A couple of years ago, I set about creating a brand new art website (the site you’re on right now). I learned lots, had fun, and am happy with the result. But it took waaaaaaaaay longer than expected.
So that others could learn from my experience, I wrote an article about lessons learned called “Build Your Own Website in 10 Minutes (Not)“. The article is posted on Alyson Stanfield’s art marketing blog, artbizcoach.com blog. Read the article here.
btw, if you’re an artist, I’d highly recommend subscribing to the artbizcoach.com blog.
Do you have any experience with building your own website? If so, we’d love to hear from you – email@example.com
‘Soft Start’ was inspired by the nests of a bird called a swallow. Swallows live on all the earth’s continents except Antarctica. They use the feathers of other birds to line their nests and keep their eggs toasty warm.
Eggs that are incubated in such a cozy nest are surely full of possibilities, but with a softer start than most.
btw, 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 and catalog from the Triton museum exhibition (and get a free download of Triton museum catalog).
“Van Hart’s paintings . . . present their enigmatic subjects with both beauty and conviction, memorably.” – DeWitt Cheng, Art writer for Art Ltd, Artillery, ARTnews, and Visual Art Source
Joy, delight, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, exuberance, elation, euphoria, bliss, ecstasy, rapture.
We want it all!
How do you like to create joy in your life?
If your world is anything like mine, sometimes the days are so busy that it takes conscious thought to make time for life’s most delightful moments.
For me, in any one week I’m abundantly happy when I’ve enjoyed all of these experiences –
- time connecting with my 3 men (husband and 2 sons), other family, and friends
- lots of laughter
- absorbing nature and getting some exercise with hikes and bike rides
- contributing to an important cause, usually with a focus on children, women, or art
- feeling that I’ve advanced in life in some meaningful way (relationships, health, career)
- painting, of course!
- remembering to be full of thanks, wonder and awe for all of the above
What makes you happy?
If you have any tips for creating more bliss in life, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’m all ears.
Top questions I’m asked as an artist –
When I look at the painting and am pleased with it, then it’s done.
To be pleased with it, the painting needs to convey the desired idea or feeling or mood, be well designed, well executed, and have some kind of pop or surprise or glow that makes it special. If it’s missing any one of these things, it’s not finished!
I sometimes have the feeling that a painting is done, but then after a couple of weeks, decide it needs further tweaks or even major changes. Then it goes back to the easel.
On rare occasions, I know right away when a painting is done. It feels like a personal breakthrough, and all the stars and moons have aligned, and I’m really digging what I see in front of me. Wish I had more of those days 🙂
Be the first to get Holly Van Hart’s latest paintings, art exhibit news, and VIP members-only special offers (includes a free gift). Click here to learn more.
Originally published in 2013, and just updated with info on upcoming events and prints.
I’m walking on air . . . I was honored to have won Grand Prize at the California Statewide Painting Competition.
The 1st place award was a solo exhibition at the Triton Museum of Art. (To see pics and videos of my solo show, click here.)
In the words of the curators of the Triton Museum of Art . . .
“Holly van Hart warmed the jurors with her painting Possibilities Abound. A nest cradles eggs, rendered with a confident, loose brushstroke that evokes a sense that this could be any nest, anywhere. And as with all great art, the metaphor returns the image to contemplations of us, the viewers. Avian becomes human, the unborn promise becomes our own possibilities, to be nurtured and explored. We are seeing nothing less than the potential of the human spirit, nestled in nature’s bed.”
– Preston Metcalf, Chief Curator
– Ester Fernandez, Curator of Education/Curator
– Stephanie Learmonth, Registrar/Curator
Click here for photos taken at the Triton Museum during the 2013 California Statewide Painting Competition Exhibition.
This painting is sold. For prints, click here.
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.
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
‘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.
Can’t wait to get to work!
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 –
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!)
“Yellow Passage” is meant to convey the majesty and mystery a large mountain range. The size and angular forms of the mountains indicate the majesty, and unusual red and yellow colors add intrigue.
This scene was inspired by my time in the Rocky Mountains a few years ago. I used a photograph as a very loose reference for the shapes of the mountains and the lake, and my imagination for the colors and texture.
This painting is sold and here’s how it looks in its new gorgeous home –
Thank you Susan and Steve for placing my artwork in your dining room. I’m honored! Love how you had it framed, and found just the right spot for it.
For more pics of paintings installed in collectors’ homes, click here.
Welcome to the tropics!
As you view “Palm Winds”, can you feel the warm wind on your skin? This painting is meant to instill a feeling of peacefulness from the beauty of the trees, sea, and sky. The empty picnic tables are inviting you to sit down and have a meal. It is a hot day, and the wind is offsetting the tropical heat.
