Holly Forrest, Lancaster, PA
During my formative years growing up in Philadelphia I developed a love for art. One of the greatest influences on my life was my mom, who is also an artist. Both my brother and I took art classes while young. I attended classes at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and earned a BFA from Moore College of Art and Design. A few artists that have impacted my work are Winslow Homer, Claude Monet and Mary Cassatt.
When our kids were very young, a friend advised me to draw with them to keep my art a part of my life. One of my favorite things to do with small children is to make collaborative drawings. I draw a line, then the child draws the next.
While raising our children, we took life slower than most. There is a whole world being discovered by your child and rediscovered by you. In each watercolor, I try to use that child-like discovery, like reflections in water or the personality of the subject.
My husband and I have ten children. You may ask, when do you ever find time to paint?! I smile and say, “I am The Midnight Painter.” After the children’s bedtime, my husband and I enjoy a cup of tea, watch some television, and I paint. Some afternoons, my little ones nap on the couch and I dearly love to capture those tender moments with my brush. This is how the Sweet Slumber series originated.
Here is a sneak peak quick video of another of Holly's Sweet Slumber series being painted: Watch Video
While getting a painting framed, a woman who managed an art gallery offered to have a showing for me. It took about a year to do the paintings, mat and frame them, and have prints made for the art show. Since then I make time to paint every night.
Throughout the year I teach at a homeschool co-operative and various
church and community classes. When I think of all the teachers who have
helped shape me, it is my way of giving back.
Like any form of art, watercolor requires practice, practice and more practice! Have fun experimenting with what works and what doesn’t. Drawing skills are fundamental to painting; the two go hand in hand. Observe the work of artists you admire and study them closely. Go to art shows and exhibits because there is nothing like seeing the real painting.
Art classes can be taken online or there are videos and websites that can be very helpful in learning the process of making a watercolor painting. I recommend investing in good quality brushes and paper, such as red sable brushes (Kolinsky are my favorite), and Langton Prestige watercolor paper. You will develop your own unique style over time.