Holly started painting because it was way too cold to go the blacksmith shop and she still needed something to keep her hands busy. That was over 15 years ago. She started out painting portraits of her dogs in funky colors, not really paying much attention to how she was doing what she was doing, just doing it. She built her own wood panels to paint on because she hated stretching canvas and wanted her paintings to be objects kind of too - not a window, but an object with a pretty picture on it. Holly's metalworking allows very little room for expression with color. Its tricky. Color can wreak havoc on a three dimensional form. Holly doesn't use color very much in her sculpture, so the painting was an outlet too. Color is so fun, its fluid and bright and light.
Years later the WindWalkers were inspired by her horses' shadow on a fall day - the kind of day when the shadows are long and dramatic. Holly used that long legged form as a basic format for her continued investigations into color. Horses are so recognizable and beautiful it works out great (never mind that she is such a geek about them). Holly works in sets - or series. (So she works on 3 - 6 of the same type of painting at once.) Holly says, "This allows me to experiment freely for some reason, maybe its like having more than one chance to get it right."
Holly has also completed several commissions. She says, "they are the hardest to do, because I am painting for someone else's gaze. That's like guessing what somebody likes with every brushstroke. I know I shouldn't concern myself with it so much, but there's a constant push and pull between true honest expression and playing to another's eyes. It's weird. I do like to do commissions though, because despite the drama, the end result is everybody's happy. "