It’s a pleasure to join forces with Elizabeth of Pine Cones & Acorns today as we honor artists we admire. I think of this gifted artist daily since I gaze with gratitude at pieces of her fine art in our home. They aren’t decoration as much as lifegiving treasures brought to life by healing hands. The beautiful work evokes feelings of soothing calm, quiet joy, and even mystery. Yet learning more about the artist’s personal journey adds a layer of sacredness, mercy, and grace to her lovely creations. Let’s peek at an eclectic gallery from her portfolio and meet celebrated fine artist Holly Irwin.
Images: Holly Irwin
Fine Artist Holly Irwin
Video of Work
I love following Holly’s journey and spending time with her work. So it was a joy to create this short video:
Where Can You See & Collect Her Art?
See available works for purchase HERE. Irwin’s paintings are widely revered by collectors, galleries (@dkcontemporarygallery, @beverlymcneilgallery, @lyonsshareart) and interior designers (her work shows up in gorgeous magazines!).
Meet the Artist
She writes: “With encouragement from my mother, I began formal art classes at age 11, studying under Pittsburgh’s legendary art teacher, Joseph Fitzpatrick, whose list of famous students include Andy Warhol. Four years later, I was awarded a scholarship to Carnegie-Mellon University’s fine arts program for high school students.”
Like the French impressionist Renoir, Holly Irwin has rheumatoid arthritis (RA), yet she brilliantly eclipses what others might regard as limiting circumstances. An auto-immune disease, chronic illness, and even a dozen surgeries for hands and feet could not block the flow of elegant beauty from her soul to the canvas.
Her fashion sense and eye for rich color are enchanting.
(The artist herself is a cover girl – you may have seen her on the cover of Arthritis Today a few years back!)
You cannot miss the childlike wonder in her fashionable pieces. Yet her grownup nudes have an alluring ethereality.
Isn’t it glorious to see the brushstrokes here below?
Listen in to a heartfelt conversation with Holly as she shares perspective and depth.
A Chat With Holly Irwin
HL: WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO HONOR CREATIVITY?
HOLLY: It’s therapy and joy and wholeness and healing all wrapped up into one bundle.
On Everyday Wonder…
HL: Any suggestions for finding lovely and sacredness in the everyday?
HOLLY: 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.
On the Beauty of Imperfection…
HL: When you hear “beauty in imperfection,” what comes to mind?
HOLLY: Who is perfect, really? It reminds me that no matter how many times we fail, God is always there to help us get back up.
And He can bring good out of the worst circumstances if we put our faith in Him.
On Humor & Artistry…
HL: What role does a sense of humor play in your life and work?
HOLLY: I believe that a sense of humor is critical to just getting through life’s ups and downs. Laughter really is good medicine…
ever noticed how great you feel after you laugh out loud uncontrollably with someone?
We need to do that more often!
HL: What three things are inspiring you at the moment?
HOLLY: 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.
Holly’s responses always fill me with fresh hope and awe, and I just love her tender soul. Oh how we desperately need the artist in chaotic times to expand our vision, to consecrate the chaos. They see what we often cannot see. Stories of how little can become much (and even masterpieces) when placed in the Creator’s hands? Reminders that beauty can revive us as we seek it? These artfully expressed stories beyond words never grow old.
Thank you, Holly, for blessings from your healing hands. For being a warrior for light in the darkness.
If you have a moment, do visit Pinecones & Acorns to discover the artistry of RIA KRISHNAN.
Peace to you right where you are.
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