Realism (beginner to advanced)

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Holly McWilliams

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Holly McWilliams

Holly attended ACAD majoring in sculpture and painting. She has been instructing at Swinton’s since 2000 with a focus towards providing an enjoyable, positive and inventive learning environment. Holly concentrates on painting inspired by tradition.

Artist's Statement

For as long as Holly can remember, she has been drawn to expressing herself visually, recreating images she glimpses of her world in her mind, translating them into something she can see with her heart and then transferring those perceptions into a visual medium.  Starting with innocent doodling as a child, her work has matured into moody, captivating portraits of people and places.  She has always seen her environment through a very visual lens, perceiving vignettes and cameos of perfect compositions all around her - just waiting to be captured on canvas.

Like many contemporary artists, she is fascinated by the play of light on her subjects and landscapes - the interplay of contrast and context, shadow and illumination.  However, influenced by French neo-classical artists such as David, Ingrés and Delacroix, her study of sculpture as well as being a dancer, she treats modern subjects with a classical touch that celebrates the sensuality of the body and the land.

She is interested in not only capturing the moment but what it feels like to be in that moment, giving a definite immediacy and tangibility to her work.  She wants to provide a visual escape for her viewer where they can be swept up and transported, however briefly, to another place and time. "I want to close in on that moment of connection where nothing else matters but being in that moment - that 'just breathe' moment.  That's why I love to paint people, especially dancers and musicians because I'm really into trying to capture the physical essence of what it is to be alive and have that energy go through you...the intensity of living is what really inspires me, in life and in art."

Holly teaches art and is also a professional bellydancer and teacher as well as a pilates instructor, all of which inform her work and her artistic vision.  She lives in Calgary, Alberta and has her work in a number of collections, both corporate and private, in Canada and England.

Currently Teaches:

Monthly Adult Classes:

  • Tuesday 1-4pm
  • Wednesdays 9-12pm
  • Thursdays 1-4pm

Teen & Young Adults (age16-30) Classes:

  • Tuesdays 6-9pm
  • Thursday 6-9pm

Summer Workshops:

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Tuesday 9am - 9pm
Wednesday 9am - 9pm
Thursday 9am - 9pm
Friday 9am - 8pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 11am-4pm


7160 Fisher Street S.E.

Calgary, Alberta, Canada
T2H 0W5

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