Holly Coulis.

“I tried to be really honest and just shot them as they were when I went in. So you can really see that I am a bit of a slob.

I really need to get a new piece of glass for the painting table. You see how stained this is and my straight razor blade can’t remove the dried paint. I found this table (a baby changing table) at a yard sale. It has wheels and drawers. You see all of the things I use when I paint – I keep them all on the ‘desk’. Everything from paintbrush cleaners to tweezers, for pulling brush hairs off of the painting, to paper towels. You would think I would throw those away but I reuse and reuse until they are really full of paint. As a result, every time I wipe off a brush, I get paint all over my hands because there is always wet paint on them.

My drawing table is sometimes actually used for drawing on. This day it was the holder of books for inspiration – Goya, Manet, a Sotheby’s auction catalogue with some old British paintings I like. I usually listen to either the radio, music, or audio books while I’m at the studio and you can see 2 sets of headphones hooked up to various Apple products. The black headphones are noise reducing headphones. They’re great. I brought this little San Pelegrino bottle to the studio because I thought I might use it in a painting. We’ll see… Nail clippers. Hmmm… I like to cut my nails at the studio. That’s gross but I was reading a Murakami book recently where the hero cut his in a bar where they provided the nail clippers to him. So maybe it’s OK. Apples are in season. Although I don’t usually keep them beside my mineral spirits. That piece of paper is where I test out the true colors of my oil pastels.”

Holly Coulis was born in Toronto, Canada and spent most of her childhood further north in towns like Elliot Lake and Capreol. She attended to OCAD for my undergraduate art degree and the Museum School in Boston for her MFA. Now Holly lives, very happily, in Brooklyn. Her work is shown at Cherry and Martin in Los Angeles and LaMontagne Gallery in Boston.

Kate values of the mixture of nail clippers and Murakami with a drawing table. She’s charmed by Holly’s fictional backdrop of strangers, perhaps those you might be drawn to at a social event.  Or those you might want to know more about based on their defined features, strong presence and quirky wardrobe, almost like wallpaper.

Because of the visual nature of the pieces, one feels they could easily write a short story based on each of her paintings. Holly’s floral arrangements conjure artists and homage a la Matisse and Cezanne but set in a modern-day atmosphere (Kate doesn’t pretend to be an art critic).  Kate’s theory of all good writers living in Brooklyn now turns to include artists.

FROM YOUR DESKS: Which Murakami?

HOLLY COULIS: A Wild Sheep Chase.

(Holly Coulis, image one: Sky 2009 Oil on linen 40 x 36 inches. Image two: Blue Skies 2008 Oil on linen 36.25 x 30 inches and image three: Arrangement on Grey, 2010, oil on linen 20 x 16)

1 Comment For “Holly Coulis.”

  1. jack says:

    Great to find this.. Holly Coulis is one of my favorite painters. She seems charming, like her work.

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