One cannot help but be moved and inspired upon
learning the dramatic history of celebrated artist
Holly Irwin…she is indeed a treasure!
Irwin’s paintings are magnificent by any standard and widely
revered by collectors, galleries, and design publications.
Yet when the work is viewed within the context of
the artist’s physical and spiritual transformational
journey, a more profound experience of the art emerges.
Trusting (36 x 35)…is my personal favorite!
Her work “Trusting” (above) conveys for me a deep
sense of life’s fragility, nature’s gentle acceptance
of change, and the soul’s vast capacity for beauty.
Like the French Impressionist Renoir,
Irwin has rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and
brilliantly eclipses what others might
regard as limiting circumstances.
The auto-immune disease,
debilitating pain, and a dozen surgeries
on hands and feet cannot keep the
elegant beauty in her soul from
coloring the canvas.
I find her palette sophisticated yet friendly.
Holly Irwin is the cover girl and feature
of the May/June 2016 issue of Arthritis Today!
I so admire how the artist poetically blends
a childlike innocence with a wise ethereal maturity.
(It’s who I hope to become if ever I grow up!)
That graceful mix coming through her brushstrokes
creates a very gossamer-like tranquil mood.
What a privilege to interview the artist
(and loyal friend to Hello Lovely!)
whose courage and outlook bids us all to
embrace gratitude, to aim higher.
H.I.: “It’s therapy and joy and wholeness and healing
all wrapped up into one big bundle.”
“Anyone who has been really ill or close to death looks at the everyday with a renewed sense of wonder when they have a second chance at life.
There was a time when just walking from
one room to the next was so excruciatingly painful
and draining for me that I surely missed
all the beauty around me.
The pain of rheumatoid arthritis robbed me
of my joy for living. Now that it is pretty much
under control, I am so thankful I can walk
and get exercise..the experience has given me
a whole new perspective of how lucky I am.”
“Nature and the lush colors of springtime and summer;
I can sometimes imagine a whole painting based solely
on seeing a color that strikes me in a certain way.”
“Femininity, like the way a woman feels in a beautiful dress. When I was a child, my mother (whom I adored!)
was a fashion illustrator; she had a great love of fabric
and sewing and made all of our clothes.
This has influenced my paintings a great deal
over the years and continues to do so.”
“Patterns…like the formation of leaves on trees,
the repeating patterns in flowers and plants.”
Merci, lovely Holly, for sharing your beauty.
Peace to you right where you are.