“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.” ~Georgia O’Keeffe
For as long as Holly can remember, she has been drawn to expressing herself visually, recreating images of her world in her mind, translating them into something she can see with her heart and then transferring those perceptions into a visual medium. Starting with innocent doodling as a child, her work has matured into moody, captivating portraits of people, landscapes, Ravens and Crows and her magical, whimsical dreamscapes, primarily all painted in oil or mixed media. She has always seen her environment through a very visual lens, perceiving vignettes and cameos of perfect compositions all around her - just waiting to be captured on canvas.
Like many contemporary artists, Holly Is most interested in trying to create mood and atmosphere in her work no matter what the subject is. “It’s (mood and atmosphere) more important the anything else because it is everything else. It’s the whole that the viewer beholds. It’s what makes the painting have a voice and whisper sweet nothings into the viewers ears”. She is fascinated by art history and the idea of art as an allegory, a visual story telling through symbolism, and uses this to create a deeper meaning within her work. She is interested in not only capturing the moment but what it feels like to be in that moment, giving a definite immediacy and tangibility to her work. She wants to provide a visual escape for her viewer where they can be swept up and transported, however briefly, to another place and time. "I want to close in on that moment of connection where nothing else matters but being in that moment - that 'just breathe' moment. That's why I love to paint, I'm really trying to capture the physical essence of what it is to be alive and have that energy go through you...the intensity of living is what really inspires me, in life and in art."
Her artistic inspiration and influences are quite varied. She draws on historic inspiration from artists such as Edvard Mucha, John Singer Sargent and also the French impressionists. Her contemporary inspirational artists include Henry Yan’s beautiful figure drawings, Richard Schmidt paintings and application style and Pino’s romantic figure work.
Holly’s formal art training was at ACAD in Calgary Alberta in the mid 90’s and since 2000 she has been a professional artist and independent fine art instructor. She developed Indigo Arts in 2005 and has set out on her goal to inspire people to realize their own passion and expression of their creative beast through making art. Holly lives in Calgary, Alberta and has work in a number of collections, both corporate and private, in Canada, USA and England. She is available for commissions and also teaches a wide array of art classes and workshops for the beginner up to professional artist.