Vermont Arts Council

The People’s Choice Award: Holly McLaughlin

52: Holly McLaughlin

Create a series of paintings, “Our Wild Beauty of Vermont,” printed to wood, HD metal, and giclee canvas

I was born to an artist mother and creative builder father. They both cultivated my love for art, outdoors, travel, adventure, and passion for animals.

Throughout the years there was always study in watercolor, with side ventures in stained glass, murals, clothing, and more. Oils and acrylics played a part, but watercolor to paper was always the happy place.

As the equine world became my career, there were many moves across the country. With four awesome children, and raising them as a single mom, creativity was always there, hovering in the background. It was the dream to one day have art be the main breadwinner.

After my amazing, resilient children were grown and on their own, and after many years on the move, Vermont became home. I absolutely love Vermont. Incredibly grateful each day, and my hope is to honor this extraordinary state with a painted series showcasing the wild beauty we are a part of.

Project description

I believe we all gravitate toward the place that brings us the most peace and joy, where we make our home. Sometimes though, we might forget or even know why — or what exactly called our name in the first place.

To see a moose charge through the snow in the wild, watch a mamma bear with her young cubs fish on a river, hear a wolf howl from afar, watch geese fly in perfect formation over the lake against a sunset so vibrant it takes your breath away… those moments so inspiring we feel transported to another time, another place.

Times we feel but perhaps can’t define. Maybe from a previous life, or energy from something or someone we don’t see? Art, to me, is that catalyst. That visual transport for the things we cannot define. Art can be the tangible that we can see, thus FEEL.

By painting the beauty of Vermont with a wild and free perspective, with that pull for an emotional response, I feel that this project is important. Why am I here, what pulls me here? Maybe I have ancestors from long ago who made wild Vermont their home that beat in my heart.

Media Sample 1

Pool Party. “A marsh close to my home. This spoke to me in a huge way with an invitation to add what I might wish to see — The White Egrets.”

Media Sample 2

Secret She Keeps. “This painting is a combination of several ideas and a feeling of wanting to run wild and free.”

Media Sample 3

Sunset Flyover. “Sunset Flyover is one of my first digital paintings. I presently have this piece printed to rolled canvas mounted on a thick board at 22′ x 42′.”

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Acadia Klepeis August 23, 2023