Holly Maslen News Archives - Holly V Maslen - Artist, Designer, Illustrator

News for the ‘Holly Maslen News’ Category

Abstract Paintings

I started to develop my abstract paintings in 2018 whilst in my gallery on Bembridge Harbour. I now have a studio on the Isle of Wight, where I am free to develop this work further.

Certain brushmarks seem to reoccur in my work at the moment. I’m interested in the action, and the uncertainty of “getting it right” first time around. Often, I don’t,  and the paintings are a result of many workings and re-workings.

I do not want to intellectualise my work. As a huge fan of abstract work I know that sometimes even one simple brush mark on a plain canvas can make me feel incredibly happy when looking at it. This is all I am aiming for in my paintings, to create something the viewer won’t get tired of looking at, and something which gives a simple pleasure.  I am influenced by colour combinations I see around me in nature, but beyond that, the paintings are instinctive, emotional and based around feelings rather than solid ideas.

If you would like to purchase a painting please send me an email to hollyvmaslen@yahoo.com and I will get it packaged up and shipped off to you. All postage is included in the price.

acrylic on canvas
12″ × 12″

acrylic on canvas
16″ × 12″

acrylic on canvas
20″ × 16″

acrylic on canvas
24″ × 18″

acrylic on canvas
24″ × 18″

acrylic on canvas
30″ × 16″

acrylic on canvas
30″ × 20″

acrylic on canvas
30″ × 20″

acrylic on canvas
40″ × 30″

Posted: January 31st, 2019
Categories: Holly Maslen News
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Art House Pop Up

I decided at the end of last year that 2019 needed to be a year of change. Having run galleries for nearly three years, I felt it was time to invest and concentrate on my own work.

Luckily I found a studio space which allows me to focus without interruption and develop new work….but in order to develop new work it’s always good to clear away the old, which is why I’m hosting a weekend Pop Up event at my house.

There will be a large range of work on sale, from paintings, sculptures, greeting cards, collage, drawing painting on slate, wood and bark. I will be making tea and coffee ( and flapjacks) and stoking the fire, so please pop in if you can. Details as follows:


Tregaron, Dennett Road, Bembridge, PO35 5XD

Sat 2nd & Sun 3rd of Feb



Posted: January 29th, 2019
Categories: Holly Maslen News
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“Pick Up The Pieces” is a project based on the Isle of Wight where, over the winter months, I will walk the length of every beach, cove and bay, collecting all the plastic waste I find along the way.

Each collection will be weighed, the pieces counted, and my findings documented in order to build up a picture of the levels of plastic pollution on the Island.  All of the information will be marked clearly on a large map of the Island and displayed at Pick Up The Pieces exhibition.


I’m incredibly excited to reveal that the exhibition will be held at an awe inspiring WWII Bunker (owned by Lincoln Miles and Lisa Traxler) overlooking the sea in St Lawrence, IOW. It is the perfect setting for this exhibition as the location brings home the impact of our actions upon our coastline.



The central piece of the exhibition will feature 310 pieces of individual plastic clearly laid out and labelled with the beach they were collected on, and the date collected. Pick Up The Pieces will also feature poems written whilst on the beaches and several installation pieces aimed at delivering a high impact message about the current state of our Planet.


Pick Up The Pieces is an ambitious and important  project in terms of improving our coastline and the lives of creatures who live both below, and above the water. My hopes are also to spark connections, future collaborations and discussions which will hopefully push the message contained within the exhibition further afield.

Admission to the exhibition is strictly by invitation only. Please register your interest to be placed upon the guest list by emailing me at hollyvmaslen@yahoo.com All sponsors of the project will automatically be invited. Please follow the link http://www.ecoartconservation.bigcartel.com to secure your “reward” and your invitation to the Private View on Saturday 18th May 2019.

Posted: November 21st, 2018
Categories: Holly Maslen News
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British Wildlife Mural

Tiny Homes Holidays is set in a beautiful woodland on the Isle of Wight,  and fully promotes an eco friendly lifestyle. There is a fantastic facility on site, which makes Tiny Homes Holidays stand out as being different; the communal dining and workshop area. The only thing missing from this room is the feeling of bringing the outside in, and this is where I step in….


