Can’t wait to get to work!
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 –
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
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 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‘.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
What do school soccer and ‘Threshold of Miracles’ have in common?
Inspiration is everywhere!
The inspiration for this painting was a big bush of white roses planted at a local school (Holly Oak Elementary in San Jose, CA). The roses were brilliantly lit in the afternoon sun. I noticed them during the half-time break from my son’s soccer game, and couldn’t resist snapping a bunch of photos.
Using my computer, I tried a few combinations of photos until one stood out as the best design. Then I set to work in my studio to make this painting.
This painting is called ‘Threshold of Miracles’. It symbolizes all the amazing things we can do with our lives (and the miracles we can create) when we keep our eyes open.
Wishing you lots of sunshine and miracles in your life!
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 –
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’.
It’s a privilege to know you Diane!!!
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 email@example.com.
Want to see more in-progress paintings? Check out these videos hollyvanhart.com/youtube-videos
Thanks for being here!
With Magnetic Dreams, I was aiming for a moody painting. The scene is imagined, drawn from a love of the ocean and memories of many captivating ferry rides.
The calm of the quiet mountains is juxtaposed with the energy of the watercolor techniques and drips. (This is a mixed media painting on canvas, using acrylic paints, but painted with watercolor techniques.)
Here are some detail pics –
To purchase, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Free shipping in the US for VIP members.
Does ‘Wandering in Wonder’ make you want to wander through this forest? And take in the wonder of nature and life? Hope so!
Here’s how this painting looks in a living room –
Wandering in Wonder is currently hanging in my home, but it could be in yours!
To purchase, email email@example.com. Free shipping in the US.
Whether you own 100 pieces of art or are looking for your first one, this book gives you the info you need to shop confidently (and have loads of fun!). Includes 5 things you must do when collecting original art, and 3 things to avoid.
Free instant download. No signup required.
If you like this book, please share it with your friends!
Some people think that depressed or angry people create better art. Is that true?
Or, can happy people create masterpieces too?
There are no simple answers to these questions of course, but just for fun let’s look at a sample of the world’s greatest artists (my personal faves) and explore the question. Here goes . . .
“The New Novel”, Winslow Homer, 1877
Winslow Homer (1836-1910) was considered the greatest American painter of his time. He created extraordinary landscapes, marine paintings, and figures too. Homer was a recluse and a bit odd, but not depressed, enraged or insane. That’s one point for ‘satisfied souls’.
“Goat Horn with Red”, Georgia O’Keeffe, 1945
Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) revolutionized American modern art with bold abstracts, landscapes and flowers. For decades she lived by herself in New Mexico, and sometimes suffered from serious depression. One point for ‘tortured souls’.
“No. 1 (Royal Red and Blue)”, Mark Rothko, 1954
Mark Rothko (1903-1970) was a Russian-Jewish abstract painter who emigrated to the US at the age of 10. He achieved huge commercial success during his lifetime. Rothko was most certainly depressed, drank heavily, took barbiturates, and sadly, at age 66, committed suicide. Add a second point for ‘tortured’.
“Norham Castle – Sunrise”, JMW Turner, c 1835
JMW Turner (1775-1851) was a renowned English landscape painter known as “the painter of light”. Turner seemed like a fairly normal guy. He had plenty of friends, and wasn’t depressed, enraged, or insane. Now it’s even, two points for ‘tortured’ and two points for ‘satisfied’.
“La Grande Vallee XIII”, Joan Mitchell, 1983
Joan Mitchell (1925 -1992) was a prominent Abstract Expressionist who lived in Chicago, Manhattan, and Paris. Mitchell was an alcoholic, often depressed, and described many of her paintings as “violent and angry”. ‘Tortured souls’ lead at 3 points to 2.
This last painting, very humbly put after the ‘greats’ above it, is mine. As for me, am I enraged or depressed or feeling like a tortured soul? No, not especially, but on any given day I may be any of those things. (Just ask my husband and children.) Is my art better on those days? No, but I think it is more experimental, sometimes to better effect but not always.
Summing up this totally non-scientific survey . . . The ‘tortured souls’ are ahead at 3 points (Rothko, O’Keeffe, Mitchell) to 2 (Turner, Homer). Perhaps the conclusion is ‘you don’t have to be unhappy to create great art, but it helps’.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Free shipping in the US.
In “Top Fifty Questions”, I’ll answer the top 50 questions I’m asked as 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.
As you scroll down, you’ll see the progression of a newly released painting called ‘A Deep Breath’.
But first, I’d like to share this quote because captures my inspiration for this painting . . .
“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect.” — Alice Walker
And (take a deep breath) here’s the finished painting . . .
Hi there. Meet ‘Possibilities on High’.
In the upper right of this painting, you can see a big and colorful bird’s nest. It’s sitting up high on the branches of huge magnolia tree, on a warm summer day.
The nest looks peacefully and securely settled in the tree. At the same time, it is quite exposed.
If I were an egg, I’d love to live in this nest in a magnolia tree (despite the risks of exposure). Would you?
(If you’re wondering “What’s up with all the nests?”, click here.)
Originally published in 2013, and just updated and republished
In “Top Fifty Questions”, I’ll answer the top questions I’m asked as an artist. (These questions are usually asked at cocktail parties and other fun social events.)
I’ve been painting my whole life, with one hiatus while in college.
As a girl I made many types of art . . . I painted, made ceramics and did crocheting and calligraphy. My Mom was an artist; she gave us lessons and let us use her top-quality art supplies. (Thanks Mom!)
In college, studying engineering was all consuming and my art was put on hold.
After graduating, I worked in high tech and pursued painting passionately as a hobby – taking dozens classes, reading thousands of books and articles, forming an art critique group, and painting every spare minute.
Now, as a professional artist, I paint every day, all day (every weekday + some weekends). And every day I learn something new.
My art education will never be done. That’s a huge part of the fun 🙂
btw, the above painting is Amid the Scent of Roses. Interested in seeing how it was made? Here’s a short video for you . . .
In “Top Fifty Questions”, I’ll answer the top things I’m asked as an artist. (These questions usually come up at cocktail parties and other fun social events.)
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.