Artist Holly Savas draws inspiration from vintage and everyday household items to create colorful collages. Please visit her website to see more artwork.
One of my goals is to continually evolve as an artist. The past fifteen years have taught me to experiment with new techniques and to push myself in new directions. Looking back, I can identify when I moved from acrylic painting to printmaking, to mixed media on canvas and to the paper collage on panel process I’m using now.
Taking creative risks shows me that anything imaginable is possible. Even if I’m not always happy with the result, I’ve grown throughout the process. When my creative process evolves, I grow as an individual as well, which is really important to me.
Another goal is to deliver a sensory jolt to viewers of my artwork. I use colors intended to uplift the mood and enliven the atmosphere of a space. I’ve been told my most recent abstracts make people feel both energized and calm at once, which is a huge reward for me. I love that my artwork helps people feel happy in their surroundings.
Most recently I’m working on an exploration of abstract paper collages on wood panel. I’ve always been fascinated by lining up strips of different papers next to each other to form an organic shape, and then enclosing that shape within a contrasting outline.
Recently I decided to put this motif under a magnifying glass — really blow it up in proportion — to uncover why I love it so much.
I started on 12” x 12” square panels, using paper in mostly primary colors (collages Untitled 1-8) and really focused on the paper strips, their surrounding boundary, and the abstract shapes they created together.
I then tackled larger panels with more complicated shapes (Untitled 9-12 and Untitled 13-16). I’ve graduated from square panels and I am now working on a series of large vertical collages (18” x 24”) featuring intricate, stacked shapes, including Fancy Tower and Orange Kettle.
I’ve discovered that this abstract shape motif delivers a powerful punch of color. The paper strips I use can be thick, thin, straight or jagged; not exactly aligning the strips makes an interesting visual (and makes for a much more relaxed process).
The outer boundary unifies the elements within, making order out of chaos. As a mother, I enjoy making order out of chaos in my artwork. So many other things are out of my control!
I draw inspiration from the silhouettes of household items I find in century-old catalogs, in local shops and in my house: chairs, funky shaped kettles and fringed rugs, etc. I love jars and boxes with rounded edges; I’ve collected vintage bowls and pottery for decades.
Colorwise, I’m drawn to muted blues, greens, yellows and reds. San Francisco, where I live, provides an endless inspiration of building styles to draw from — bits of my larger abstracts could be imagined as sections of teetering, multi-story houses.
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