Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Holly Anderson. I have been creating my entire life but it wasn’t until seven years ago that I became a full time, world-collected artist creating large scale, heavily textured mixed media paintings. Painting with acrylics, watercolor, ink, and prefering to use nontraditional tools, I have been fortunate to work with architects, designers, hotels and resorts on large projects as well as creating art for movie sets via Paramount Pictures.
I run my business Anderson Modern online and through my studio in downtown Phoenix. I am a collaborator and have a few side projects, one being Halcyon Fine Art which involves spirit, science & energy. All of the art revolves around water, the universe, and electro-magnetic media with co-creator Jessica Speer.
I also have a side project called Green Girls Life which is a line of eco-art created with all recycled materials or items that would have ended up in a landfill. Each eco piece carries an important message and is my way of educating others through art how to better take care of our environment and how our waste affects domestic and marine life.
When I am not creating art I focus on eco-activism, animal rescue and volunteer with multiple organizations that work with the homeless. You can find me in the most random places picking up trash, beautifying neighborhoods, distributing water and goods to those who live on the streets or bottle feeding kittens in the ICU at the Arizona Humane Society.
I also enjoy playing hand drums, the ukulele, didgeridoo and singing. I love the outdoors, traveling, and archery.
How did you get your start?
I could not work because I was on narcotics and I kept making too many mistakes. For the last 17 years I’ve battled a very debilitating muscular skeletal disease and just had back to back surgeries including a spinal fusion. I did not know what to do, I’d always had a desk job and I could no longer sit at a desk anymore.
Everyone told me I would have to be on narcotics the rest of my life but one day I decided to stop taking them because they don’t fix anything, they changed my personality so much I didn’t even know who I was anymore so I quit cold turkey and wasn’t sure how to deal with the pain.
I had inherited a bunch of art supplies from my grandmother who was a professional artist and art teacher. Plus, I didn’t have any capital to start a business and wasn’t reliable or stable enough to get a “real job” so I started experimenting with paint. Painting helped me get through the pain and was a great distraction. I had no idea what art rules were, what I was doing, what complimentary colors were but I painted and I loved what I had created.
What inspires you?
Water, nature & the opportunity to educate others about environmental issues through my art.
What do you like about AZ?
I moved to Arizona from Portland, Oregon hoping for a better life with more mobility and less humidity and I love waking up to a beautiful blue sky and seeing the tops of palm trees. I’ve really enjoy all the places I’ve hiked, I never imagined Arizona could be so beautiful.
By appointment at my studio, 701 N 15th Ave in downtown Phoenix or my work can be seen at the Vali Homes in Central Phoenix which is a modern eco villa. It is one of the most sustainable homes in North America.
What would you like to accomplish before you die?
Oh gosh, there are so many things I would like to do. I honestly don’t have an answer as each day I focus on the present, the right here, right now. I strive to be the best human I can be every day and no matter what, always practice compassion.
What is your mantra?
I have two: JUST BE and PUSH THROUGH