Sunday, November 2, 2008
Featured Artist #2/ Holly Farrell
Holly Farrell, a Toronto based painter, is my Featured Artist #2 in a series. She has been painting professionally since 1995, which was around the first time I noticed her work, at an outdoor art fair.
There was a purity; an essence of intent, that immediately caught my attention. On one level her paintings are studies of form, time and place. Her 'subjects' are objects yet they are also a representation of a person and how they have interacted with this particular object.
In her late twenties Holly was painting more as a pastime. As this interest grew she decided to become more serious about developing her craft. Going to art school was not an option financially or timewise, so she went about practicing drawing on her own. By using common household items as subjects she gradually taught herself to draw what was in front of her. This progressed to learning to paint in the same manner. This solitary approach to learning technique has imbued a unique quality to her work.
Referring to her work as Portraiture, she feels a connection to the objects she paints and describes these studies as "looking at one thing, one thought, one memory". She however does not see herself as a realist painter and feels the term 'folk realist' better captures her self-taught style. The folk art aesthetic is something Holly feels rooted in; it's simplicity of form and colour is always in the back of her mind as she paints.
I admire Holly's work immensely. She has taken and elevated the still life genre. I feel like I am looking at a soul, a story, a memory and also the aesthetic beauty of an object, that, when all is quiet, we can appreciate for it's own existence.
Holly is currently working on solo shows coming up in Vancouver and Tokyo. She is in private collections in the U.K., Europe, Canada and the U.S.A.
Check out her website here holly farrell.