I propose to paint a mural, in my signature style, incorporating thirteen British animals, birds and insects into a magical scene. Each animal, insect or bird can be sponsored for £100 and in return for sponsorship you will be supporting British Wildlife as 15% will be donated to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. You will also receive an A3 print of the mural design, ten greeting cards of your chosen animal, and your name will appear on the mural wall under a list of sponsors. All sponsors will also be invited to a free, informal supper at Tiny Homes Holidays to view the mural when complete, and you are also entitled to a whopping 25% discount on a Tiny Homes Holiday!


As an artist I feel increasingly that I want my work to be supportive of worthy environmental causes in order to promote a better quality of life for both animals and humans alike.


To sponsor an animal, bird or insect please simply email hollyvmaslen@yahoo.com with your choice/choices and I will get back to you with further details.


Let’s bring the outside in and help British Wildlife thrive in the process 🙂


Welcome to Tiny Homes Holidays






Bumble Bee


Red Squirrel








Communal area at Tiny Homes

Posted: September 12th, 2018
Categories: Holly Maslen News
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It seems a silly thing to say, because all original art is unique, a one off, but I feel the slate on wood pieces reflect this to a greater degree than say a painting,  or a drawing, because of the nature of the found materials. Each piece of slate has been picked up by myself on a beach walk. Random finds which dictate the shape, colour and feel of what gets painted onto them at a later date. The wood comes from a friend who works in a woodyard where these offcuts are often available. I like the stages of producing these pieces, from the walks on the beach, to the painting of the slate, to finding the right layout on the blocks of wood, to the finished piece. They are all free standing, or can be hung on the wall.





Posted: March 26th, 2018
Categories: Holly Maslen News
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Drop Heads

Sometimes an idea can live in your head for a long time before it comes to life in the “real world”. My series of Drop Heads have been one of those ideas. Always working in 2D, I doubted my ability to turn some of my designs into 3D reality, but eventually I had to grab the bull by the horns and give it a go.

Drop Heads are carefully constructed out of papier mache, usually about five or six layers, before being painted white (3 layers) and finally the fun part of painting the design takes place! Each Drop Head has a name, and I have asked artist friends to name them for me, so that they can take on characters as perceived by the viewer,  rather than the creator. The varying prices reflect the sizes of each piece.

Hang ’em up and enjoy!








DAISY (left)
AISHA (centre)
KYLIE (right)

Posted: March 15th, 2018
Categories: Holly Maslen News
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Illustration Friday

Every week “Illustration Friday” announces a theme (on a Friday) and artists all over the World have one week to come up with something original based around that theme. Having recently got back into drawing, after a year focusing on curating my gallery, I’m quiet excited to have a focus and to perhaps draw things I never would have thought to draw myself.

Here is my first entry, on the theme of “Sailor”.


pen & ink


This is my second entry for Illustration Friday, on the theme of Neighbour. If you lived somewhere as remote as this I think your neighbours would be rather important 🙂


pen and ink


Posted: July 27th, 2017
Categories: Holly Maslen News
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The Year Of The Gallery

After working pretty much every day since the beginning of March I finally have time to put pen to paper and document what I will probably end up calling: “2016, The Year Of The Gallery”

I had my eye on Big Art, a disused Boatyard, on Bembridge Harbour for years but, even after making enquiries, I failed to make any headway with my plans for the space. One day, as I was driving past, I saw banners outside the building reading “BIG ART” in colourful lettering. Someone had had the same idea as me!!!


That someone turned out to be painter, filmmaker and musician extrordinaire, B.B. Bango, so I asked him to let me know if he ever wanted to share the space. It turned out that in March this year he did want to share it and told me to get my skates on and find artists to fill the building. I quickly put together an email and sent it out to all my contacts at 3pm, by 7pm I had 20 artists who were excited about exhibiting. The next task was to get in and paint the huge space, tidy it up and get my display boards set up. I wanted to open before Easter. It didn’t take too long and before I knew it my vision had come true, very quickly. My vision for the building had always been to fill it with art and provide an interesting place for artists to exhibit.


The Opening Night came….and with it came a big black storm cloud and torrential rain. I stood in the doorway with the rain lashing in and worried that no one would come out on such a night. I was wrong. At 6pm on the dot an endless stream of wet and soggy friends, family and clients came through the door to see the new gallery and, despite the lack of lighting and heating and the puddles on the floor coming from the leaking gap between the sunken floor and the car park, it was a fabulous night.


