Just in time for Mother’s Day, we’re featuring a very cool mom, who also happens to be a super talented abstract painter! You guys are going to love our next artist and her work. Meet Holly Young. She lives in Ontario with her husband, two daughters, and German Shepherd. We’re giving away an original piece of artwork at the end of the post, to celebrate the amazing mothers out there (although you don’t have to be a mom to enter to win)!
Holly’s abstract paintings are full of energy, movement, and vibrance. Each one tells a story and demonstrates the evolution of her process. The different textures and patterns that swim on the canvases she paints has me dreaming of installing one in my own home.
In addition to Holly’s artwork, I wanted to share some images of her insanely gorgeous home because it’s a fun glance into the creative life she leads. Plus, I’m always fascinated by artwork installed and curated by other artists…
Holly and I met online through blogging and design, only to confirm the expected… we have a lot in common. Aside from our similarities and newfound friendship, I’m obsessed with her work (and home)! I was excited to learn more about Holly’s process and background… let’s jump to the mini interview.
S: What was your BFA specialty… I’m assuming painting? Why did your artwork look like then compared to now?
H: I knew I loved to create when I entered University, I did not have a specific major. Each year was combined with various classes, where we focussed on painting, mixed media, sculpture, photography, figure studies and art history. When I look back now on my assignments, there are some that stand out as true representations of the work that I enjoy making now. I remember once painting a large canvas and creating a lot of texture with acrylic paint. My professor thought it was going in the right direction and then I went and painted a ladybug on it! I hated it and thought why did I do that? But I didn’t cover it up. I didn’t know I wanted to focus on abstract pieces at that time, I didn’t have a artist I tried to emulate. I enjoyed the shapes and colours used by Mark Rothko, and still do today. I did create a large body of abstract water colours that were very detailed tiny squares, each painting probably had 100 or so. I actually sold one to a class mate and to my aunt, and thought wow they must be good! I have one framed in my daughter’s bedroom, I think it’s the only thing from those experimental days that exists in my home.
S: How does your love for painting and interior design influence each other?
H: When I have free time, I try to stop in a local bookstore to browse my favorite home décor magazines. I often find inspiration from house tours. Living etc. is a great example of a magazine that I love from front to back cover. The more pattern and texture…the better! I actually did a blog post a few months ago about how a colour trend I read about caught my eye and I based a painting around it. I also enjoy architecture and mid century design and find that certain colours and shapes keep appearing in my recent work. I know a painting is finished if I hang it in my living room and after a few days I still think it looks good. If I would hang it in my home then I am confident that someone else might also feel a connection to it.
S: What is your favorite tool in regards to painting? What type of mediums do you enjoy mixing? I love the shapes that are a result of the layering on your canvases- so gorgeous!
H: My two favorite tools are a 2” plastic palette knife and a metal comb that you are supposed to clean your paint brushes with. Sounds strange… but it is great for creating lines and adding definition. I work with acrylic paint, latex and spray paint. They are not always combined, it depends what I feel like doing. With the weather warming up here I’m sure I will be outside spray painting more.
S: What is your proudest moment as an artist?
H: The day that my website was finally online I felt like there was no going backyards from this. I have business cards that say I am an artist and I am going to keep painting and make it work. I’m finally sharing my work with the public, not just my relatives. My daughter’s are so happy with everything I create, they are my biggest fans!
S: I’d love to learn more about your process. How long does it typically take you to complete a painting? Obviously the size influences this, but on average? Do you ever place a piece aside and revisit it months later?
H: I usually have the most energy first thing in the morning and head to my studio space in our home as soon as the girls go to school. On a good day I paint from 9:30- 1:00, then shower, eat lunch, walk the dog & tidy the house before they are home from school at 3:30. Not every day is a painting day and sometimes I don’t paint until the kids are in bed. Depending on how many layers I’m trying to create, the time varies. The pieces I’m working on now have taken at least 8-10 hours… watching paint dry takes patience. Sometimes the paintings I am the most happy with happen quickly, within an hour. Yes I often set aside pieces I get frustrated with. I try to work on two or three at the same time, so I always have a color palette to stimulate me. A few weeks ago I decided that a painting I had finished needed to be re-worked, I took it to my easel and just started to paint over it. That happens every now and again.
S: Unrelated from painting, I know you’re passionate about thrifting and vintage home decor, what is your most prized possession or your best find?
H: Good question…it is hard to pick just one. I like to collect chairs, we have a few I’ve picked up that are surprisingly comfortable. The Hans Wegner style rope chair & a wire Bertoia style are high on the list. Since we moved into this home a few years ago I have also scored some gorgeous rugs from estate sales.
S: Last, but not least… what creative knowledge would you pass along to others?
H: Keep making & practising your craft. Do what you enjoy making not what you think people will buy. I read the following quote last summer and it made me stop thinking and start doing. “Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start getting excited about what could go right”.
We’re giving away one of Holly’s 8″ x 10″ original painting on wood panel (see the image below), just in time for Mother’s Day!
Enter to Win (CLOSED) (open to US & Canada residents only):
1. Follow @hollyyoung77 on Instagram
2. Like Holly Young Art on Facebook
3. Comment below and let us know if you’d keep this for yourself or gift it to an awesome mom in your life!
UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Thank you for entering and congratulations to Brooke for winning an original piece of artwork!
We’ll announce the giveaway winner in one week. Good luck! -Sarah
interior images by: Lauren Kolyn