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Award of Merit – California Fine Art Competition

“You too I welcome”
24 x 30″ oil painting by Holly Van Hart (sold)

Re-sharing a special moment from 2009 . . . I have some good news to share with you. ¬†My painting “You too I welcome” was accepted into the California Fine Art Competition and Exhibition, and it won an Award of Merit.

The juror was Jack Ogden, Professor Emeritus, California State University, Sacramento. Jack Ogden has received numerous awards and honors over his career, and his work is in the permanent collections of many museums.

Thank you Professor Ogden. I’m feeling very honored ūüôā

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

‚ÄúYou perfectly transformed my dream into reality in the form of a stunningly beautiful painting.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒ 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 hollyvanhart.com/commission-painting .

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

What’s up with all the nests? (Video)

In “Top Fifty Questions”, ¬†I answer the top 50 questions I’m asked as an artist (usually at cocktail parties and other fun social events).

I’ve gone crazy for nests. Well, really I’ve gone crazy for eggs and nests and what they represent.

All my paintings with nests are meant to express¬†the boundless possibilities and opportunities we have in our lives, and are part of my “Possibilities” series. ¬†Larger-than-life eggs and nests symbolize the promise of our own capabilities, to be nurtured and explored and stretched to their fullest potential.

My intentions are given away by the titles of some of the paintings – Possibilities in Full Color, Unlimited Possibilities, and Possibilities Abound (winner of the California Statewide Painting Competition).

 

Click here to see the rest of the Top 50 Questions

Follow Holly’s latest art news, exhibits, and special offers (and get a free eBook). Learn more here.

New landscape painting – Grazing the Light

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.

To purchase, email holly@hollyvanhart.com.  Free shipping in the US.

Purchase details

Try Before Your Buy program

[Top 50 Questions] Do you ever miss being in high tech?

In ‚ÄúTop Fifty Questions‚ÄĚ, I‚Äôll answer the top things I‚Äôm asked as an artist. (These questions usually come up at cocktail parties and other fun social events.)

Do you ever miss being in high tech?

Sure!

I definitely miss seeing my work-friends and colleagues more regularly.  They were/are an amazingly talented and multi-faceted group of people.  Good thing Facebook and LinkedIn give us an easy way to keep in touch!

What I also loved about high tech was the opportunity to constantly stretch myself and learn new things. Luckily I have that in abundance as an artist too.

One thing’s for sure . . .¬†Being a full-time artist feels like what I was meant to do.

To read more about my career move to professional artist, click here.

 

Click here to see the rest of the Top 50 Questions.

 

Blue is for strength and leadership

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.¬†

[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 ‚ÄúInspiration 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.‚ÄĚ

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 holly@hollyvanhart.com.

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 and studio in Saratoga, California.

Dates:   May 18-19, 2019, 11 am Р5 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.

(Don’t want to wait? No problem!¬† You are welcome to come for a studio visit. Email holly@hollyvanhart.com or call 650 646 5590 and let’s make a date.)

More than twenty new abstract nature paintings will be on display and for purchase Рforests, 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. 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.


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


New – Cocktail paired with a Painting!

For a holiday party, I paired a painting with a custom cocktail. ‘The Boundary of Spring’ (above) was paired with a cocktail I named ‘Spring-tini’.

Here’s the recipe –
2 ounces vodka
1 ounce pear juice
1 ounce rosemary syrup (I used rosemary from our front garden)
A squeeze of fresh lemon (we picked the lemons from trees in our back yard)
Rosemary sprig, for garnish

Why Spring-tini is paired with The Boundary of Spring

The Spring-tini cocktail has pear juice. Pear is a soft flavor; it is analogous to the soft sky in the painting.

Rosemary has a tea-like aroma and an assertive piney flavor; it is analogous to the stronger color of the green/brown ground in the painting.

Vodka is a subtle but absolutely necessary component of this drink. Similarly, the texture in the painting is both subtle and absolutely necessary to the success of the painting.

 

Enjoy!

