Spotlight: Holly Hanley
Holly’s love of art began when she was just a little girl, dreaming of being an artist when she grew up and owning her own art studio. She was encouraged by those around her, including a wonderful art teacher who taught her countless techniques in the field of art — painting, drawing, pottery, screen printing, and so on. Holly took more classes in University, wanting to be an art teacher herself, and received a Bachelor of Education in 1996. She began tole painting during University, and then taught beginner classes. She soon started designing her own patterns and opened her own studio where she sold supplies and taught classes.
In 2003, Holly published her first book, called Sunshine Kisses and Warm Winter Wishes, and has since published 7 books under the same title as well as numerous pattern packets and magazine articles. Holly counts herself lucky to be able to do what she loves and share it with people around the world. She travel teaches in Italy, across North America, and even in South America. In 2010, she was the guest of honor at FIDAD, an international arts and trade show in Bolivia, where she taught numerous classes and gave television and magazine interviews. The exciting ride has continued with her first DVD release and the release of Sunshine Kisses Volume 7 in 2011.
Holly’s books and patterns can found online at www.hollyhanley.com as well as at Hobby Lobby, Artist’s Club, and numerous other websites.
How did you get started painting?
I always loved painting and drawing, but I started decorative painting when I was in University (1992). The garden center next door to where I was living taught classes and I bought a few supplies and tried it. The first thing I ever painted was a cow that said “My cow and me Welcome Thee”. Hey, everyone has to start somewhere! After that one piece, I was hooked and our kitchen table has been covered with paint ever since. I always say that if you are just beginning to paint, you should save your first piece. It is nice to look back later and see how you have grown as an artist.
What type of painting do you do?
I am an acrylic painter who loves texture. I love to paint cute, whimsical characters such as bears, snowmen, bunnies, and frogs. I also have another side that loves to paint European scenes and home décor.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is just finding the time to paint. Having a family and a career is wonderful, but some times I find it hard to be a mom, wife, cook, chauffeur, housekeeper, travel teacher, designer, business owner, and so on. I am sure many woman can relate!
When did you start using DecoArt products?
I started using DecoArt products when I first began decorative painting in 1992. I have always loved the richness and variety of the colors as well as the consistency. DecoArt continues to grow with the painting world, coming out with the latest colors and mediums that help make my designs what I dreamt them to be.
What impact do DecoArt’s products have on your work/life?
DecoArt products have really made it possible for me to create my own niche in this amazing industry. My three-dimensional teddy bears are created with DecoArt Snow Tex and have become one of my signature techniques that I am most known for. I love adding texture and my only limit is my imagination, as there seems to be a DecoArt product for every little idea that might pop into my head. Texture Crackle and Stucco, as well as Decorating Paste, are some of my favorite textures. I can add texture to anything, whether it is a little bunny or a large canvas painting.
Recently, I have been loving the Glamour Dust Glitters and Glamour Dust Glitter Paints. I’m a sparkle girl and these call to me! I use them on ornaments to make them sparkle as well as on my canvas paintings to add some glitz.
How long have you been a Helping Artist?
What has been your best and brightest moment as a Helping Artist?
In 2010, I was asked to go to La Paz, Bolivia, to be their guest of honor at FIDAD, an international Decorative Arts convention. DecoArt supplied all the paints and products needed to make my classes there a great success. It was an amazing trip; I got the chance to meet and teach so many wonderful people as well as learn a lot about their culture.
What’s your favorite DecoArt product?
It is hard to pick one! I love so many… the Snow Tex, Decorating Paste, Texture Crackle, Texture Stucco, the Americana colors, the Glamour Dusts & Glamour Dust Glitter Paint…
What has been your greatest success, so far?
Publishing seven Sunshine Kisses and Warm Winter Wishes books has made me feel successful, but also blessed. I feel so grateful that people have responded to my designs in a positive way and I am able to do what I love. Thank you!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
God willing, I hope to still be doing what I love.
Who is your favorite artist, and why?
I have always love Bobbie Takashima’s designs. I love her creativity and her whimsical style, especially her Halloween patterns. I just love Halloween and the colors of that time of year.