All Posts By

Harry Holland


I’ve been obsessing over the best white to use for about forty years now. It all started when I read Max Doerner’s book “Materials of the Artist”, a thoroughly inspiring work that purported to be a scientifically correct analysis of the way the Old Masters made paintings, and the materials they used. Having painted uncritically with Winsor and Newton titanium white up to that point, I became worried by Doerner’s assertion that…

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Notes on drawing

I started off thinking about working from drawings, as I sometimes do because working from life for some paintings is inconvenient, to say the least. Anyway the other day while drawing I changed a pose (M1) because I noticed a shape made by hair. When I’d finished the next one (M2) I got interested in the different states of mind the drawings represented, so I did another (M3). All in the same session,…

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I like Instagram! It’s the first social network I’ve been part of and have enjoyed enormously the images and responses on it. It’s a very different world from the usual studio routines of drawing and painting. From the first time I went into a life drawing class at evening school, two things struck me forcibly, and are still with me to this day; that there was nothing sexually arousing about looking at the…

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New Model

When I was at art classes we were told that good drawing did not depend on the appearance of the subject but on understanding of structure, proportion &c. Perfectly true, but some models seem to bring out good visions in an artist that others don’t. When I have a new model coming, male or female, I must admit to a frisson of excitement as to what they will look like. Will they…

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In trying to write about my work it has become clear to me the extent to which words and painting are enemies. There’s no use in trying to talk about qualities like furtiveness, when the meaning really lies in the interface of two or more visual qualities, such as fugitiveness and stillness. The visual circumstance is enough. Paintings are visual expressions of evocation, celebration, noticing, facts and inventions, forms fighting shapes fighting…

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