Becky Holman paints in oil, pastel, and watercolor. She began studying classical drawing at the age of ten. The demanding task of copying from plaster busts of Greek figures taught her to observe carefully shapes and values. Working in black and white only made the eventual discovery of the use of color exciting, as did working from live models. Further study in life drawing was in Munich, Germany.
Expanding beyond the static conditions of the studio, she began to paint on location, facing challenges of changing conditions. An early watercolor series was purchased by Aloha Airlines. These Hawaiian scenes, especially the upcountry, inspired the artist to begin painting in oil.
Always impressed by good draftsmanship, Holman discovered the Taos painters who had also studied in Europe. She sought to emulate their handling of sunlight and people and found teachers who respected these same artists: Ned Jacob, Len Chmiel, and George Carlson.
Continuing her studies at the Art Students’ League of Denver, Becky worked under Doug Dawson, Kim English and Quang Ho, learning the use of pastel, as well as oil. Here she learned to use mediums to achieve her goal of expressing the subject’s message. Holman says, “for the widest range of expression, it is vital to know how to move from medium to medium and from outside to inside the studio.”
In 1991, African authorities granted Holman special photographic permission to visit villages in Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. The villagers were more interested in watching her draw than in being photographed themselves. They did not understand why they were required to stand within her sight line rather than look over her shoulder. The new African series further strengthened her early interest in the ranchlands and people of Hawaii.
Becky Holman’s work can be seen in galleries and restaurants in Denver, Colorado, at the Hualalai Four Seasons Resort on the island of Hawaii, and in private collections.
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