Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Michael Holter

Michael Holter of Plano, TX, is this month's Spotlight Artist. If you would like to be in the spotlight, please email your information to Anna at

"Through Three Lenses," Watercolor Self Portrait
by Michael Holter
Artist Biography:

Michael Holter is a Texas based artist working in both watercolor and oil. Michael's work has received numerous awards and recognition and can be found in private and corporate collections in the US and several foreign countries. His current work falls into two categories: watercolor figurative and oil landscapes (both plein air and studio). Michael has been painting most of his  life, and has been an art teacher, art director and businessman in the fine art and commercial creative arenas.

Michael is a member of the American Watercolor Society, the National Watercolor Society, The Transparent Watercolor Society, Southwestern Watercolor Society, The Society of Watercolor Artists, The Outdoor Painters Society, and the Portrait Society of America.

Michael says, "I think of my work as impressionistic. I like to represent people or places and allow the painting to evolve from the structure of the recognizable. The challenge is to balance the care needed to make the representation interesting… and perhaps believable, with the freedom, looseness and painterly quality that makes painting so unique and expressive."

"I have been influenced by artists such as Charles Reid, Richard Schmid, Burt Silverman, Frank Webb, John Singer Sargeant, Ted Nuttall and many others. Even though I have an art degree, most of what I put into practice is self-taught through studying the work of these distinguished artists."

"My wife Cyndy, and I grew up in on the wide-open plains of North Dakota and got to Plano, TX by way of Minnesota (I can paint a snowy winter landscape with the best of ‘em) and then Virginia. We often travel and I am currently working on a series figurative paintings and a series influenced by a recent trip to Istanbul and the Mediterranean regions of Turkey."

"Hay, You?" - 14 x 22" - watercolor - by Michael Holter

Interview with Spotlight Artist for July, Michael Holter:

1) When and how did you first became seriously interested in art?  I have always had an interest and a natural aptitude for art and music, but it wasn’t until my early 20’s that I focused on pursuing a lifetime of creative work. 

2) What is your training, and what medium(s) / subject matter do you work in? have a Bachelors Degree in Art and a MA in Visual Communication. I have combined that formal education with careful work and study of contemporary artists and their work. I have taken a few workshops but am largely self-taught in many of the finer points of painting. I work in both watercolor and oils. Much of my early work was in watercolor and the watercolor portraits that I am currently doing have received lots of attention with awards, sales and recent signature status in the Society of Watercolor Artists and the Southwestern Watercolor Society.

"Rose" - 11x14" - watercolor - by Michael Holter
3) What do you express in your work? My work is representational and focuses on real people and places. I am very interested in light and the effect of light on the subject.

4) What artists/professionals have been your  biggest influences? Richard Schmid, Ted Nuttall, John Singer Sargeant, Charles Reid, Burt Silverman, and many, many more.

"Lucky" - 14 x 14" - watercolor - by Michael Holter
"A Walk in Istanbul" - 10 x 7" - watercolor
by Michael Holter
5) What do you do to gain new inspiration for your work? Lately, I have been painting plein air oils and some watercolors to challenge myself to quickly capture what is in front of me. I also frequently join a life-painting group for their regular paint night with a model.

6) What would you like to be doing with your art ten years from now? I am working toward refining the work and refining the market for my work.

7) Do you set goals for yourself concerning the making of your art? Many of my goals come from commission deadlines and show entry deadlines. On a less rigid level my goal is to use some time every day to paint.

"Time Passing" - 16 x 14" - watercolor - by Michael Holter
8) Are you happy with your job choice as an artist? Do you have any regrets in this career choice or things you would have done differently? No regrets. I know that I am doing what God intended for me to do.

9) Any fun or interesting facts about yourself that you'd like to share? Art and music are a part of the creative aspects of my life. I currently play guitar on my church worship team and started guitar as a teenager. I played professionally for a short time in my 20’s.

10) Best piece of advice for other artists? Stick to it. Regularly go back to the principles and elements of design and evaluate your work. Try new things for your own edification.

"Trail Boss" - 12x12" - watercolor - by Michael Holter

Phone: 972-965-2078

Friday, July 5, 2013

Upcoming Verdaccio Workshop with D.K. Richardson - August 2013

Don't miss the opportunity to learn these classical techniques: Verdaccio Under Painting Workshop and the Glazing the Verdaccio Underpainting with D.K. Richardson, August 3-4, and August 10-11. Please note: it takes 2 workshops to learn the full technique.

Register by calling Jerry’s Artarama in Austin at 512-420-9359.

Houston Meet-and-Greet a Smashing Success!

Saturday, June 29 - Houston area artists (as well as a few from Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio!) gathered at the iconic Cadillac Bar in Houston, TX for our annual Meet-and-Greet! There were 20 people in attendance, including members Alix Dunn, Beverly Chemin, Francis Huang, Sheila McGraw, Kim Abbati, Kirsten Coco, Delaram Izadpanah, Lenore Prudhomme, Pam Schrader, Rhonda Lanclos, Suzanne Taylor, and Suzie Baker. Non-members were also welcome to attend, and those who came enjoyed the meeting very much. The table was abuzz with excited conversation about networking and art-making. Our demo artist was PSOA member and 2013 Certificate of Excellence winner, D.K. Richardson. She brought several of her original pastel and oil paintings for attendees to admire (it's always wonderful to see the originals in person!), and gave a wonderful demonstration on steps to finishing a painting. She had two images on display to show "before" and "after" applying finishing touches. The demonstration was interactive, with a lot of helpful Q&As. 

As TX ambassador, I'd like to give a huge thanks to D.K. Richardson for sharing her time, talents, and wealth of information with fellow artists. I'd also like to thank Lenore Prudhomme, who found the venue for us and reserved our space.

The Meet-and-Greet was a hit and we are already looking forward to our next event, possibly in San Antonio in the fall. Stay tuned!