Learn more about what inspires me as an artist in this ‘Talk Art’ cable TV interview by Sally Rayn (excerpt).
Learn more about what inspires me as an artist in this ‘Talk Art’ cable TV interview by Sally Rayn (excerpt).
For more videos, click here – hollyvanhart.com/YouTube-Videos
This new commissioned painting was just delivered and installed in a gorgeous new home in Lake Tahoe, CA.
Thank you Karen & Greg!
“I love it” they both said. Music to my ears 🙂
At cocktail parties and other fun social events, people often ask me questions about life as an artist.
Click here for the Top 50 Questions and answers! (And videos!)
Detail shots of ‘Amid the Scent of Roses’ –
Watch a video of this painting being made here.
If you’d like to see this painting in person, please email me, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your interest!
Do you believe in fate? Or in creating your own future? Or a bit of both?
“Actions are the seeds of fate. Deeds grow into destiny.” – Harry Truman. Seems he was ‘a bit of both’ kind of guy.
This new painting was inspired by the idea of creating our own destiny . . .
My intent for Winter Sparkle was to create a winter scene that draws you in.
The sky had to be sparkly, and give the effect of light shimmering through the trees. (Turns out this required about 20 layers of light blue, yellow and pink paints.)
I wanted the path to be inviting.
The painting was intended to give the feeling of one of those cold, wintry days that makes you feel so alive!
This painting is inspired by the same forest as my painting entitled Summer Sparkle. Same forest, different season. To see the latest spring, summer, fall, and winter forest paintings, click here.
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.
In “Top Fifty Questions”, I’ll answer the top things I’m asked as an artist. (These questions are usually raised at cocktail parties and other fun social events.)
Silicon Valley, in northern California, is a hotbed of technology innovation. It is a place where anything is possible, and failures are just stepping stones to the next success.
I love this part of the culture, which played out in my life every day for 20 years as a Silicon Valley-based high tech exec, and now in my art. My whole ‘Possibilities’ series is rooted in the unrelenting optimism of Silicon Valley.
You can read more about my Silicon Valley experience here on LinkedIn.
Not everyone loves Silicon Valley as much as I do. Have you lived or worked here? What’s your take?
Each of us has so many dreams. If we search in all the corners of our minds, we’ll find dreams for our relationships, careers, homes, travels, and much much more.
The flowers in this painting represent our dreams, shown in their full color and glory. By remembering to give thought and attention to our most important dreams, we can live fuller and more abundant lives.
Here’s wishing that our biggest, boldest dreams come true!
Here are some details pics –
And here’s the completed painting –
This painting is sold. To see available paintings, click here.
Let’s stay in touch! Learn more
How did I make this painting? Watch a video here –
This painting is sold.
To see available flower paintings, click here hollyvanhart.com/available-originals
While strolling in my neighborhood recently (in Saratoga, CA), I spotted a wooded field with sun streaming through the trees. The shadows and colors were captivating! I snapped some pics and excitedly ran back to my studio. Many moons later, this is what resulted –
We lead such hectic lives, and I wanted this painting to give us reason to slow down and ponder the fascinations of life. Hence the title, “Relaxing in the Pause”.
If you’re interested, please contact me (email@example.com, 650 646 5590). For VIP members, shipping is free in the continental US. To see this painting in person, you are welcome to come for a studio visit.
The holidays are almost here. Need a special gift for your special someone?
New! Petite Treasures are gift-sized original paintings by yours truly. They are created with the same great care used with my large-scale paintings, and with the highest quality archival materials. Each painting is museum-quality and ready to hang in the finest of homes and work spaces.
Click to see all available Petite Treasures
Treat yourself or a loved one! Click to see all available Petite Treasures.
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!)
Many of you have been curious about the painting process, and how paintings are created. Watch this video to learn my take on this topic.
This is the first of a series of videos I’ll publish on how a painting is created. Enjoy!
For a holiday party, I paired paintings with custom cocktails. ‘Embracing the Light’ (above) was paired with a cocktail I named ‘Red Smash’.
Here’s the recipe –
2 ounces London dry gin
1 ounce cranberry juice
1 ounce Rose’s lime juice
Whole fresh cranberries, for garnish
It was a big hit!!
Why Red Smash is paired with Embracing the Light
In keeping with the Dutch theme for our party . . . gin was first made in Holland and is known as ‘Dutch courage’.
The gin in this drink uses juniper berries as its primary ingredient. ‘Embracing the Light’ is primarily dark green, like juniper.
Gin uses ‘botanicals’ to give it its complex flavor. In addition to juniper, Boodles British Gin includes hints of coriander seed, angelica root, angelica seed, cassia bark, nutmeg, rosemary and sage. The painting ‘Embracing the Light’ uses an equally wide range of colors to give it its complexity; in fact it uses all the colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple) and many variations.
Enjoy! (The cocktail and the painting!)
Living a life of abundance means so many different things. For me, part of the satisfaction of an abundant life includes sharing with others.
I love it when friends, artists, gallery owners, curators and others share their secrets with me. Even after all these years here on earth, I have plenty to learn about life, love, art & everything!
And I’m happy to divulge my secrets in return. (I’m pretty much an open book, so there really aren’t many secrets. But I’m not a chatty person so you might have to ask me to draw them out.)
‘Divulging the Secrets’ is a celebration of sharing!
This painting is sold, but you can see available forest, flower, and landscape paintings here. (Also, you can check out the try-before-you-buy program, and purchase info.)
You know that sense of grandeur we get when surrounded by a beautiful forest? That’s what I was aiming to capture with this painting, Woodland Symphony.
