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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!)
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Question #25 Does it get lonely painting all day?
Nope. I treasure my time alone in the studio, and follow that with lots of time with friends and family. For me, it’s a perfect combination!!!
On a related note . . . on personality tests, the results usually show me to be 50% introvert and 50% extrovert. So it makes sense how this plays out in my work and personal life.
Which are you . . . extrovert or intravert?
btw, if you’re curious, here’s the finished painting . . .
Other questions I get asked a lot –
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See Holly Van Hart’s top 25 paintings, paired with favorite inspirational quotes. Free eBook full of exciting images and ideas!
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 (email@example.com).
This painting is available from Bluestone Fine Art Gallery; click for details.
Learn how I awarded a solo exhibition at the Triton Museum of Art, and then prepared for the show.
The above video is excerpted from my interview on Silicon Valley ‘Talk Art’ TV. Here’s the full interview –
Do you stick to certain daily habits? Would you think that habits help (or hinder) your creativity?
This might surprise you, but many creative people have strong daily habits. And we go to enormous lengths to maintain them.
Habits allow our mental bandwidth to be channeled to create new stuff (art, music, computer programs, legal strategies, etc), rather than being wasted on the mundane (for example, which route should I take to work?).
If this topic fascinates you (as it does me), you might like to check out the highly rated book ‘Daily Rituals: How Artists Work‘ by Mason Currey.
One of the conclusions of ‘Daily Rituals’ is that there is no set of habits that is best for creativity. But when we develop habits that suit our values and lifestyle, we are setting ourselves up for success.
Some of my habits include eating oatmeal for breakfast every day (all 7 days of the week, all 52 weeks of the year, with very rare exceptions), and heading to my studio to start painting as soon as my sons leave for school.
I have some other daily habits (bad ones) that I’m trying to kick and that do not contribute to my creativity – like eating far too much chocolate. But that’s a subject for another time.
What daily habits do you find most helpful?
At cocktail parties and other fun social events, people often ask me questions about life as an artist. They are answered in my ‘Top 50 Questions’ list. This blog post is the latest addition to my Top 50. To see the other questions & answers, click here.
This book includes essays by DeWitt Cheng and Preston Metcalf –
“Van Hart’s 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
“powerful in its message of human connectivity”
– Preston Metcalf, Chief Curator of the Triton Museum of Art
Click for FREE Instant Download
(This book is also available on Amazon for $27)
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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.)
‘Autumn Cruise’ is about the majesty of the mountains and the allure of the alpine lakes. This painting includes two cruise boats ready to take us on a tour of the lake, up closer to the mountains.
The unusual textures in ‘Autumn Cruise’ (for example, in the sky in the upper right, and skirting the mountains in the upper left) are there to remind us of nature’s unseen forces – potential rainstorms, winds, avalanches, floods, and hungry bears. Nature is beautiful and alluring, and also commands the utmost of respect.
Ready to cruise up the lake? Sure, it’s a crisp, clear autumn day and looks like a safe bet. (If there were dark clouds overhead, then it would be a different story.
btw, if you’d be interested in some art freebies (free art books and more), click here.
Have you ever strolled through a forest and felt strong sunlight beaming through the trees? That’s what I was aiming for with this new painting, Washed in Light. It is set in springtime, with lots of bright yellow-green leaves. Come take a walk with me down the winding path!
Here are some in-progress pics for this painting –
Drumroll please. Here’s the finished painting –
And here’s how it would look hanging in a living room –
Want to be the 1st to see pre-release paintings? Click here to become a VIP member.
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!
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 –
- Birch are famous for having bark that peels back like paper; aspen bark does not peel.
- Birch trees grow in the eastern US and Canada, while Aspens are found all over North America, Europe and Russia.
- And, amazingly . . . each ‘colony’ of aspen trees actually shares a single large root system. The root system can be huge, covering multiple acres, and can be thousands of years old. As old trees die off, the root system sends up new trunks. Incredible!How about you . . . what are your favorite trees?
btw, here’s the completed painting –
And here’s the completed painting hanging on my living room wall (left) –
These paintings are hanging in my living room, but they could be in yours 🙂
Would you like to see this painting in person?
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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.)
Do you ever miss being in high tech?
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.
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.
Let’s be friends
‘Autumn Dance’ ‘Summer Sparkle’ and ‘Amid the Scent of Roses’
Currently hanging my my home, but could be hanging in yours 🙂
I’d like to introduce you to ‘Nest at Night’, the latest member of my Possibilities series.
‘Nest at Night’ is a more abstracted painting than most of the others in this series. I was inspired by –
* the idea (the virtually limitless possibilities we have in our lives if we choose to embrace them),
* the mood (mysterious), and
* the color (a very deep red).
As I was painting, I got absorbed (and even lost) in the reds. It took many layers of oil paint (and believe it or not, many different colors) to achieve the desired hue and depth. The dark reds and the sliver of a moon contribute to the mysterious feel of this work.
Do you like mystery in artwork? I’d love to know; please comment below.
(In case you’re wondering, click here to read “What’s up with all the nests?“)
I wanted this painting to capture our attention with its warm autumn colors, and to tempt us to walk toward the light at the end of the path.
What’s down that path? There’s only one way to know. Come with me, let’s go for a stroll!
btw, on a topic related to color . . . 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‘.
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Can’t wait to get to work!
“If not me, who? If not now, when?” These are the words that Dr. Leslie Field asked herself about tackling the huge problem of global warming.
Dr. Field is a prolific inventor, the Founder of SmallTech Consulting, a Consulting Prof at Stanford University, a mom of two, an art-lover, and the founder of Ice911.
Ice911 is a boots on the ground solution to reduce global warming.
In this Facebook Live interview with Dr. Field, we learn more about what inspired her to start Ice911, and the steps she is taking now to slow down global warming.
Click below to listen and to get inspired!