Local artist paints with her heart

Risking Delight

“Risking Delight” by Sheryl Holland. Used with permission.

Abstract painter Sheryl Holland is a local auteur of emotive creation. She mixes paint on large palettes, and continues the visual blends upon the canvas. Holland’s big brushes swirl lakes of acrylic, then her eyes and mood begin working, she said.

“Nothing to guide me but my eye; it’s ‘action painting’” Holland said.

Her technique was derived from the infamous 1950s American expressionist, Jackson Pollock. Like Pollock, her process is emotive, intuitive but very conscience of composition and visual balance, she said.

After graduating with a master’s degree in fine art from the University of Michigan, Holland taught art classes at a local high school. Now, Holland paints every day while enjoying her time in The Old Pueblo, she said.

But Holland’s second career as a full-time artist is quite demanding and extremely rewarding.

“It’s the most challenging and exciting thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Holland said. “It’s like being a jazz improviser.”

Holland will be showcasing her work during the Tucson Pima Arts Council Open Studio Tour on Nov. 14-15, at the Second Street gallery, located at 3025 E. Second St.

The space is Holland’s second home since participating in the event for the past seven years. And the cozy, pop-up museum is housed in a friend’s backyard, she explained, with a warm laugh.

Holland said one of her favorite paintings will be among the 50 pieces she has for sale. “Desert Walk” contains the colors she uses most, it displays a strong visual design and also evokes personal memories of living on the outskirts of town, she said.

“It reminds me of the many walks that I’ve had,” Holland said.

And while it’s great to make money that’s not her only motivation for having a show.

“It’s nice to sell work, but that’s not the major reason,” Holland said. “It’s a chance to just share my art with the public.”

For more information about Holland’s work visit her website here. And information about the Tucson Pima Arts Council Open Studio Tour can be found here.

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