When giving this painting its name, the word ‘symphony’ came to mind. In a great symphony, all the musical notes work together in intriguingly complex and beautiful ways. In a painting, the color notes have to work together in similarly intriguing ways.
btw, if you’re curious, here are some in-progress pics of Woodland Symphony –
Thanks for stopping by. If you’d like to see more abstracted forest paintings, click here.
For purchase info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 –
Florence and the Machine
Lana Del Rey
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?
If you’d like to ask a question, please email me email@example.com.
For me, it takes 4-6 months from start to finish (elapsed time) to complete an oil painting. This is mostly because I paint in layers. Each painting has five to ten layers of paint, and each layer takes a week or so to dry.
Plus I need extra time at the end to reflect on the (almost) finished work and make any last improvements. Sometimes what seems like a minor improvement will make me soooo much happier with the end result.
The actual working time on any one painting is typically 60 – 120 hours. And sometimes more. It varies greatly by subject matter, size, and style. It also varies by how much I’m stretching myself into new territory; the more experimental, the longer it takes.
New Book! Top Paintings paired with Favorite Inspirational Quotes.
Download here (free!)
Do you love birch and aspen trees as much as I do? These days, I’m happily immersed in autumnal birch tree forests.
Here are some details from my in-progress painting, Autumn Dance (48 x 36″) –
Birch and aspens look very similar to each other, so I had to look up what the differences are. If you’re curious, here are the highlights –
btw, here’s the completed painting –
And here’s the completed painting hanging on my living room wall (left) –
This painting is sold. To see all available paintings, click here.
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!
Have a question to add to the top 50? Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In “Top Fifty Questions”, I’ll answer the questions I’m most frequently asked as an artist (usually at cocktail parties and other fun social events).
Some of you have been curious about my work-day as an artist. Believe it or not, I’m working more hours per week now than I did in high tech. (I left a fun and fulfilling career in high tech for an even ‘funner’ career as a full-time artist.)
I have a home studio, and am in the studio painting every day from 8 am til 3 or 4pm. Every day. (Well, every weekday, and sometimes on the weekends.)
Chuck Close, a famous American painter, offers a great perspective on this. “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.”
I buy into that. Through the process of painting every day, I challenge myself to create my very best work. And to keep learning and experimenting.
An artist’s job is not done when the art is created. Part of the role is running your own art business, with your website, blog, marketing, galleries, exhibits, etc.
I try to dedicate my daytime to painting, and take care of the business stuff in the evenings. (When my sons are doing their homework, I’m doing mine!) This takes many hours, on most days. Having come from a long business career, I like this part of the job too.
The larger-than-life sized nest and eggs in ‘Celebration’ are meant to represent the potential of the human spirit, nestled in nature’s bed. Read more here, “What’s up with all the nests?”
There’s also a personal story behind ‘Celebration’ . . .
Birds will build their nests with whatever materials are available to them. One spring when I was a girl, my mother sprinkled snippets of red yarn in the yard near our summer home. She then encouraged us to see what happened next. Sure enough, a bird built a nest using the beautiful red yarn. (Sure wish I had a photo of that now!)
In ‘Celebration’ the birds have built their nest with twigs and ribbons. To me, ribbons have a celebratory feel, hence the title of the painting.
This painting was created in phases over many months. It leverages what I learned about painting nests and eggs from the other Possibilities paintings, as well as reference photos for the ribbons.
Are you in the mood to celebrate?
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Yes! I do custom paintings.
In fact, I just delivered a custom painting to a new collector, and this is what she had to say –
“You perfectly transformed my dream into a stunningly beautiful painting. I am deeply grateful.”
Wow, I feel so honored. That made my day (my week!). Thank you Sue!!!
I love creating custom paintings. Good thing, because I’m currently working on 6 of them, ranging in size from 16 inches wide up to 80″ wide. That’s wider than you are tall!
If you’d like to learn more about custom paintings, click here (hollyvanhart.com/commission-painting/) . (They make great gifts, and come with a 100% money back guarantee.) Or email me at email@example.com.
Whether you’re interested in commissioned paintings or not, thank you for your interest in my work.
P.P.S. My custom paintings were awarded Best of Houzz. Check out the details 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
‘Opportunity’ is the latest member of the Possibilities series. When you look at this nest and eggs, can you see the limitless potential of the human spirit? I hope so. (Read more here, “What’s up with all the nests?“)
The colors of this painting are American colors and, to many of us, America (the US) is the land of opportunity. Personally I believe America is an amazing place where, with lots of passion and hard work, one’s possibilities are virtually unlimited.
‘Opportunity’ represents the sense of wonder, potential, and pride many of us feel for our country. Nothing is ever perfect, however; the underlying textures in this painting are meant to remind us of things unseen. We might live in the US and have many of its advantages, but success is not assured.
‘Opportunity’ was created in phases over many months. I started with a black and white reference photo of a real bird’s nest, and from there let my imagination and paintbrush wander (and wander and wander). Success was not assured.
Some paintings converge quickly and others take more time and iterations. The more a painting deviates from the reference photos, the longer it takes me to complete it. Imagination takes time, especially if the end result is supposed to look like something real but not really.
Opportunity was one of the 18 paintings in my solo show at the Triton Museum of Art. For a walking tour video & pics of the exhibition, click here.
The other day, a friend asked why I had started painting birch trees. One reason is that they are so darn gorgeous!! (I get reminded of this just about every day, because we have a lot of birch trees here in Saratoga.)
Birch tree trunks are highly textured and have a wide range of values, from white to very very dark in the shadows. And the leaves, in an autumn setting, offer a huge range of warm colors to work with – reds, oranges, yellows, golds. An artist’s dream!