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Hi there! Here’s one of my latest forest paintings (and the first one completed in a square format) . . .
Want to see how this painting was made? Here are some pics . . .
And, in video . . .
To purchase, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to see more in-progress paintings? Check out these videos hollyvanhart.com/youtube-videos
Thanks for being here!
So excited to open a special envelope . . . it contains my forest painting on the cover of Denver Life Magazine. (As well as a 2-page spread inside the magazine.) Join me! Click on video to view.
So honored to have this painting featured in the 2019 Designer Showhouse in Denver, Colorado, and on the cover of Denver Life Magazine.
Huge thanks to Steve Sonnen of Mirada Fine Art Gallery for this opportunity 🙂
On related note, congratulations to Mirada Fine Art for being selected for these prestigious awards –
‘Top 25 Galleries in the U.S.A.’
-American Art Awards, 2019
‘Denver’s Best Art Gallery’
-Denver A-List, 2016, 2017 & 2018
Here are two images of the painting in the magazine –
Fail fast, fail often, fail forward . . . you may have heard these terms before. They mean that you have to fail many times before you succeed.
I prefer the more descriptive, happier-sounding ‘failing toward success’. If you’ve ever had the experience of painting (or any challenging creative endeavor), you’ll know that not every attempt yields success.
Even the most experienced artists create paintings that fail. Lots of them. That’s one way we learn, and it’s a natural part of the artistic process.
Recently I invested in a new digital system that will help me ‘fail toward success’ more quickly, and to create my very best work. Here it is . . .
For now, I use this digital set-up to design paintings, and then use traditional canvas and oil paints to create the paintings. After 3 long months of slogging through user manuals and YouTube tutorials, I’m finally at a place where I can use digital tools to focus on creative design (vs fumbling around with the technology).
‘Your Highest Potential’ (above) is one of my paintings created with this new process. The name is a story in itself that I’ll share with you sometime.
In the future, using these new digital tools may morph me into a ‘mixed media’ artist. But for now I’m still in love with the beautiful, textured, buttery sheen of oil paints and don’t plan to give them up any time soon.
Bet you have have lots of experiences with ‘failing toward success’. What are your most memorable ones? Please email me at email@example.com. I’d love to hear about them.
On a different note . . . are you moving into a new home, remodeling, or just freshening up a room? Are you wondering how to jazz things up with splashes of color (artfully)? If so, you can get a Free Color Guide by clicking here – ‘The Top 7 Designer Secrets for Adding Color to Your Space‘.
In “Top Fifty Questions”, I’ll answer the top 50 questions I’m asked as an artist.
What do you like most about being an artist?
The absolute best thing about being an artist is that it opens up a whole world of connections and friendships. It also strengthens the friendships I already have. I love that.
In terms of my work, I love creating a painting that is a personal breakthrough, or that others really like. (The overlap is not always 100%.) It’s hugely inspiring when a painting wins an award, or is accepted into an exhibit, or is purchased by a collector. These things make me thrilled to be in the studio and painting every day.
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).
Follow Holly’s latest art news, exhibits, and special offers (and get a free eBook). Learn more here.
Here’s the story behind Dreams That Dance. Some of my paintings are designed in advance, and others (like Dreams That Dance) are the result of a more experimental process.
When starting Dreams That Dance, I aimed to push the boundaries of abstraction with a lively and mysterious landscape. I chose the colors (light greens and blues, offset by darker browns) and set off on an adventure, not knowing what the future would hold.
The horizon was demarcated with a straight gray-brown line; then, acrylic paints were used in an experimental watercolor-like fashion to approximate the sky, clouds, land and water. The paints were applied with a brush and allowed to drip in ways that I found pleasing, and then the canvas was lay flat to dry. (The non-pleasing drips got wiped away or otherwise eliminated.) I repeated this with 15 or more layers of paint until satisfied with the overall result.
In my work, I like to balance a feeling of peacefulness with a certain liveliness and happy energy. Does that show through here?
If you’d like to see more, please click here to see additional available landscape paintings.
If you dig the warmth of the sun (like I do), please step into my forest.
‘The Grand Escape’ is fresh off the easel, not even dry yet!
‘Springing’ got its name because (to me) it looks like the whole painting is springing to life. A nest with 3 eggs, a tree with dozens of red flower buds, and sweeping textures are all combined to give the painting a certain energy and vivaciousness.
This painting now resides in a beautiful home in the UK. To see available paintings, click here.
Many of the paintings on this site have been sold.
Request a digital catalog of available paintings
I was awarded an artist fellowship by The Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists for 2017, and again in 2018, and am feeling very honored.
The Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists is an acclaimed national nonprofit organization. It has chosen twenty artist fellows for its Business Accelerator Program, including me 🙂
The selected artists will participate in CHF’s innovative and comprehensive initiative, which seeks to transform the art industry by helping artists better manage their businesses.
For more videos, check out hollyvanhart.com/YouTube-Videos
Nestled is about the warm feelings of being nestled close to our loved ones. The variety of the twigs and branches in the nest symbolize the variety of personalities and habits and desires we have within our own families. They are all intertwined.
When you click on the image to get a larger view, you can see some of the texture that underlies this painting. This is meant to convey the complexity and nuances of the interactions in our families, oftentimes unseen to the outside world.
This painting is sold, but prints are available here.
Originally published in 2013, and updated with info on prints
Yes, absolutely! Being a full-time artist feels like what I was meant to do.
In 2013, I made the decision to leave a 20-year career in high tech to become a professional artist. (While in high tech, I painted with passion, exhibited my work, and sold it. But painting was a hobby then.)
Being in high tech was challenging, interesting, and rewarding. High tech gave me the opportunity to work with so many fascinating people, and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.
But I definitely made the right decision! High tech was fun, but a career in the arts is even “funner”.
Click here to see the rest of the Top 50 Questions I’m asked as an artist (usually at cocktail parties or other fun events).
Possibilities in Full Color is about the lives within these 3 eggs, still to be lived. They are meant to be ‘full color’ lives, filled with joy and delight and exciting challenges.
This painting is also about the homes (nests) of the baby birds and their parents. Do you see the reds, oranges, greens, blues, and yellows? This ‘full color’ nest represents the unique and wonderful personalities of all the individuals that live within it, as well as the wonderful variety of homes that birds build for themselves.
What do you see in “Possibilities in Full Color”? It’s always fascinating to learn how paintings are interpreted. I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Have you ever been drawn to something so strongly that you needed to do it? Even if it was risky and even if you might not succeed, you knew this was the right direction for you?
With ‘Into the World of Light’, I wanted the viewer to feel compelled to enter the painting. To bask in the warmth of the sun. To explore what’s over those hills. To ponder the freedoms that lie ahead.
To find the right direction for myself, I usually need lots of time to think and let my mind wander freely. Without that, it’s too easy to get pulled into everyday obligations and routines.
‘The gift of time’ is one of the best things I can do for myself. Do you find the same?
Here are in-progress pics for Into the World of Light –
This painting is sold, but you can view available paintings here.
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!
This painting is sold, but you can view available paintings here.
What does ‘vulnerability’ mean to you? Does hearing that word make you squirm and feel uncomfortable? It does that to me!
To put it all out there, my most vulnerable moments are when . . .
* I express love or appreciation to someone, and am not sure whether the feeling is returned
* My art is being exhibited and I’m in a room full of people seeing it for the first time
* I send an image of a new painting to the 500+ people on my email list
* Someone unsubscribes to my email list (ouch!)
* I post a new painting or article (like this one) on this blog
* My work is not accepted into a competition or exhibition
* My sons (now ages 11 and 13) are facing disappointment, and I can’t just ‘fix it’ for them any more
Luckily, from my years in high tech, I had many opportunities to experience both acceptance and rejection. I know how to roll with rejection. Sometimes I might need a few moments or hours or days to catch my breath and recover, but then I do, and life goes on and I can keep making progress. Thank goodness. Without that, life as an artist would be impossible!
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On a totally different note . . . 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‘.
What is the hardest part of creating a painting?
The hardest part of creating a painting is coming up with an amazing idea, and then turning that idea into an inspired design.
Producing the painting (that is, putting the paint on the canvas) isn’t a piece of cake either, but that seems to flow once the first part is nailed down.
Have a question to add to the top 50? Ask away (in the comments section below or send an email to 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.
With this new tree painting Slipping Between the Notes, the “notes” are the leaves on the trees. My intention was to paint a sunny, happy forest that tempted you to come in and play.
Will you please join me here, running around and slipping between the notes?
Here are some in-progress pics for this painting –
Here’s the finished painting –
And here’s how it would look against a blue wall –
Want to see all available paintings? Click here to request a digital catalog.
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!
Hello, my fearless friend.
What things in life fascinate you? What do you really love?
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.)
|Other landscape paintings are still available. Would you like to see them? Click here –|
|OK, my most amazing friend . . . three cheers to you for following your fascinations!|
|P.S. Into forests or flowers instead?|
|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.|
Hi there! Thanks for being here to check out my new work. Here’s the latest!
This painting has gotten great feedback & has been featured on the cover of Denver Life magazine.
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.
What’s beyond the branches that we see here? ‘Beyond the Visible’ (above) nudges us to reflect on the mysteries of the unknown.
The painting is currently hanging in my home, but it could be hanging in yours!