Natalie Holland

The power of a Great Story has always triggered my imagination. Fascinating narratives and alluring anecdotes come my way through multiple sources—books, films, individual accounts, and life itself. Most of all I enjoy creating stories of my own. My main characters are always people who attract and interest me visually, often leading me to invent a story about them. As a result my curiosity gets piqued, prompting me to try to discover the real story behind my living and breathing leading characters, which is usually the driving force behind my work as a visual artist.

My preferred painting tools are oils and brushes and I work as much from life models as possible, unless practical reason don’t allow it. On both the technical and stylistic level my work is defined as realism. I’m passionate about my art and thoroughly enjoy the slow, precise methods needed to achieve realistic results. Focusing on minute details is an important part of the process that helps me understand my subject matter. Especially when I’m painting a portrait, this attention to detail is a means towards understanding the person sitting for me. My colour choices are typically subdued and subtle, although I often allow one bright hue to stand out. My aim is to invite the viewer to discover deeper emotions beyond the first visual impression.

The ultimate focus of my work is the human character—whether it’s a close-up of one individual in a portrait, or a wider narrative based on contemporary themes such as feminism, religion, and today’s sociopolitical challenges. Whatever the subject matter is, what is important to me is to tell the visual story in such a way that it connects to the viewer emotionally. The world we live in may be the same for all of us, but our experiences, decisions, and feelings are unique to each individual. While my art is understandable at first glance, my ultimate goal is to make the viewer think in ways they never expected to.

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