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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
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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



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Sky Song

Abstract landscape painting by Holly Van Hart

Sky Song
30 x 40″ oil painting by Holly Van Hart

Here’s a flyover of Sky Song (30 x 40″ oil painting by HVH), so you can see the buttery texture of the oil paint –

And here’s another detail shot –

Detail of 'Sky Song'30 x 40" oil painting by Holly Van Hart

Detail of ‘Sky Song’
30 x 40″ oil painting by Holly Van Hart

To purchase, please email

If you live in Silicon Valley, delivery and installation are free. If you don’t, shipping is free!

‘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

[Top 50 Questions] Do you use photo references?

Yes, I use photo references for most paintings. Typically I’ll use 3-5 photo references as input for a single painting. The photos help me better understand the shape of the subject, its highlights, and shadows.

Often I’ll start a painting by creating a realistic rendering of the subject. Once I’m pleased with the design and the how the subject looks, then I put away the photo references and the real fun begins! I crank up the music, get loose, use my imagination, and start introducing exciting not-found-in-nature colors and shapes and rhythms. This is where the ‘abstract’ of my ‘abstract nature paintings’ comes in.


Click here to see the rest of the Top 50 Questions

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[Top 50 Questions] What if you’re not inspired to paint?

Yes, that does happen sometimes, unfortunately.

Usually I’m brimming with ideas for paintings, and almost always have a few ideas that are competing for attention on any given day.

But on some days I’m just not feeling it. When that happens, I follow the advice of Chuck Close, an amazing and famous artist, who says “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. . . . All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.”

That’s my experience too.  Once I pick up a pencil or paintbrush, ideas will often reveal themselves.  Then I’m inspired all over again!


Click here to see the rest of the Top 50 Questions

Have a question to add to the top 50?  Please send an email to

Open Studio Event – You’re Invited

Hello art lovers!

You’re invited to my Open Studio solo exhibition. Please join me at my home gallery/studio in Saratoga, California.

Dates:   May 19-20, 2018, 11 am – 5 pm
Location:  20830 Boyce Lane, Saratoga, CA 95070

Come visit and say hello!  Enjoy browsing through my home gallery and studio, while enjoying nibbles and drinks.  Bring your friends and family.

More than twenty new abstract nature paintings will be on display and for purchase – forests, fields, flowers, nests, landscapes and more.  Smaller paintings, prints and notecards are also available for purchase.

Plus you’ll see some brand new experimental work that is only available in my studio.

Abstract-Nature-Paintings | Birch Aspen Trees Roses | Autumn Dance | Summer Sparkle | Amid The Scent of Roses-by-HollyVanHart | Installed paintings | Living Room | Oil and acrylic paintings

The Open Studio event includes a tour of my home gallery as well as my home studio.

Studio tours will be offered throughout the day.

Seeing art in person is the absolute best way to experience it. Please take this opportunity to visit!

While parents enjoy the art exhibit and studio tour, children’s art projects will be available to keep the young ones busy.

This exhibit is part of Silicon Valley Open Studios; during this same weekend, you can enjoy visiting studios of many other Silicon Valley artists.

Add it to your calendar today.  See you then!

P.S. btw, if you’d like a sneak peek at this year’s work before the event, email me at holly@hollyvanhart and let’s make a date.


Click here to see all upcoming events.

For news on upcoming open studio and gallery events, sign up for my mailing list. (One email every 2-3 weeks.)

Fire and Ice

Welcome! Here’s a new small painting fresh from the studio.

‘Fire and Ice’ is one painting that happens to be on two canvases (which is called a diptych, pronounced dip-tic).

Fire and Ice 1 - Mixed media painting by Holly Van Hart - 6 x 4 " - #6915a

Fire and Ice 1

Fire and Ice II - Mixed media painting by Holly Van Hart - 6 x 4 " - #6915b

Fire and Ice 2
6 x 8″ mixed media painting by Holly Van Hart
Two canvases, each 6 x 4″, $325 for both

To purchase, email or call 650 646 5590. Credit cards, checks, and PayPal accepted. The paintings arrive ready to hang. For VIP members, shipping is free in the continental U.S.

To see other newly released paintings, click here.


oil painting by Holly Van Hart

40 x 30 inches
Oil, acrylic, silica sand, and silicon wafers on canvas
Purchase Info


Flourishing (detail, showing sand in oil paints)

Flourishing (detail, showing silica sand in oil paints)

Flourishing (detail, showing silicon wafers in oil paints)

Flourishing (detail, showing silicon wafers in oil paints)

Ever see a painting that included unusual textures and objects (rope, a child’s math homework, dried flowers, hex nuts) and wonder why? Why on earth did the artist use that stuff?

For example, why would an artist (in this case me) put silicon wafers and silica sand in an oil painting? Great question. Silicon wafers and silica sand were chosen for ‘Flourishing’ for their meaning, and for their visual interest.

Silicon wafers and silica sand represent full-tilt, no-holds-barred, human creativity – creativity in its most universal sense, and also as related to the technology innovation happening in Silicon Valley.

These textures also represent the ‘former’ me – who enjoyed 20 years in the computer and networking industry – and the ‘current me’ – who loves living and working as a full-time artist in Silicon Valley.

This painting and 10 others were exhibited in a solo exhibition at Stanford University; for details click here.

To see a different sort of texture, as used in my ‘Possibilities Abound’ series, click here.


Commission a custom painting similar to this
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Free! e-Catalog of Holly Van Hart’s art

Click here for free e-catalog

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