Holly’s Video Tour through Triton Museum solo show

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.

‚ÄúVan Hart‚Äôs hard-won painterly skills are undeniable and compelling. Her naturalistic yet symbolic paintings . . . present their enigmatic subjects with both beauty and conviction, memorably.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď DeWitt Cheng, Art writer for Art Ltd, Artillery, ARTnews, and Visual Art Source

<!–Special Offer – Choosing art should be easy, exciting and fun. With my new 'Choosing Art with Confidence' cheatsheet,¬†you‚Äôll receive hot tips on choosing art and letting it work its magic on you! Click here for your ‘Choosing Art with Confidence’ cheatsheet – Free!–>

Birch Trees in the Fall

Abstract nature painting by Silicon Valley artist Holly Van Hart, featuring birch trees in autumn with red and gold leaves

Autumn Gold
24 x 18 oil painting by Holly Van Hart

In the heat of the summer, I was dreaming about the crisp fall days of my favorite season. So here’s ‘Autumn Gold’.

Who doesn’t love the colors of fall leaves? The variety and brilliance are an artist’s dream!

To see more abstract forest paintings, click here.

Let’s stay in touch! ¬†Learn more

[Top 50 Questions] Can I mix styles of art in my home?

oil painting by Holly Van Hart

Palm Winds (detail)
Oil painting by Holly Van Hart
See full painting here

In “Top Fifty Questions”, I’ll¬†answer the top questions I’m asked as an artist. (These are usually asked at cocktail parties and other fun social events.)

Can I mix styles of art in my home? Yes!

Combining a mix of art styles in your home shows off your unique tastes, life experiences, and creativity.  It personalizes your home, makes it even more interesting, and opens up whole new conversations.

That’s my humble opinion ūüôā ¬†¬†To look at some ideas from professional interior designers, click here.

Click here to see the rest of the Top 50 Questions

 

‘Dreaming in Full Color’

The flowers in this painting represent our dreams, shown in their full color and glory.  The flowers (dreams) are dancing around through the turbulence and beauty that we call life.

Here’s wishing that our biggest, boldest, most colorful dreams come true!

Let’s stay in touch! ¬†Learn more

Our biggest, boldest dreams

The daisies in ‘Dream Field’ represent our dreams, some dreams bigger than others, some growing and developing, others on the decline, and all of them dancing around through the turbulence and beauty that we call life.

Here’s wishing that our biggest, boldest dreams come true!

Become a VIP member – click here to learn more

Wishing you a fabulous day!

Abstract nest painting by Holly Van Hart | Nest, eggs | Brown, blue, white | Oil painting

Soft Start
Oil painting by Holly Van Hart (sold)
Buy a print

Wishing that your day will be as full of exciting possibilities . . .

as the eggs being incubated in this cozy feathered nest.

(Do any birds’ nests actually look like this? Well, yes, kind of . . . learn more here.

Holly

P.S. Soft Start was featured in my solo exhibition at the Triton Museum of Art. ¬†Would you like to know more about the show? You’re invited to read my interview in the Huffington Post, or to view the pics and videos from the museum exhibition.

 

 

Where can I get prints of your paintings?

New! High quality prints available

Holly Van Hart’s award winning nature paintings are now available as high quality prints. You can shop online here for prints on canvas, framed prints, acrylic prints, metal prints, and more.

Scroll below to see the options, or click for a larger view of available prints. Enjoy shopping!

What’s the best thing about being an artist?

Collector of Holly Van Hart's oil painting, commissioned for her living room

Meet Diane F
Adventurer, Mom, Retired Sales Executive
A collector of my art, and now a friend

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’.

Video – The making of Diane F’s custom painting
(Link to all videos on¬†Holly’s YouTube video channel)

It’s a privilege to know you Diane!!!

[Top 50 Questions] How are you preparing for your museum exhibition?

Originally posted in 2013 and just reposted with updated links to pics and videos of the show

 

My solo exhibit at the Triton Museum of Art will run from late November 2014 – mid February 2015. ¬†If you haven’t been there before, the Triton is a beautiful contemporary art museum in Santa Clara, CA.