I kept the gallery open 7 days a week to maximise the short amount of time we were there (6 months). In retrospect, this was a bit of a mistake. I hadn’t thought about all those summer nights and parties where I would still be up at 4am. Thank God for “my artist’s couch” where I took a few afternoon naps….sometimes being caught out in the act! So, when I closed at the beginning of September, that last thing I wanted to do was open up another gallery. I had enjoyed the experience but wanted to get back to working on my own designs and art. However, after a month or so I started to miss the routine,  so when the opportunity came up to take over the disused building next door I said “Yes”.



It was a bit of a mission to say the least, but with a little bit of help (actually, quite a lot of help, from my multi-talented boyfriend, Adam) it didn’t take too long and I was able to open Mini Big Art on the 17th of November. My winter opening hours are much reduced from my previous 7 days a week….although I will probably return to those over the summer. The new space has a lovely feel…..it is cold and draughty, but somehow still feels cosy, and I have the work of around 25 artists on show. Winter opening hours are shown below….


Our next big show is planned for February, where we will be hosting a themed Valentines Exhibition, and work will regularly be changed throughout the year to keep things fresh and interesting.


If you are passing please pop in and say hello. The most important thing for me is to have visitors through the door as there is such a wonderful selection of talent here on the Island it’s always great to see people appreciating that. Now, because I have a day off, I’m going to focus on some of my own work and get my creative flow going again…..if youre interested to see what I’m up to you can see my work here http://www.hollyvmaslen.bigcartel.com

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you at MINI BIG ART soon 🙂

Posted: November 30th, 2016
Categories: Holly Maslen News
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The great thing about being creative is that ideas are never in short supply. The downside though is deciding which ideas to execute first. Do I design a range of lampshades, or stationary, or get to work on some prints, or possibly illustrate something interesting I read, or paint some fabric and make cushions, bags and purses….or perhaps get in touch with other creatives and collaborate on an idea. All of these things I have done but, the problem is, I end up with tons of work and I never quite know what to do with it all, which creates a kind of paralysis.

This feeling of paralysis is actually ridiculous. I am able to produce vast amounts of work, so this should result in vast amounts of success….BUT….and there is a big BUT….only if I know how and where to channel the work produced, which means looking at the market before creating the product.

It has taken me a long time to realise this, or perhaps I’ve always been aware of it, but been too busy being creative to do things in the right order. I am now determined to work systematically, identify the market and produce work around it. This doesn’t mean that my creative spark is compromised, far from it.  It means that I can focus and, as a result, produce well designed collections of work on either paper, or fabric and continue to develop my style and communicate the images which capture my imagination.

I have just ordered a pack of lino and am working on three designs to make up a pack of greeting cards, envelopes and prints. They will all be packaged nicely and, once they are printed and ready to go, I will approach the stockists I have already earmarked, as well as selling them on my website.

You can browse my products here….



Rough designs from my sketchbook

Rough designs from my sketchbook



Posted: February 26th, 2016
Categories: Holly Maslen News
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Well, here I am, just a few weeks away from the 31st of December, and nearly at the end of my year long challenge. I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone! All of a sudden it has crept up on me and I’ve realised I better update my website, email everyone to check dates and addresses to send haikus out to, confirm the venue for the exhibition in January, design invitations, scan the haikus…..hmm….still lots to do, on top of writing haiku every day and and illustrating.

Now that I am this far into the project the daily practice has become so integrated into my life it has become almost unnoticeable,  which is what I hoped to achieve, but there were times throughout the year that I didn’t feel this would happen. There were times when I struggled with the months stretching ahead filled with these little square pieces of paper….now I fear the months stretching ahead next year with no little pieces of paper to fill. I am sure I will write many haiku next year, even if only in my head. It’s going to be a hard habit to break, unless of course I start a new project. I have some vague ideas….perhaps something involving words or drawings inside dated matchboxes. I like the idea of producing something which contains a surprise element for those who buy into the project….an original illustration on the outside and something private and hidden on the inside….I’ll be sure to keep you updated anyway on whatever I decide. The only thing about finishing a project on the 31/12/15 and starting a new one on 1/1/16 is that I won’t get one day off in two years!!! Yikes, that is is a bit of a scary prospect.

I have become incredibly attached to my visual diary and it’s going to be hard to send them off on their journeys far and and wide across the globe. I also don’t know what to do with all the unsold haiku….if anyone has any ideas I’d love to know. I would like to thank all of you who have supported the project this year and I will keep you all updated with an invite to the exhibition and any other spin offs which may result from the project 🙂


2015-10-20 10.02.50

Posted: November 23rd, 2015
Categories: Holly Maslen News
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