Art & Life with Anne Holt
Today we’d like to introduce you to Anne Holt.
Anne, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I grew up on the Northshore of Boston in a family of artists. My father is an architect and my mother is a potter and painter. They always encouraged me to look at the world with a creative eye. I started painting and drawing as soon as I could hold a brush or pencil. Throughout grade school I explored various media including photography, ceramics, printmaking, and graphic design.
I began to fine tune my painting skills while attending Colby College in Waterville, Maine. The professors in art department were incredible mentors for me, and their rigorous instruction created a solid foundation from which to grow.
I had a stroke of luck during my senior year, when my work was selected for an exhibition at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. The exposure from this show helped facilitate my relationship with the Camden Falls Gallery in Camden, Maine, where I sold my work for 7 years. The opportunity to have my paintings featured alongside established and emerging artists really helped boost my confidence to pursue a career as an artist.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I often find myself at a loss for words when asked about my work. This is because I really view my paintings as an extension of myself. They are representations of my observations, emotions, and thoughts. The process of painting is a meditation in which I allow myself to really be present. While working, I focus on what I see and feel, rather than simply making something look “right.” Landscapes are my primary subject matter because they allow me be outside and form a deeper connection with the natural world.
Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
It’s true that being an artist is not an easy path. I feel extremely fortunate to have landed a gallery straight out of college, but, even years later, I have yet to achieve my financial goals from my the sales of my paintings. I have always had other jobs to help pay the bills. I have worked in retail, interior design, and as an art teacher. I am currently a freelance graphic and web designer. I find that I really enjoy this as it allows me to use my creative talents and work with a wide variety of clients.
If money is tight, my advice to other artists is to find a side job you enjoy and that allows you to keep working on your craft. It can be hard to find that balance, but if you can make your creativity a priority, even in small ways, you will feel happier and more fulfilled. My everyday mantra is the Elbert Hubbard quote, “Art is not a thing; it is a way.” I have found that life is far more enjoyable when I am living the art “way,” rather than fighting or ignoring it.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can see my art at Gallery 53 on Rocky Neck in Gloucester, MA, or visit my website www.anneholtfineart.com. I am always happy to do commissioned paintings as well.
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