Holly Hungett exhibits paintings at Architectural Foundation
“Natural Interpretations,” a solo exhibition of acrylic and gouache paintings by Holly Hungett, will be on view from Saturday through May 20 at the
Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara, 229 E. Victoria St.
An opening reception will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday. All are welcome.
In this series of semi-abstract landscapes, Ms. Hungett works within self-imposed constraints — limited colors or monochromatic and muted palettes. Her work relies on strong compositional structure.
Painting primarily on location, Ms. Hungett relies on her connection to the environment for inspiration.
“I am primarily a plein-air painter. I love to be outside in all conditions feeling the air, wind, smells and sounds,” said Ms. Hungett. “My interest now is how to capture the emotional feeling of the day and how to interpret that into my painting.”
She reduces the number of shapes and eliminates extraneous details to create engaging and calming images. For the viewer, these paintings offer a moment of respite from our overstimulated world. The influence of her yoga and meditation practice of more than 30 years is evident in this work.
“I love color and shape. When painting landscapes, I am interested in simplifying forms and colors to help connect to the innate feeling of belonging to the earth. I am looking to create a sense of harmony and quiet through my color and shape choices,” Ms. Hungett said. “If I am working at my home studio, I most often paint from my sketches made on location rather than photos.
“My drawings retain an emotional connection to the place and the day more than photos can reveal. Often the forms and colors are painted from memories of walking and being present on the land. Whether I am painting landscapes, figures or still life, my interest lies in abstraction and discovering the essential elements of design and composition.”
Noted Santa Barbara artist and teacher Libby Smith commented: “Holly Hungett is a painter who likes to experiment. She changes media, subject matter, points of view and pushes personal boundaries. I like that.”
Garrett Speirs, another revered Santa Barbara artist and teacher, added: “Holly Hungett’s work is a wonderful balance between the specific and the general. Her work captures the essence of her subject without feeling overly beholden to her topic. Her color palette is both rich and subtle.”
An active member of Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment, Goleta Valley Art Association and Abstract Art Collective, Ms. Hungett has participated in group and solo exhibitions since 2003. Her works enrich private collections in California, Washington, South Carolina, Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Poland and Australia.
She received her bachelor’s degree from the Maine School of Art in Portland, Maine, in 1981 and her master’s of fine arts from UCSB in 1987. Starting in 1995, she taught yoga at Santa Barbara City College’s Adult Education program for 25 years.
A local resident with her husband since 1986, Ms. Hungett previously lived in Northern California and Maine. Her father’s work took her to Australia, South America and New Zealand while she was growing up.
“Much of where I grew up was rural. That personal history affects my interests and artistic expression,” she said. “I have practiced yoga, movement and healing body work for over 25 years. This also has informed my art work and my sensitivities.”