The inspiration for this painting draws on my travels to Tahiti, Thailand, Costa Rica and other places of tropical awesomeness. In addition, it was inspired by an amazing photo taken by my friend Veronique Gillard. (Thank you Veronique!)
This painting is sold. For available paintings, click here.
Originally published in 2013, and just updated
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?
Have you ever tried meditation?
I’ve tried it multiple times, including a 2-day class in Indonesia, but failed miserably each time. I can’t calm my mind in that way.
On the other hand, the act of painting has a meditative quality to it that I love.
Painting can completely absorb me and transport me to a different place.
My paintings often go through a bunch of twists and turns before they are done. Sometimes, by the end of all that, I don’t quite remember how things progressed along the way.
‘Alternate Reality’ (shown above) was a painting that was totally absorbed me like that.
It felt so refreshing. Lucky me.
Do you have a meditation practice, activity, hobby or job like that? If so, lucky you!
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!
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 –
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.
Hi there. Hope you’re well!
We’re experiencing hot summer weather this week, but it feels like Christmas!
Two new 8″ brushes just came in the mail. (Guess I’m easy to please.)
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!
Would you like to see this painting in person?
To purchase, email email@example.com. Free shipping in the US.
In “Top Fifty Questions”, I answer the questions I’m most frequently asked as an artist (usually asked at parties and other fun events). For the answers, click on the links. Enjoy!
- Do you do custom paintings (commissions)? Video
- What do you like most about being an artist?
- [Top 50 Questions] Do you use photo references?
- What inspires you? (Free eBook)
- What does ‘vulnerability’ mean to you?
- What is ‘failing toward success’?
- Are oil paintings easy to care for?
- What’s up with all the nests? (Video)
- Which artists are you most influenced by?
- Why do you paint so many aspens & birches? (video)
- What is success?
- Isn’t it hard to part with your paintings?
- What’s the meaning of this painting?
- Free eBook – Solo Exhibition at the Triton Museum of Art
- Can I see your studio? (Video tour + invitation)
- Have you ever tried meditation?
- Where can I get prints of your paintings?
- Did you always want to be an artist?
- Standing Naked in Front of a Crowd
- [Top 50 Questions] Can I mix styles of art in my home?
- [Top 50 Questions] What if you’re not inspired to paint?
- [Top 50 Questions] Are you worried about oil paints being toxic?
- Tell me about the texture in your paintings
- Are you glad you became a full-time artist?
- Does drinking help with creativity?
- What’s your work-day like?
- Does it get lonely painting all day?
- How much time does it take to complete a painting? (Video)
- What gives you the most joy?
- [Top 50 Questions] How does living in Silicon Valley impact your art?
- [Top 50 Questions] Can I see your work in a gallery?
- [Top 50 Questions] What subjects inspire you?
- [Top 50 Questions] Will this painting look good in my home?
- Do your children like art? (Video)
- [Top 50 Questions] Do you ever miss being in high tech?
- [Top 50 Questions] How long have you been painting?
- What inspires you to paint?
- What is the hardest part of creating a painting?
- What’s the best thing about being an artist?
- Why do we love birch trees so much?
- Do habits help (or hinder) creativity?
- What’s the favorite part of your job?
- How did you make that painting? (video)
- Request a digital catalog of available paintings
- What advice would you give to your younger self?
- [Top 50 Questions] Do you listen to music when you’re painting?
- How do you know when a painting is done?
- How important are titles to your paintings? (Video)
- [Top 50 Questions] How are you preparing for your museum exhibition?
- Free eBook – Top 7 Designer Secrets
Abundance is part of my Possibilities series that includes nests and eggs as the subject. This painting signifies the abundant possibilities that are available to the little lives that are in this very full nest.
The calm of the surface of the eggs is offset by the variety of colors and complicated weaving of the nest. This contrast reflects the reality of our lives, which are often some combination of calm, colorful, and complicated.
Like most of my work, Abundance was built up using multiple layers of oil paints. The layers give a special glow to the eggs, and extra texture and depth to the nest.
This painting is sold, but you can buy a print here.
Originally published in 2013 and recently updated to include information on prints
Just wanted to thank you, my friends, collectors, followers, and other art-lovers, for all your support and enthusiasm. You’re awesome. My life is richer because of you!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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‘.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Sometimes we have to make choices in life . . . it’s this OR that. Here OR there. Tomorrow OR next week.
And sometimes we can do both! This AND that. Here AND there. Tomorrow AND next week. That’s called ‘Embracing It All’ –
Embracing It All is currently hanging in my living room. But it could be hanging in yours! Email email@example.com for details