Thursday, May 12, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Holly Storlie

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Holly's painting, "Honeycrisps" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Holly's DPW Gallery:

Born in Saginaw, Michigan, and raised in rural Minnesota, Holly currently resides in Kentucky. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ringling College of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Her award winning paintings have been exhibited widely throughout the state of Pennsylvania, as well as Florida, and are in private collections throughout the United States. She has taught drawing and painting workshops, as well as weekend family classes, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. (click to view bio)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My first paintings were made when I was very young. I grew up in rural Minnesota and, looking back, it seems like I always had my hands in some sort of art or craft project. While I was in high school, I had an art teacher who encouraged me to pursue a career in art, but I hadn't seriously considered it myself until I was in my mid-twenties. When I was 23, I took a few art classes at the local community college and fell in love with painting. Soon thereafter, I applied to the Illustration Department at Ringling College of Art and Design and started attending in the Fall of 2000.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

After graduating from the M.F.A. program at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, it took me a while to figure out how to make a living as an artist. I was painting consistently during that time, but I wasn't very confident in the paintings that I was producing. Although I had gained a little experience showing my work as a student, I still had a lot to learn about getting my work out there and making a career for myself. So, the first few years after graduation were a little slow going, but then things gradually started to pick up. Opportunities have been opening up lately, and I believe that discovering the practice of daily painting has been a big part of that shift.

Honeycrisps
(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Holly's interview.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I majored in Illustration as an undergrad and experimented with just about every painting medium under the sun. At that time, I preferred to work with acrylics. It wasn't until I entered grad school that I fell in love with oils, and I've been hooked ever since. Although, I would love to get back to working with both acrylics and gouache.

Which ones have stuck and which ones have fallen away?

Oils have stuck for the longest period of time but, unfortunately, watercolors have fallen away. I still have a small watercolor sketch set that has been collecting dust in my studio that I'm hoping to use soon for some outdoor sketching.

Peonies
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I would love to explore oil pastels. Also, I would like to experiment more with printmaking techniques, specifically monotype and lithography.

Who or what inspires you most?

There are so many great painters that inspire me daily. A few painters that have been continual sources of inspiration are Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, and Euan Uglow. Also, daily painting has been incredibly inspiring to me. Working quickly and often really helps to keep me in a place where I'm inspired and not prone to discouragement.

Little Sandals
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like to you?

Either cleaning the house or playing with our dogs in the backyard. We have an Australian Shepherd and a Chihuahua/Dachshund mix who absolutely love to be outdoors, and it's easy to lose track of time with them when the weather is nice.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

Having a gallery on Daily Paintworks has helped me tremendously with time management, because I do feel a sense of obligation to post a new painting as often as I can. Also, keeping a list of upcoming exhibition opportunities gives me short term goals to work towards.

Cup and Crayons
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Lately, I've been working almost exclusively from still life set ups, with the exception of a few plein air pieces that I made on a recent outing. Sometimes I'll have an object or set of objects in mind, while other times I'll stumble across something that strikes me in a particular way, whether it be the way light is hitting an object, or the color relationships between objects, etc. When I have a particular object in mind, their significance to me is often nostalgic in nature. I'm drawn to things that are colorful and playful; that remind me of my childhood. I'm also very attracted to flowers. I paint from life and feel that observation is absolutely essential to my painting process.

How do you keep your art fresh? What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

Forcing myself to work quickly has been most helpful in keeping freshness and life in a painting. I still struggle with knowing when to stop painting before I "overcook" a piece, and there are quite a few that end up in the scrap pile as a result, but having invested a short amount of time keeps me from getting too disappointed if one doesn't work out. If I feel a burnout coming on, sometimes I'll take a break for a bit and switch my focus to something else. I have a tendency to want to paint through a burnout, hoping that I can paint my way out of it, so I have to be mindful of that and force myself to take a breather.

Clementines
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I feel that I am learning more about the business side of making a living as an artist. It's fascinating and, although I have discovered some new, interesting things about self promotion within the last year, I still have so much more to learn.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Sharing it with others and seeing how they react and respond. I think I am happiest about my art when I hear that it has brought happiness to someone else.

Thanks, Holly!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

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