This exhibit opportunity came about because my painting ‘Possibilities Abound’ was awarded first place in the Statewide Painting Competition hosted by the Triton. ¬†The prize was a solo exhibit.

The title of the solo exhibit will be ‘Possibilities’, and the theme is the virtually limitless possibilities that are available to us in life. ¬†In the Possibilities series, eggs are used to represent the unborn promise in our lives, and the nests represent the wonderful variety of homes we build for ourselves.

I’ll need about 15-20 paintings for the exhibit. ¬† About 1/2 are done. Some of the paintings are sold but (luckily!) the owners have offered to loan them back.

Preston Metcalf, Chief Curator of the Triton Museum, will decide how the paintings will be hung in the Rotunda gallery. ¬†He asked that I be there to give input, and I’m very much looking forward to the day we work together to hang the show.

The reception is December 12, 2014, 6-8pm.  This will be the biggest art event so far in my career.

 

For photos and videos of my solo show and reception at the Triton Museum of Art, click here.  (You can also download the catalog from the show . . . free!)

 

‘Safe’

'Safe', Original oil painting by Holly Van Hart

‘Safe’
24″ x 18″ oil painting by Holly Van Hart
Purchase Info

Looking at ‘Safe’ (above), you can see two hands from two different people. ¬†Their right hands are coming together to protect their greatest treasure – a nest filled with eggs.

‘Safe’ is part of¬†my Possibilities series of oil paintings. ¬†It is meant to carry a message of warmth and caring and safety.

To read more about the Possibilities series, click here ¬†– ¬†What’s up with all the nests?)

‘Safe’ was inspired by a sculpture of two right hands created by Auguste Rodin in 1908. ¬†Over the years I’ve made dozens of paintings and sketches inspired by Rodin, including ‘Two Left Hands‘, ‘The Kiss‘, and others ¬†(see more here).

Rodin’s hands are captivating for many of us. ¬†Stanford University’s leading hand surgeon (Dr. James Chang,¬†Professor and Chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery)¬†was inspired to create a fascinating art-science exhibit around them.

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

Let’s be friends

Learn more

[Top 50 Questions] Do you listen to music when you’re painting?

Yes, I love to listen to music all day long in my studio!

Usually I listen to a custom Pandora station or downloads on Spotify. Some of my current faves are ¬†–

The XX
Portishead
Lorde
Florence and the Machine
Feist
Lana Del Rey
Jem
Bjork

Sometimes I need a break from music, and will switch to listening to podcasts. (For my list of top ten podcasts for artists, click here.)

When I need a break from podcasts, then¬†I listen (not watch) Netflix movies. ¬†I’m too occupied with painting to ‘get’ the whole movie, but I get enough to make it fun and interesting.

How about you . . . do you listen to anything while you work?

 

Click here to see the rest of the Top 50 Questions.

If you’d like to ask a question, please email me holly@hollyvanhart.com.

 

 

 

 

¬† ¬†¬†😍¬† ¬† What fascinates you?¬† ¬†¬†😍

¬† ¬†¬†😍¬† ¬† What fascinates you?¬† ¬†¬†😍

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The strong pull of what you truly love<!–


Fellow art lover,

What things in life fascinate you?  What do you really love?
 

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strong pull of what you truly love.”  — Rumi
 
My top loves include family & friends, spending time in nature, and exploring faraway places. And, of course, painting ūüôā




High school starts this week for our sons, so we did some family outings to San Francisco and Santa Cruz. This is us as we walked over the Golden Gate bridge, through a thick fog bank. I really love spending time with these 3 men!

(That’s Erik on the left, and Ike on the right. Skyler snapped the photo.)


This painting, Following Your Fascinations (oil painting by HVH), is about seeking the things we truly love. 

It found a new home this week in Los Angeles. Thank you Fred. I hope it brings you a lifetime of happiness!
 


