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ABOUT HOLLI HARMON


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I find myself to be a contrarian at times, so as a painter, the description of a “contemporary traditionalist” is fitting.  My work revolves around human experiences that are connection points between different cultures and generations set in iconic California imagery. My paintings are material records of these places and people.

I don’t want you to lose sight that the painting is an object by itself.   This material record is only paint on a surface. I continually experiment with the paint and surface and texture, so that it has a life separate from the subject it describes.  The image is not photorealistic, but rather painted by any means necessary, whether it is impasto paint with palette knives and cold wax or thin glazes of color.

I can share this imagery honestly, because it is the one I know.  Through a personal lens, I discover and re-tell themes that make up our human experience.  They are always found on the edge of our own personal borders of space and time.


I grew up in the small town of Redlands in Southern California.  It holds a University that was surrounded by a sea of orange groves with a purple mountain range as its backdrop.  It was the quintessential small town filled with odd characters, opposing points of view, and erratic transitions from old habits and traditions to a modern SoCal suburb.  My own upbringing was equally eccentric and mainstream.  My adult years took me from UC Santa Barbara for a Bachelors degree and then down to San Diego State for graduate school.  I have lived along the coast of California ever since.  My husband and I migrated back to Santa Barbara to raise our children and have remained here for the last 30+ years.  I work daily in a large barn that is also in a small town on the northern edge of Southern California that holds a University surrounded by citrus and avocado groves with a purple mountain range as it’s backdrop.