Sunday, December 4, 2011

Jina Wallwork: The Art of Holly Friesen

Jina Wallwork: The Art of Holly Friesen: 'Blood of the River God' by Holly Friesen This painting beautifully depicts how water reflects colors. The scene is being captured from two...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lumen Naturae

Lumen Naturae / 48" x 36" / acrylic on panel board / © 2011 Holly Friesen
Knowing that it knows,
The light of wisdom is clear and void and timeless and has no objects
Not knowing that it does not know,
The light of nature is dark and void and timeless and has no subject.
Both reach for us; from above and from below: through the clarity of the sentience of our minds and also through the dark processes of our body.
The mind of an angel and the mind of a stone.
Lumen Sapientiae & Lumen Naturae

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Violent Beauty

Violent Beauty / 24" x 40" / acrylic & mixed media on canvas / 2011

Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels' hierarchies?

and even if one of them pressed me suddenly against his heart:
I would be consumed in that overwhelming existence.
For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we are still just able to endure,
and we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.

~Rainer Maria-Rilke

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ever-Evolving Earth and a Meditation on Texture by Annie DIllard

Landscape consists in the multiple, overlapping intricacies and forms that exist in a given space at a moment in time. Landscape is the texture of intricacy, and texture is my present subject. Intricacies of detail and varieties of form build up into textures. A bird's feather is an intricacy; the bird is a form; the bird in space in relation to air, forest, continent, and so on, is a thread in a texture. Wherever there is life, there is twist and mess: the frizz of an arctic lichen the tangle of a brush along a bank, the dogleg of a dog's leg, the way a line has got to curve, split, or knob. The planet is characterized by its very jaggedness, its random heaps of mountains, its frayed fringes of shore.
What do I make of all this texture? What does it mean  about the kind of world in which I have been set down? The texture of the world, its filigree and scrollwork, means that there is the possibility for beauty here, a beauty inexhaustible in its complexity, which opens to my knock, which answers in me a call I do not remember calling, and which trains me to the wild and extravagant nature of the spirit I seek. ~ Annie Dillard Pilgrim at Tinker Creek


Ever-Evolving Earth 72" x 54" acrylic


Posted via email from hollyfriesen's posterous

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Shock of Touch


Movement, change, light growth and decay are the lifeblood of nature, the energies that I try to tap through my work. I need the shock of touch, the resistance of place, materials and weather, the earth as my source. I want to get under the surface. When I work with a leaf, rock, stick, it is not just that material itself, it is an opening into the processes of life within and around it. When I leave it, these processes continue. ~Andy Goldsworthy

Posted via email from hollyfriesen's posterous

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Tree with the Lights Inside

When her doctor took her bandages off and led her into the garden, the girl who was no longer blind saw "the tree with the lights in it." It was for this tree I searched through the peach orchards of summer, in the forests of fall and down winter and spring for years. Then one day I was walking along Tinker Creek thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it. I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell bursting with flame. I stood on the grass with the lights in it, grass that was wholly on fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed. It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen, knocked breathless by a powerful glance. The flood of fire abated, but I'm still spending the power. Gradually the lights went out in the cedar, the colors died, the cells unflamed and disappeared. I was still ringing. I had been my whole life a bell, and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck. I have since only very rarely seen the tree with the lights in it. The vision comes and goes, mostly goes, but I live for it, for the moment when the mountains open and a new light roars in spate through the crack, and the mountains slam. ~Annie Dillard "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek"


Posted via email from hollyfriesen's posterous

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Painter Eva Hesse

The hell with them all. Paint yourself out, through and through, it will come by you alone. You must come to terms with your own work not with any other being.
-Eva Hesse

Friday, October 14, 2011

Forest Paintings

Several of the forest paintings done recently and presently hanging in Montreal Exhibition "Painting from Inside the Landscape"
Natura Imaginalis  24" x 30"


Breathing 48" x 60"


Invest in Gold 24" x 30"


Primal Source 24" x 30"


Telluric Rhythms 36" x 48" 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Montreal's Atwater Market

A short walk from my studio, the Atwater Market is a constant source of ever changing colors, scents and beauty to nourish all the senses. My absolute favorite season however is autumn, the golden change of light falling over all the rich earthy colors. The market is humming with the bounty of the harvest, crisp apples of every possible variety, the last of the luscious field tomatoes, multi-patterned squash, and just before the Canadian Thanksgivng a dazzling array of "mums" that seem to be the earth itself expressing her love for life. I walk through these jewels of and from the earth and feel a deep, satisfying gratitude for all that is.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Blackwater Pond

At Blackwater Pond the tossed waters have settled
after a night of rain.
I dip my cupped hands. I drink
a long time. It tastes
like stone, leaves, fire. It falls cold
into my body, waking the bones. I hear them
deep inside me, whispering
oh what is that beautiful thing
that just happened?

~Mary Oliver

Rocks and Forest Pool 24" x 30" acrylic on canvas

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tree Love


From this small 12" x 6" study of carving and paint emerges this larger 60" x 48" version.
Trying very hard to stay with the image and not "think" too many thoughts about this piece.
Letting the image come through and speak for me, totally enamoured with this dual tree image.
Entwined yet separate, coexisting and interdependent, like humans and the earth.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Painting in Progress

48" x 60" acrylic on panel board

Learning to live comfortably with the unknown. As soon as I slip into a tried and true method or a way of painting that I am comfortable with I also feel boredom. Boredom becomes a barometer of my level of commitment to pushing the boundaries of what I know. It is so easy to just ride on what I have already learned in painting/life (the two are interchangeable) and not push forward to new places, so much more comfortable but alas the painting won't allow this for long. There are times in the studio when I sincerely wish painting wasn't such a damn struggle. I know how hard my whole being is working to silence my ever chattering mind and allow what already exists to emerge unhindered onto the canvas. I need to be present for this, I cannot be lost in thoughts about how am I ever going to survive doing this? How is my daughter doing in school? What am I going to cook for dinner? Will anyone actually like this painting? I must just show up and paint. As soon as I enter the studio, the scent of paint stills these thoughts but I still pace around in circles and fiddle with brushes and tools for a time before I am focused and present enough to approach the canvas with the first tentative strokes of the day, at first there is confusion, struggle, wanting it to look a certain way...and THEN, the magic happens and we start to sing together! I stop resisting, trying to lead, being in control and I follow the paint. Sometimes I am led down scary paths, often imagery from my dreams crops up, I try and just hold onto these images and not think about them. I don't always like what emerges but soon liking or not liking falls away as well and there is just the paint, the colors, the textures, the forms and we dance with each other. As in life, surrender and trust are an implicit part of this process.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hangin' out with the Trees

The Sensual Language of Trees

These days
whatever you have to say, leave
the roots on, let them

And the dirt

    just to make clear
    where they come from.

~Charles Olson

"When I lived amongst the roots. they pleased me more than flowers did..."
~Pablo Neruda

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Air Canada purchases a painting for their collection

I was honoured to have a large 48" x 48" painting purchased by Air Canada last month.  I am always grateful when a corporatio...