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

News for the ‘Holly Maslen News’ Category


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
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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 🙂


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Posted: November 23rd, 2015
Categories: Holly Maslen News
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A couple of years ago I hosted an illustration workshop in London after painting a mural for the fashion designer Charlotte Taylor. The workshop wasn’t about instructing people on how to draw, rather it was a sociable experience where the group worked together on spontaneous pieces, resulting in some interesting outcomes.

In the first exercise we wrote our names on a piece of paper, drew a squiggle and passed the paper to our right. We continued to do this, adding to the drawing as we received it, until our original sheet returned to us with a finished drawing.

The second exercise was based around incorporating a random word given by each member of the group into a complete picture. Every interpretation of the list of words turned out very differently and the group enjoyed seeing what everyone else had created.

The most noticeable thing throughout the evening was the sense of relaxation and concentration. It was a time where adults were allowed to zone out of day to day life and zone into their imaginations. We all felt very happy and relaxed afterwards.

If you would like to get into this zone yourself with like minded people then drop me a line at hollyvmaslen@yahoo.com or call me on 07840 932 529. I am hosting Art & Relaxation classes at my house in Bembridge, IOW every Monday evening from 6 h30 until 7 h30 for £6 a session.

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Posted: November 10th, 2015
Categories: Holly Maslen News
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Last night I held my first Private Art Class with my friend’s daughter Nell.  We worked on a piece of homework she had to complete, designing a poster illustrating vegetables and fruit seasonal in November. I turned up equipped with paper, felt tips, pencils and, of course, the all important rubber! Whilst Nell and I sketched out ideas and worked out how to present the information in an artistic way her parents got on with cooking dinner in the adjoining kitchen (and also supplying me with tea and banana loaf). It was a very relaxed session and Nell was at ease being in her own home environment.

  • 20151109_185428 2015-11-10 07.06.24
  • If you are interested in your child taking Private Art Classes then please see the information below and drop me an email at hollyvmaslen@yahoo.com or call me on 07840 932 529.  If you sign up for more than one class and your child is unable to make one of the classes we will simply reschedule to another time which suits you….you will never have to pay for an unattended session 🙂

Class Information:

1 × 1 hour session:£10

2 × 1 hour session:£18

3 × 1 hour session:£24

If your child has something they particularly want to draw, or work on, then I will help them to explore their ideas….or I can set a theme for us to look at and produce drawings from.

Classes are totally flexible time wise, you can decide when is convenient for me to turn up and I will accommodate your schedule. Classes can be taken in one hour slots or, if your child is older, you can push two or three classes together….it’s up to you.

I will provide all basic materials such as paper, pens, pencils and come to your house where your child will feel comfortable and get the most from the one to one experience.

Posted: November 10th, 2015
Categories: Holly Maslen News
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Houses & Shops

When one dreams of a house, it is said to represent and symbolise the body. I can understand how this symbolism came about….Our houses contain and reflect us as individuals……Our homes become deeply personal spaces, spaces to which we become emotionally attached. The drawing below is the house I spent the first 24 years of my life growing up in South London. This house contains the memories of my formative years.

2015-10-01 10.39.01About ten years ago I spent about six months drawing many houses and shops as private commissions, I was inundated with work but,  as is often the case, I then went off in another direction artistically. I have decided that I would like to start this line of work again now that my style has had time to develop.  I also miss the mathematical aspect of drawing buildings and creating work specifically for a client. Having spent several years working on my own designs and developing my unique style I would like to start putting into practice all I have learnt and start to create works which are more specific. Below are some examples of my early work and I will soon be adding newer pieces as the commissions come in…..The first of which I’m starting later today!


If you would like to discuss a commission then please get in touch. Prices start at £60 for an A3 drawing.

Email me: hollyvmaslen@yahoo.com

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Posted: October 1st, 2015
Categories: Holly Maslen News
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Haiku : 3 Months in…..

As it’s nearly the end of March, and I’m almost a quarter of the way through my challenge for the year, I thought it a good idea to update the website and let you all know how the project is going.

Firstly, I am up to date….(probably the most important thing to report).  More interestingly though, I want to talk about how the challenge has made me feel, what it’s doing in terms of my art practice and life in general.  When I launched the project on the 8th of January I had no idea it would be so well received,  this came as a total surprise. I sold over 80 haiku within the first couple of days and never anticipated that people would buy haiku which hadn’t yet been written or illustrated. This response was incredibly motivating and at the same time quite scary. Within a few days I realised the measure of the project and instantly felt responsible to make sure I delivered the goods.

I have times when I think ahead to say, October, and can’t quite get my head around the fact that I will STILL be writing a haiku every day, but then I quickly put that thought to the back of my mind and return to focusing on one day at a time and, so far, I haven’t really struggled to find something to write about. I have found that some subjects crop up more than once and have worried about being repetitive, but at the same time, life can be repetitive and I can only write from experience each day.

When I first started the project I would be thinking about the daily haiku from the minute I woke up but this has changed now as I know the day often presents something I really want to write about and I look forward to discovering that naturally. I saw a butterfly out of the corner of my eye in the garden the other day, I didn’t know what it was at first so I went out to have a look. As soon as I stopped for a moment to watch it I thought in my head “that’s my haiku”.

I have also found the discipline of writing very day has helped me to be more disciplined in other areas of my life. When it’s sometimes tempting to say “I’ll do that tomorrow” I now say to myself  “no, just do it now” because I can’t put off the haiku writing until tomorrow or the next day I try not to do this with other things either.

Probably the hardest part of the project is the administration side of things. Making sure I have everyone’s dates written down correctly, making sure I email everyone with the details, keeping track of who has paid and who hasn’t (if that’s you, I’ll be sending you an email, be warned 😉 )  I haven’t yet sorted a venue for the exhibition but I’ve got a couple of places in mind, so those details will probably come with the 6 month update. I would also love to get the project published as a book, so if any of you have contacts in publishing, please drop me a line.

It’s a bit tricky to upload all the photos here unfortunately, but you can keep up to date with the haiku as they emerge by looking at my Facebook page (a couple of the dates have ended up in the wrong place, but not being very adept at tech stuff this was bound to happen…but mostly they are in chronological order).

So that’s it for now folks……next update in another 3 months time!



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Posted: March 27th, 2015
Categories: Holly Maslen News
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