An Introduction from the Artist (Bio)

Welcome.  I’m Holly Connors.

I create art that tells stories.   Here’s where my story began and where I’m heading:

I grew up in the projects on the poor side of Woonsocket, RI. We were dirt poor, and there were five kids in our house. I was the baby. My parents took good care of us, but there was little money for food and clothes much less toys and extras. My imagination was all I had, but all I needed. Despite all the poverty and all the want, I don’t recall a single bad memory.

In fact I credit the lack of manufactured play things with forcing the development of my creative mind. I found joy in simple things then, just as I do now. We played with boxes and things we found then turned into toys. We enjoyed waiting for the train to come by every morning and afternoon and making up stories about what it was carrying and where it was going.  I enjoyed daydreaming and drawing and anything I could do with my hands.

I recall that my first true artistic creation came when I was nine years old. I remember it vividly. I had drawn an antique car–A Model T– and shown it to my older brother. He snatched it from my hand and tore it up while insisting snidely that I hadn’t drawn it. I couldn’t have. It was too good–too perfect. Plus I was a girl. What did I know about cars?

I should have been angry that he destroyed the picture, but I wasn’t. I was elated. He didn’t believe that I was the one who had drawn it. But I had. And I could do it again. And I knew it.

Time passed and by high school I had art works displayed in local businesses and had already won some local awards. Then life happened. We didn’t have money for college.  Marriage and children came. It was time, I was told, that I grew up and got a real job.

I continued to explore various forms of artistic expression, mostly crafts, whenever I could–all the while growing more and more weary with my increasingly stagnant life. Then in 1993 I was gifted a set of acrylic paints and some brushes for Mother’s Day. By the end of the day I had painted my first painting and I’d found my spark again.

My husband was in awe. He didn’t believe I had painted it. But I had. And I could do it again. And I knew it.

In recent years I’ve painted primarily commission pieces with acrylics on canvas.  I’ve done custom art, portraits, murals, paint classes.  It was only in 2018 that I finally got around to painting the things that my soul called me to create.  I wanted to do more than paint objects or landscapes.  I wanted to tell stories of travel and the people we meet along the way.   In July of this year I gave myself permission to simply play, and I challenged myself to experiment with different media.   Once I’d completed my first set of mixed media pieces, I knew I’d found home.

Collage and mixed media opened my mind to the idea that just like in life there is no one “correct” way of doing or seeing anything.  There is no correct way of creating art. There is a wide variety of textures and images and ideas just waiting to be enveloped into each piece using any manner of inclusion that my soul desires.  My world and my heart opened!  I finally had my mechanism to create the kind of art I’ve always dreamed of, and I found deep joy in creating again.

I always dreamed of being an artist that creates this kind of art for the world–art that comes from deep within the soul.  At first I didn’t believe that I could do beautiful work this way, but I did.  And I can do it again.  And I know it.

And I can’t wait to share it with you.