Holly Van Hart

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Holly Van Hart

Holly Van Hart describes her oil paintings as attempting to highlight the promise of our own creativity and capabilities—to be nurtured and explored and stretched to their fullest potential.

She explains, “In each work, I strive to achieve a careful balance between the calm of nature and the edginess of nature’s unseen forces. Each painting commands a presence with the surprise of unusual colors and textures, the richness of the oil paint, and the large size of the canvas. Together, these things are intended to captivate both the eye and the mind."

"Typically, I paint subjects found in nature and abstract them with unusual colors and unexpected textures. Using multiple photo references, I sketch the composition onto a blank canvas. Then I build up the painting using 5-10 layers of paint, waiting days or weeks between each layer for the paint to dry. The layers are critical to achieving desired colors and textures, and they give the painting a special glow.

The unusual colors and textures in my work are meant to help us see nature in new ways and with new wonder.

When a painting might be finished, I ask myself ‘Is this a museum-quality painting?’ The finished work rarely looks exactly like what I first envisioned. But by the time it is done, I have learned a tremendous amount about the subject and myself, and have earned the satisfaction of creating a unique piece of art."


Holly Van Hart received her MS in Operations Research from Standford University and her BS in Industrial Engineering from Rutgers University. She credits her background in science and living and working from Silicon Valley as heavily affecting her creative and artistic practice. Van Hart has had prominent solo shows at the Triton Art Museum in Santa Clara and the University of California, San Francisco. Awards include Grand Prize at the California Statewide Painting Competition and Best of Houzz. Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post, San Jose Mercury News, Examiner, Saratoga News, Santa Clara Weekly, KTYM Los Angeles Live Radio, and Silicon Valley ‘Talk Art’ TV.

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Suite A
Oakland, CA 94612

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