Featured Artist Holly Friesen

Enjoy Holly Friesen’s large-scale painted landscapes. See more from this talented Canadian artist by visiting her website.


Crying Rocks

“Crying Rocks” 40 x 60 acrylic on canvas


My work revolves around earth images that reflect and honour our connection to local bio-regions. These images internalize a reverence for the earth and shift the intent from harming the world to living in a mutually life enhancing manner.


Wild Earth

“Wild Earth” Diptych 72 x 48, acrylic on canvas


After 30 years of painting from close observation of the forests, rocks and rivers, I feel I am no longer observing the natural world around me but rather, in a reversal of roles, the natural world seems to be observing me.


Living Land

“Living Land” 24 x 30 acrylic on canvas


Direct and spontaneous brushstrokes become intuitive movements that follow breath and echo emotional responses to this living, breathing vitality. Through a dynamic energetic exchange I feel as though I am being held within an intelligent, sentient field that expresses itself through colors, shapes and movement. I am both humbled and awed by this process.


Spirit Island

“Spirit Island” 24 x 30 acrylic on canvas


I particularly enjoy the physicality of painting, the intuitive mark making, the hands-on application of collage and sometimes carving directly into the panel board bring me even closer to the work. I enter an unconscious wilderness through my hands and body; a primal, non-verbal process that is rich with metaphor & images.



“Shimmer” 54 x 72, acrylic on canvas


Often as I work vivid dream images arise and replace my rational, thinking brain with sensations and feelings that are experienced physically in my body.


Primal Source

“Primal Source” 24 x 30 acrylic on canvas


I learn what I need to know by painting. The more I paint the less separation there is between inner and outer ecologies.


Night Roaf

“Night Road” 9 x 12 acrylic on panel board


Recently I drove across Canada, 5000 Km, alone with a van full of paintings. I stopped in towns along the way to hold “pop up galleries”. It was a remarkable journey. I met many people, who were as diverse and varied as the landscapes that I drove through. I gathered images and stories from across the country and am still absorbing these but most recently they have started to emerge onto the canvas in a whole new way.



“Sheltered” 30 x 24 acrylic on canvas


I am also deeply moved and impressed by the rising “Idle No More” movement which seems to be evolving in tandem with a shifting world view. The combination of these two events is changing my painting in a powerful way.


Inward Revelation

“Inward Revelation” 48 x 72 acrylic on canvas


As the zen poet, Thich Nhat Hanh says, “What we most need to hear within us is the sound of the earth crying.” This is the luminous landscape that I feel shimmering within and without.


Sky Becoming Water

“Sky Becoming Water” triptych 60 x 100 acrylic on canvas


For me, painting is like deep prayer awakening a reverence for the earth’s inner landscape; the image is in you and you are in the image.


Works in Progress

Works in progress by artist Holly Friesen


Painting is my breath, beauty my compass, and the earth my body.


Holly Friesen invites you to connect with her on Facebook and Twitter and to view her online portfolio.



  1. Tresa Meyer Clark says

    This work is very exciting! Love the portraits, stunning!

  2. You are speaking my language, visually and verbally! Here is a poem for you.

    Mountains and the Sea

    She had the landscape in her arms
    when she painted it.
    She knew the score like a conductor
    reaching for the violins, the cellos,
    soaring, arcing into drumbeats
    weaving melodic color
    songs penetrating silent white canvas.

    I have the landscape in my body.
    I have been walking it, dancing it,
    breathing it, sleeping it, eating it.
    Now I listen to it, digest it. Color it
    moody. Meet it in a new language
    we learn to speak together.
    We mirror each other.
    Doors open to the inner landscape.

    Marsha Connell
    To Helen Frankenthaler

    • What a beautiful poem Marsha, thank-you for sharing it! Sorry I just found these comments now or I would have responded earlier. We certainly do speak the same language, always nice to find a kindred soul.

  3. “After 30 years of painting from close observation of the forests, rocks and rivers, I feel I am no longer observing the natural world around me but rather, in a reversal of roles, the natural world seems to be observing me.” Love that quote from you, must be very mutual, receiving energy on a different level. Beautiful art as always.

    • Thank-you Janet. It was a bit of an epiphany I had one day when I noticed that reversal of perception, it has stayed with me ever since. Thanks for your comments.

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