2 min read

A Conversation with Mixed Media Instructor Holly Roberts


Your practice combines photography and painting. What role does intuition play in the layering of these media, image selection, and the development of each composition?

Intuition is the driving factor of my art making process. My struggle has always been to leave my mind behind and let my unconscious, or intuitive self, take over. I tell my students that it's what we don't know that is really interesting, not what we know. I also ask my students to park their brains outside and let their hands, their eyes, and their unconscious creative process take over when we work in the studio. My photographs give me the anchor that I need to cut loose from all that I know, and when I paint, the paint runs its own course - I'm just along for the ride.
What are you currently working on in the studio?
I’m currently working on a series of inkjet transparencies which I apply to my painted backgrounds. For the past few months I've been creating "drawings" using different materials, such as hair, wire, and leaves, to make figures that I then photograph, take into Photoshop to clean up, and then transfer onto the painted panels.
How does your studio practice impact your teaching philosophy? And vice versa?
I teach the things that I have learned over the years as a practicing studio artist. It can be as simple as how to arrange your day to get the most out of your practice, or as complicated as how to get past emotional blocks that are keeping you from moving forward. Everything I teach comes from my own direct experience, so I have no ability to teach, for example, anything conceptual since I don't ever go there in my own life.
What are you most looking forward to during your time teaching at PenArt?
I've never been to the Door peninsula of Wisconsin, and from reading your description of the area it sounds absolutely beautiful, especially for someone coming from the desert. And although I've spent some time in the Midwest, many of my workshops are in other parts of the country, so I look forward to working with a demographic I haven't worked with before.
How can we find you and your work on social media and the web?
My website is www.hollyrobertsstudio.com and I also have a blog that I contribute to on a regular basis, where I talk about individual paintings as well as events in my life that contribute to my time spent as an artist. It is http://hollyrobertsonepaintingatatime.blogspot.com/


Holly will be teaching "Layered: Painting and the Digital Image" June 19-23, 2017. Learn more about her workshop here.

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