of my 2014 solo show at the Triton Museum of Art . . .
Preston wrote an essay about my work. If you’re curious what it says, click here.
Photos are compliments of Marie Cameron, a wonderful friend, artist and photographer. Thank you Marie!
Here are some pics of Summer’s Lavish Brush in the making –
To inquire about this painting, email email@example.com.
Do you love being in a forest and inhaling deeply? Forest air smells so pure, so fresh and so alive!
This sensory experience is what inspired my new painting ‘Woodscent’ (above). For purchase info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks very much for stopping by! If you’d like to see more abstracted forest paintings, click here.
Come take a tour through my solo exhibition at the Triton Museum of Art! Learn the stories behind a few key paintings, and see the exhibition installed in the Triton’s Rotunda Gallery.
“Van Hart’s hard-won painterly skills are undeniable and compelling. Her naturalistic yet symbolic paintings . . . present their enigmatic subjects with both beauty and conviction, memorably.” – DeWitt Cheng, Art writer for Art Ltd, Artillery, ARTnews, and Visual Art Source
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This 28-page full color book accompanies Holly Van Hart’s Possibilities Abound solo exhibition at the Triton Museum of Art.
Van Hart’s oil paintings feature larger-than-life birds’ eggs and nests to symbolize the promise of our own capabilities, to be nurtured and explored and stretched to their fullest potential.
This book features beautiful color plates of Van Hart’s richly colored paintings.
It includes essays by DeWitt Cheng, art writer for Art Ltd, Artillery, ARTnews and Visual Art Source, and Preston Metcalf, Chief Curator at the Triton Museum of Art. Van Hart has been featured in the Huffington Post, The San Jose Mercury News, and on Silicon Valley Talk Art Cable TV.
“Van Hart’s hard-won painterly skills are undeniable and compelling. Her naturalistic yet symbolic paintings . . . present their enigmatic subjects with both beauty and conviction, memorably. – DeWitt Cheng, Art writer for Art Ltd, Artillery, ARTnews, and Visual Art Source.
One of my recent paintings took an imaginative and unexpected turn. It started out as one thing, but ended up as something else entirely!
And here’s the finished painting . . .
What does this painting make you think of? I’ve heard many different interpretations from friends and other studio vistors!
* For purchase info, click here.
* Questions? Interested in owning this painting? Please contact email@example.com or 650 646 5590. Your email or call is always welcome.
* See this painting in person with a studio visit or with the try-out program.
Trees can have a commanding presence, especially when they are tall. Do you love being surrounded by towering forest? I do!
I aimed to capture that feeling here with my new tree painting, Standing Tall –
Here are some in-progress pics for this painting –
Here’s the finished painting –
Want to be the 1st to see pre-release paintings? Click here to become a VIP member.
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