Other landscape paintings are still available. Would you like to see them?  Click here – 

Available Landscape Paintings


OK, my most amazing friend . . . three cheers to you for following your fascinations!


P.S. Into forests or flowers instead?


Spreading Love, 18 x 29″ mixed media painting by Holly Van Hart
 
Available forest and flower paintings



btw, if this email was forwarded to you, and you’d like to get on my VIP list to receive future emails (one every 3 weeks), click here.


Holly Van Hart, 20830 Boyce Lane, Saratoga, CA 95070
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[Top 50 Questions] Are you worried about oil paints being toxic?

I’m not worried about oil paints being toxic. Oil paints are toxic if you eat them. Otherwise, they are fine.

Paint solvents, thinners, and thickeners are often toxic. I don’t use any of these, except for turpentine to deep-clean my brushes (which I do outside).

Oil painting mediums (such as thickeners and thinners) tend to be an artist’s best friends. I had some favorite mediums that were toxic, but after some intense experimenting around, I found and fell in love with two that aren’t – walnut oil to thin the paints, and Gamblin Solvent-Free Gel as a thickener.

And I try my best not to eat the paints ūüôā

 

Click here to see the rest of the Top 50 Questions

Want to know what’s going on in my studio? Friend me on Facebook and see something new every day!

The feeling of being home (and well taken care of)

Abstract Nature Painting by Holly Van Hart, nest eggs, blue

Serenity
20 x 20″ oil painting by Holly Van Hart (sold)
Buy a print

View video of this painting being created

Every painting tells a story. When we look at a painting, we absorb and interpret the story in our own unique way.

My abstract nature paintings are about the beauty and peace of nature.

This painting, ‘Serenity’, shows 3 robin’s eggs, resting serenely in their nest. ¬†The strong reds in the nest, branches, leaves, and buds represent the fullness of life outside the nest. ¬†The lives of the 3 siblings in this nest are full of possibilities. ¬†When the eggs hatch into birds, they will experience all that life has to offer outside the nest.

That’s my story for ‘Serenity’. ¬†What’s yours? ¬†(Email me at holly@hollyvanhart.com)

To see a video of this painting being created, click here.

For more “What inspired this painting” articles, click here.

Originally published in 2013, and just updated

Abstract landscape – Sense of Marvel

New!

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! (holly@hollyvanhart.com) I’ve heard many interpretations and don’t want to spoil your fun by listing them here.

Would you like to see this painting in person?

To purchase, email holly@hollyvanhart.com.  Free shipping in the US.

Purchase details

Try Before Your Buy program

New tree painting! Mirror World

With this new tree painting, Mirror World, I wanted a feeling of mystery.

The trees in the distance have curiously different colors from the nearer trees. What’s going on there? Let’s take a stroll down this path and see for ourselves!

With every painting, I have an objective for the mood and look of the painting, and a separate artistic objective.

The artistic objective is typically a challenge to myself using new colors or style or different size brushes or canvas.

Here, I challenged myself to paint more loosely, using bigger brushes and with less defined edges. Can you see the difference compared to my other tree paintings? Please drop me a line at holly@hollyvanhart.com.

 

Would you like to see all available paintings? Click here to request a digital catalog.

Embracing the Light

Here’s my latest abstracted forest painting –

Abstract landscape painting | forest trees land sky | green blue yellow brown red | painting by Holly Van Hart | Best of Houzz | Architect of Peace

Embracing the Light
48 x 60″ mixed media painting on canvas by Holly Van Hart
$7,500

This pic shows Embracing the Light installed (center) –

Abstracted forest paintings by Holly Van Hart
Woodland Symphony, Embracing the Light, Autumn Dance, and The Stories They Tell

Please contact holly@hollyvanhart.com or 650 646 5590 for availability and pricing. Your email or call is welcome any time.

Paradise Found

Here’s a video on the making of Paradise Found –

Questions? Interested in hanging this painting in your home? Contact holly@hollyvanhart.com. Click here for purchase info.

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